WIHS Taps Social Media to Guide Future

Now in its 52nd year, Washington International Horse Show, one of the oldest horse events in the country, incorporates a strong social media program into its marketing strategy through  WIHS-branded Face-book, Twitter, YouTube and Flickr pages.

In early 2009, WIHS created pages on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Flickr to connect with the riders, trainers, owners and horse enthusiasts, who attend the annual horse show in Washington, D.C.  Within a few days, the show had more than 1,000 facebook fans, which has increased to more than 4,500 by mid-2010, prompting the show’s leadership to look for ways to tap into the fans collective enthusiasm and knowledge of horse sports to help shape the future direction of the show.

“Our first initiative was to ask our fan base what special exhibitions they would like to see,” said Anthony F. Hitchcock, WIHS Chief Operating Officer. “Since then we’ve continued reaching out to our fans by alerting them of our various contests or updating them with the latest news.”

Posts on Facebook and Twitter often send visitors to the horse show’s official website, www.wihs.org.

“Social Media has been a great way to reach our audience and fans – we have been able to post information about our sponsors, partners and all the details about the show for everyone to see as it happens.” said WIHS President Juliet W. Reid.

As the show approaches, riders and horse enthusiasts can keep up-to-date on show news and standings by following the Washington International Horse Show on Facebook at www.facebook.com/horseshow, on Twitter at www.twitter.com/wihs, Flickr - http://www.flickr.com/photos/wihs and YouTube - www.youtube.com/washingtonhorseshow.

Examples of how WIHS reached out to its social media audience were for requests for the Youth Ambassador, poster and video contests. As a result, numerous contestants filled out the forms and entered the various contests. Anna Rossi was chosen as the Youth Ambassador, Dagmar was chosen to do the poster and our video contest winner will be chosen during the 2010 Washington International Horse Show, which takes place October 26-31 at Verizon Center in the heart of Washington, DC.