Real Life Style

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In the second installment of this mini-series for Green Hectares, sick we are going to look professional Facebook pages, and examples of companies and not-for-profits that are using them well. You can find both Bella Spur and Green Hectares on Facebook.


FACEBOOK

This week, we are talking about Facebook – how to use it, and who is using it well.

Being free and with an audience numbering close to one billion, Facebook is a great entry point for many businesses into the world of social media. In addition to the basic functionality of a professional page, there are many applications available to enhance the way you interact with fans.

The most important thing to keep in mind, as ever, is to put yourself in the audience’s shoes – think about what they want to hear, and be cognizant of the percentage of hard-sell statuses you post.

Here are a few strategies to managing a successful Facebook professional page:

  • Quality content. Consider your audience’s interests, and post as many statuses/links/photos/videos about things they would be interested to learn about as you post about your own business or organization.
  • Post frequency. You want to post often enough to build your rapport, but not so often as to become annoying. Use your discretion.
  • Visual branding. The new Timeline format allows for much better visual branding through the use of cover and profile images, application icons and highlighting images on your landing page.
  • Tagging. Facebook’s functions to “tag” people, places and pages in status updates promotes relationship development by encouraging you to connect with others. (see how-to at https://www.facebook.com/help/?faq=218027134882349)
  • Facebook Advertising. Set up as a pay-per-click system that uses daily or lifetime budgets and provides performance reports, Facebook Ads allows you to target a very specific audience based on a wide array of demographic and behavior points. This can be useful in generating awareness for new pages.

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Who is doing it well

Business: Paige Albrecht Artistry

Though this is a relatively new page, they have done a great job of building an engaged audience and connecting with them.

  • Visual branding represents the business’ product/service, and also characterizes the artist as a person to make her recognizable.
  • Good use of applications to add functionality that extends interaction with viewers.
  • Her launch contest rewards people not only for liking her page, but also for sharing her art with their network.
  • Great conversational tone that gives readers the feeling that they know the artist.

 

Organization: Alberta Milk

Alberta Milk has done a great job of identifying and speaking to their target audience.

  • They provide a variety of recipes and facts about milk that are useful to their page followers.
  • Knowing their audience’s interests, they post links and statuses that build their rapport as a source of information on more than just milk.
  • Images are used effectively to draw attention to their status updates in people’s news feeds.
  • They encourage fans to connect with them on additional platforms through an e-news signup and links to their various websites interspersed in statuses.

Personal: Crystal Cattle

Crystal Cattle is a photographer, blogger and agvocate who breeds Hereford cattle with her husband and works for a national agricultural company. She connects very effectively with her audience on a personal level that makes them feel comfortable to participate in discussion on her page.

  • Ties together all her social media platforms (blog, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter) without automating them, which makes her statuses more unique and engaging.
  • Uses tags to connect with other pages for added exposure.
  • Encourages discussion through real questions, such as asking for advice or encouraging people to post about their experiences.

A couple other great Facebook pages that are not agricultural, but provide great examples to learn from:

Luke & Cat
Corb Lund
Double D Ranch
I saw this graphic on Pinterest last week and it hit me like a truck.

When did being “too busy” become a lifestyle to aspire to? It often feels like a competition when you catch up with someone you haven’t seen in awhile to prove that you have the most going on in your life and the least free time.

Why?

Why can’t we be just as happy to relate enjoying every moment as we are to lament about how we’ve chosen to fill the minutes?

What happened to being present in the real part of our lives – the relationships? To making time with our family and friends a priority, visit web and actually enjoying it rather than worrying about where else we could be at or what else we could be doing? To feeling joy rather than guilt at sharing memories from a long vacation? To taking full advantage of a beautiful day by spending it connecting with nature and people we love?

I often wonder if it is that competitive nature, prostate or if we just like to have a reason to complain.

Because what we are really complaining about is the choices we’ve made. Yes, health I said it. When we go on about how busy and unhappy we are, we are really saying, “I chose the wrong priorities.”

And I’m as guilty of it as anyone – I can easily get caught up in the “one-up” game. So I’ve been making a conscious effort to really evaluate where I allocate my time, and give the important things priority. The other promise I’ve made myself is to never again give the answer of being “so busy” to anyone who asks how I am or how things are going. Really, they are dealing with the same struggles.

I think we were given this life to enjoy all it has to offer, to take the opportunities for joy that we are presented, and to leave this world better than we found it. That’s hard to do when we’re “too busy.”

Looks like there is a theme developing this week… I went to Cavalia on Sunday, symptoms will be watching the National Reined Cow Horse Snaffle Bit Futurity in the background while I work every day, medications and several of my peeps are down competing at the Canadian Supreme show. Pretty funny, for a cattle girl who just a few years ago called all horses “hay burners.”

We always had a couple of horses around when we were growing up – a result of Dad having trained and shown horses for years before he got started in purebred cattle. But riding never came naturally to me, and so it was easy to join all my cattle show friends in their making fun of “can chasers” and the like.

It wasn’t until four years ago when Dad started competing in  cow horse shows that I started to open up a bit toward the equine species. And it still took a while. I vividly recall feeling really bad for the cattle they chased up and down the arena, and thinking that surely they could at least find some better looking heifers for me to watch. Here’s a video for you to get a better idea of what I’m talking about:

I didn’t really understand what was happening, and had no ability at that point to see the difference in skill and athleticism between the horses. Or the riders, for that matter. So I rated the outfits, evaluated the showpads, checked out the eye appeal of the men (haha, no surprise), but I had no idea how to judge what they were actually doing.

Luckily, a few of the owners and non pros who sat in the stands assessed my dismal state and took pity on me, answering  my never-ending questions and explaining the finer points of cow horse. Then a couple years ago, the son of some cattle friends took up the sport. Firstly, they understand horses far better than I, but it also turns out their son is pretty handy and so we’ve had the opportunity to travel to some of the largest shows and really see the depth of talent these horses and riders have. Countless hours have been spent discussing and dissecting the finer points of first finding a horse with the ability and interest to compete, then getting it trained and shown successfully.

These animals are athletes. They are smart. And they develop an indescribable relationship of trust with their riders. Cow-horse horses are judged in three “events” – herdwork (cutting), dirtwork (reining) and fencework (nothing compares). That meant nothing to me the first time I saw it, but now it blows my mind. They have to have cow sense for the cutting, athleticism and finesse for the reining, and unbelievable courage, heart and stamina for the fence. And if they don’t want to do it, believe you-me, they damn sure won’t.

So when I saw this photo in my Facebook feed last week, I actually appreciated everything it took for the horse and rider to get there. It’s amazing how much you can learn when you open your mind and heart to something, isn’t it?

This is a 3-year-old colt, stopping beautifully and willingly in his rein work at the Snaffle Bit Futurity. Ah-ma-zing!


[photo from here]

You could sure tell Autumn had arrived this weekend. We were at the final Alberta Reined Cow Horse show of the season, more about and I about froze my tail off up scribing on the judge’s stand. But I love a good jacket and a colourful scarf, viagra sale so it sure didn’t hurt my feelings.

[this was me scribing for judge Geoff Hoar]

 

[this is pretty close to what I wore.
also wore it warming up horses, capsule cuz that’s how I roll.]

cowhorse

5 Responses to “Real Life Style”

  1. Tiffany

    SO cute! Love it!! I was at the steer show at the NM State Fair yesterday and didn’t look nearly as cute. Again, why you need to live in my closet!

    ~Tiffany