3 Takeaways from SMBME 70 – Personality and Your Brand

Thank you to everyone who braved the icy roads for breakfast with Alex Steed of Knack Factory, Erin Ovalle of MaineLife and Tim Cotton of the Bangor Police Department. It was a little raw out there, but so worth it. If you missed out, here are some takeaways.

You can’t fake it.

Be real. People are drawn to what’s honest. If you’re trying to be something that you’re really not, no matter how hard you try to fake it, people will see it.

Knack Factory sees the most success from videos that they actually want to make – the content that they care about and find interesting. This content isn’t promotional. It’s not manufactured. Check out the example below and tell me it doesn’t make you want to work with them.

“I Grew Up Here” by Jen Michaud, Timber Sports Competitor + Poet || KNACK FACTORY from Knack Factory on Vimeo.

Erin Ovalle spent years trying to fit the mold of who everyone told her she should be. It wasn’t until she decided to drop the act and just be who she really is – and wants to be – that she really started to succeed and grow.

Tim Cotton of Bangor PD has grabbed the attention and gained a loyal following of people around the world because he’s a character and he has an authentically good personality. The stories that he posts aren’t contrived or planned. He’s self-deprecating and isn’t afraid to make fun of serious topics.


Don’t overthink it.

None of the speakers said they spend a lot of time planning what they do. Tim finds that it’s best to let the ideas flow – write the post first and come up with a reason for it post afterwards. Over planning leads to second guessing. Creating and sharing content in the moment adds timeliness and authenticity. It is ok, however, to plan the timing of your posts to ensure that people see them.


Respond to people – even the trolls.

Ok, maybe not always the trolls. It depends on the type of troll and your own personality. Do what is comfortable for you. It is important to remember that this is social media. Social – it’s about being friends with people first. Take the time to engage with people – read and respond. Have that conversation. A little kindness goes a long way.

Thank you to our fabulous speakers. You guys inspired and entertained. What a way to end a week. Of course, none of this would have been possible if not for our generous sponsors. Thank you Portland Press Herald, Agents of Change Digital Marketing Conference, Gorham Savings Bank, and Vreeland Marketing for fueling our bacon addiction and helping us get our learn on.

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Highlights from SMBME 67 – Special Evening Beer Event

Our special evening edition of SMBME was so much fun – and not just because the B stood for beer!

Our panel of Maine brew pros made the night what it was – fun, inspiring and informative. If you missed it, or got a little too wrapped up in the beer portion of the event, here are the nuggets of wisdom I walked away with. Here are some photos thanks to Judy Beedle Photography as well.

Our Panelists:Beer SMBME panelists
Peter Jensen Bissell – Bissell Brothers
Daniel Kleban – Maine Beer Company
Don Littlefield – Maine Brew Bus
Mat Trogner – Allagash

  • Don’t engage the trolls. Do reach out to and empathize with people who have legitimate gripes
  • Don’t post something and sit there clicking refresh to see what happens. Get out there and make something new. Always be creating.
  • If you have a great product and a great story. The rest will take care of itself.
  • Learn from what others are doing successfully. Do those things, but make them even better.
  • Show your fans what’s happening at work – and play. Let them live vicariously through you.
  • Always be thinking about what might be interesting. Do your best to capture it in the moment.
  • Think ahead to show progress in the future. Example: Taking a photo of founders in their new, empty space and following up with the same shot over time.
  • Don’t sell on social channels. Build a community. The results will be tenfold.
  • Be personal.

Not too shabby for a beer-fueled SMBME without bacon! Thanks to Maine Brew Bus and Agents of Change Digital Marketing Conference for buying us all a round, to Whiskey Drive Lumber for the sweet beer openers and to the rest of our sponsors: Portland Press Herald, Gorham Savings Bank and Vreeland Marketing – we could not do this without you!

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Takeaways and Links from SMBME 66 – Fundraising for Your Business with Social Media

What a great lineup of speakers we had at our 66th Social Media Breakfast Maine. Each presentation complimented the next. We hope you all walked away feeling inspired and smarter. I know I did.

Andrea Berry of Firefly Partners kicked things off with an overview of best practices for fundraising with social media. She talked about why you shouldn’t ask for money and reminded us how important it is to say thank you and provide recognition. Another thing that seems simple, but is often forgotten, is giving supporters the tools and content to share with their networks. Andrea also talked about telling people “why you.” This is where content is key. Use infographics and other content types to show people where their money went, or where it will go.

Holly Sherburne of Bowdoin College followed with her peer-to-peer #bowdoinoneday fundraising campaign that provided examples of many of the things that Andrea previously touched on. One of the things she said really summed it up: “people are your social currency for content and calls to action.” Direct asks will not work. You need your supporters to do it for you. Without the participation of alumni, her campaign would not have surpassed its goals. She also used video content throughout the campaign.

BowdoinOne Day – Participation Matters from Bowdoin College on Vimeo.

BowdoinOne Day – Thank You! from Bowdoin College on Vimeo.

Holly also mentioned that she used tintup.com to aggregate all #bowdoinoneday content on the Bowdoin website.

spose-yard-sale-kickstarterRyan Peters, aka Spose, finished the morning by sharing how he used Kickstarter to tap his loyal fan base and raise over $28k to create videos to make sure that his music was heard by as many new listeners as possible. Why videos? Because visuals matter and as Ryan put it himself, “you don’t have a song unless you have a video for that song.” This was a 30-day campaign so he knew he had to work to keep things fresh. Keys to success? Create urgency. Make it exclusive. And show people, don’t tell them. If you tell them before you show them, they won’t care because you already told them. In this fast moving river that is social media, you only have a second to grab people’s attention. Ryan knows how to make that second count. And he respects the karma of social currency.

Here’s the full campaign details and video.

Thanks to everyone who came out, to our speakers for dropping all of their knowledge and to our sponsors for making it all possible: Portland Press Herald, Agents of Change Digital Marketing, Conference, Gorham Savings Bank, Vreeland Marketing, and Others! Fair Trade Coffee

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Top 6 Takeaways from SMBME 65 – Putting Your Business on the Map with Google

Thank you everyone for joining us for our 65th Social Media Breakfast. This month we had Jennifer McDonald of TideSmart Global and Joel Bolton from Maine Virtual Tours come and talk to us all about the importance of having your business listed with Google.

Here are my top 6 takeaways from the morning:

  1. We use our smartphones for everything (and so do your customers) – I loved how Jennifer kept saying our phones were intimate devices. I had never heard that but it sure does make sense. We care about them, we bring them everywhere, we care what they look like, we lock them for privacy, we have apps to track them if we lose them and, according to her data, we check them over 150 times A DAY! Eek! We use our phones to search, to look for things locally, to look for deals, to see reviews of products, and to share our experience with our products after we buy them. They are a part of the entire buying cycle.
  2. Simple messaging, be authentic, provide value – Jennifer listed these as the steps needed to succeed in a digital marketing world and I cannot agree more. The tune hasn’t changed but the tools have. Many of us get too wrapped up in what we can do, what we could do and saying as much as we can. Something easy, real and helpful will win every time.
  3. Go to www.gybo.com/business to see how your business is doing with local search and get next steps to optimize your business profile. I did a quick check for my job and I have some work to do! If you need help, more information or have a unique issue, you should contact Joel to help you work through it.
  4. Mike Blumenthal is your man for the nitty gritty on Local Search – Joel directed us to Mike Blumenthal for more information about the ever changing world of local search. I took a peek at his blog already and can’t wait to get more in there and look for some complicated questions I have.
  5. Google+ is reaching the end… it seems. Alas, they tried, and reworked, and reworked some more but… it looks like G+ is winding down. Joel showed us some funny videos (one is below). Our local tweeps also shared some recent G+ articles here and here.
  6. Marcy’s Diner was NOT the most linked to story from Facebook to the PPH site last month – I don’t even know how that is possible?!? The Marcy’s Diner story that blew up the local interwebs was overshadowed by the man who threw a party in Baxter State Park. Weird! Thank you to our sponsors and friends from the Portland Press Herald for joining us again and for showing us that cool tool polleverywhere.com!

Here is a link to Joel’s full presentation. So much good information in here.

Here is a link to Jennifer’s full presentation too. Some great stats to share with your company or clients!

See you next month!

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