Equine businesses are the perfect candidates for social media marketing. You’re in the “field” every day and you have the opportunity to take pictures and videos regularly and quickly. Because these can be easily shared with a variety of social media outlets, you are just a few clicks or finger touches away from sharing with your audience. However, just because you can post to social media at all hours of the day doesn’t mean that you should. In this article, we will discuss best practices for using social media.
Where to Post
Facebook is a definite must. There’s a huge equine audience on Facebook with hundreds, if not thousands, of groups for horses, tack, trailers, farms, different counties, regions of states, etc. If you’re going to be on any social media sites, Facebook is where you should be. Saying that, there’s also quite a large equine audience on Twitter and Instagram. Other sites you might want to consider as well depending on your business are Pinterest and YouTube.
Business Page vs. Personal Page on Facebook
It’s vital that you know the difference between a business page and a personal page on Facebook. One of the biggest mistakes many people make when marketing their business on Facebook is not setting up a proper business page. By posting your business information and posts only on your personal page, you are limiting your audience significantly. If you’re using a personal page, people have to “friend” you to see your posts. This isn’t the case with a business page. A business page allows people to “like” your page and then as you post, they see your updates. It’s important that you properly set up a business page (it’s free) and post there if you want more than your friends to see your updates.
80/30 Content Sharing
Once you have a proper business page established, you can start planning when and what you’re going to post. When posting, it’s important to follow the 80/30 sharing rule. This means that 80% of your content posted and shared should not be of a promotional nature. Post non-promotional company information as well such as pictures or videos that share the work you’re doing without being salesy or sneak peeks at what goes on behind the scenes of your business – anything to promote the culture of your business and helps build your brand.
Only 30% of the content shared should be promotional content. Using “adjacent content” keeps your page interesting because it’s related to your business and aligns with the interests of your audience.
Post Tips & Tricks
Everybody loves to learn something new, particularly if it makes their lives easier! Photos and videos are great ways to share these ideas. It’s a bonus for you if they involve using your products or services!
Social media is all about conversations. Converse with your audience when they post comments. If someone sends you a message, respond quickly!
How Often Should You Post?
There is no right or wrong answer here. However, it is a good idea to spread your posts throughout the day or week so that you don’t overwhelm your audience. At the same time, you want to keep a consistent flow so that you are staying in front of your audience without being annoying.
Monitor and Listen to Your Audience
Your audience are your customers. If they are happy with your services, they will often tag your page in the conversation. Listen and respond to those posts. Sometimes this also means doing a bit of reputation management and putting your best customer service foot first. If the conversation is particularly negative or challenging, you can always take the conversation into a private message to avoid creating a long and negative post.
Most equine businesses aren’t going to have “brand guidelines” for their marketing campaign, but you should have a logo and a consistent voice in your posts. Try to stick with a set of particular colors that you use across your accounts so that your audience and fans will be able to easily recognize you. Be human in your posts, but stay on brand. Remember to always represent your business in a professional manner and present yourself as a professional. This will help to drive your messages home and ensure you look like a reputable business that someone should use. This also means being careful in the language that you use and ensuring that your spelling and grammar are correct.
Remember that social media isn’t just about marketing. It’s about engaging with your audience and sharing. Your goal is to help your audience learn, improve, discover and receive answers to questions – even if they don’t know they have a question yet!