“It’s not 'should you do social media' or how you do it, it’s something you have to do these days,” said Jamie Samples, social media expert and founder of Yellow Barn Media.
Instagram and Facebook are the go-to platforms, but Samples recommended that trainers also consider joining LinkedIn, the professional social networking platform.
Regardless of the outlet you choose, Samples offers the following four tips for making social media work for your equine business.
Posting twice a month isn’t going to cut it, she said. Facilities and businesses that post regularly and frequently have the most success growing their businesses through social media.
Create posts that lead to engagement, Samples said. Stables can highlight success at shows, a newly foaled colt, a horse health tip and/or share informational articles posted by other sources.
“Barns tend to just showcase their lesson program,” she said. “That may be the core business, but might not be what gets someone to interact and take action.”
Samples offered advice on how to find content that is of interest to customers and potential clients. First, look at what your largest competitor(s) is doing. See what types of posts lead to the most reactions. Don’t copy what they are doing, but try similar tactics on your accounts.
Second, poll your followers, she said. Ask what they would like to learn about. It’s simple to create a poll and provide six or seven options for participants to choose from. Then create your own or share information related to those topics.
(Editor's note: Of course you can depend on Stable Management to have relevant posts that you can share!)
Google Analytics is a free tool you can use to track how well a post is performing on your website (if your website has been set up to be tracked). When you have a post that’s received a lot of interaction, try to find or create similar content. There also are analytics for most social media platforms that can help you determine not only the topics your readers are interested in, but the time of day they are most active on your social media.
Facebook has had its ups and downs for businesses. Samples said that right now is a good time to use the platform if you aren’t already using it. Facebook is going back to its roots, which means that it’s easier for new clients to find local businesses.
“It’s true that the platform isn’t catering to businesses, but it is catering to people who want to find a local business,” she said.