Let's put our heads together! Equestrian Professional is clearly an avid Social Media user. However, we haven't just used social media to tell you about us - we've used it to help you learn how you can use social media to benefit your own business!
From articles and guides about how horse professionals can use Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube to our free Smart Social Media for Horse Professionals seminar, Equestrian Professional has given you the tools to best use Social Media for your horse business. Pssssst...Don't forget we also told you about Groupon and the trainer who sold 540 lessons in three days!
Now it's your turn to show how much you've learned! http://www.equestrianprofessional.com/ is a top ten finalist in the Equestrian Social Media Awards. So vote for us at http://abbeyviewequine.com/awards in categories 2 & 12. Let's show 'em the power of social media!
Since we're on the subject of social media, we thought you might like us to share with you what we think the number one social media secret is and a few golden mini tips to go with it.
Conduit vs. Content
1. The number one secret is that social media sites are Conduit and you are the Content!
These days, there are a lot of social media marketing companies and self proclaimed gurus out there trying to grab your marketing dollars. They offer to set up your social media networks for a fee. They like to make you think that social media is complicated and that you need them to make it work for you.
Here are the facts -
While it can be beneficial to have a few graphics designed (like a logo or customized image) to use consistently across your Social Media Networks, the setting up of a Facebook, Twitter or Youtube account takes only minutes and is rarely worth the money these people charge. Plus, having a Facebook page, YouTube Channel or Twitter profile (no matter how fancy) is not what provides value to your horse business. You and your expertise are what provides value both to your horse business and to your social media network.
Social Media Networks like Twitter, Facebook and Youtube are simply conduit. They are communication channels like telephone wires, they transmit the message but they are not the message itself. It is the message - the content that you send out that will determine how successful social media is for your horse business.
So the real secret to a successful equestrian social media marketing campaign is the ability to select, create and generate the content that is relevant to your target market and to post it in such a way that your target market is most likely to come in contact with it.
Now for some golden tips -
TIP: Facebook Page and Twitter posts are searchable both on the sites themselves and via Google. So use relevant keywords in your posts.
TIP: Facebook posts that receive the most "comments" and "likes" will be seen by more people than content that does not engage readers. Lots of Facebookers use the Top News view. If you don't post engaging content, it is not likely to be seen by very many people.
TIP: Not sure where to find engaging content? Save time finding relevant content by using Google Alerts and/or subscribe to the RSS feeds of your favorite websites and blogs. Use the Facebook Share button or Re-tweet on Twitter. Post other peoples content (like links to Equestrian Professional's Horse Business Seminars) and then comment on them.
TIP: Some of the most popular content are photos and videos. As a horse professional you are creating awesome content every day that you go to work. You just need to find a time efficient effective way to capture it and share it. Get a mobile phone with a good camera, connect it to your Facebook, Twitter and Youtube accounts and post away!
TIP: A major benefit of Social Media is the ability to drive traffic to your website or blog. Be sure your website or blog is traffic ready - up to date and engaging. Because they are a snap to update and very search engine friendly, this is where a blog or cms (content management system) style website really comes in handy.
TIP: Have a clear plan for what you want people to do once they end up on your site and use a call to action to encourage them to do it!
TIP: Last but not least - Watch your audience's reactions and give them what they "like!" Note: Social media is social so be sure you share a good balance of entertainment, educational and business posts i.e. don't go all "spammy" or people will stop following you.
O.K. so we have about a bazillion more tips that can make social media work well for your horse business and we could probably go on for pages and pages (and did in Equestrian Professional's Social Media Guides) but -
We want to be sure we give you time to go vote for us in the Equestrian Social Media Awards. Voting closes soon!! Even though this is just a contest - Your votes show us that we've done our job! And so they really mean a lot to us! After you vote - please post that you voted for us on our Facebook page and share a link to this tip on your own page encouraging others to vote for us too and we'll enter you to win a free private social media consulting session with us!
P.S One more little goody for you (actually it's kind of a big goody.) If you want to create an awesome and free custom page for your Facebook page try http://www.pagemodo.com/front.html - Have a great week!