Working for an equestrian PR and marketing agency has really opened my eyes to the capabilities of social media, not just services that Instagram and Facebook can offer us but also building a brand and catering for different audiences. I think it’s hard to build a brand around being a blogger, with no physical products to lead your content, you need a real strong sense of self to build your social media campaign. Of course, this takes a lot of trial and error. Personally, I like to focus the most on Instagram because it is the most effective at targeting the demographic that I am aiming for (another tip, know what audience you want to target!) When setting up an advert on Facebook, you can create an audience which will be most relevant to your post, hopefully this audience is more likely to purchase your product or service. The same ‘audience set up’ can be thought of when posting on a daily basis. Think about who you want to see that post, who you want to engage with that post and what sort of post those people would like. This starts with the photograph, what is the image of? Personally, I like Instagram posts of either country scenery (with a purpose, not just random hedges!) and images of the person who owns the Instagram account, although this is hard to aim for unless you have a personal photographer/friend! How you edit the photo is also of high importance. What filters would your audience like? I’ve found that the accounts I like the most use the same filter on all of their images so when scrolling down their grid it creates a certain feel or mood and is personal to the person running the account. Even with businesses, it’s important to think about the mood of your account and if this is likely to draw potential consumers in.
So once you have complete confidence in the photo, it comes down to the text. How much text is enough? Or too much? I don’t think there is much right or wrong in this. I do like an image which has a story behind it, such as competition updates or a photograph with action within it. But sometimes, the best captions are just simplistic and real, whether that be a motivational quote or just pointing out the obvious. Again, I think that just depends on your audience. I frequently see Instagrammers asking question after question just to boost their engagement, yes, I know it’s called ‘social’ media so the point is to be ‘social’ but sometimes this can come across as forced. I think some questions are good but keep it relevant, after all, you could always use Instagram’s new question feature!
Next comes the hashtags. Studies have concluded that 9 hashtags are optimum, any less than this and you could be preventing your potential reach. Again, keep it relevant and meaningful, don’t just try to do nine random hashtags to get your number up! A great tip is to use trending event hashtags as these frequently have high engagement and could lead new people to your page. Don’t forget you can also use hashtags in the story feature which will be added to that hashtag’s public story.
So, your post is almost good to go. Consider the use of geotagging to again expand your reach as people look for that geotag in the explore section. Another good point before posting is to post at the best time. I always think around 7pm is ideal as most people are home from work and relaxing for the evening, although it really depends on the initial engagement of your post based on the new and updated algorithm. Once posted, check your insights regularly for each post. It’s a great way to get to know your audience and what they like the most on your page based on not just likes. People aren’t always likely to tell you which type of posts they like or dislike however, stats do not lie and will reveal all!
The world of social media can be a minefield for many, although it’s capabilities for not just marketing are just astounding! Being social media savvy is a benefit for all, not just those working with it. It’s completely changed my view on posts by businesses! The advantage a business can have from having a specialized digital marketing team is just immense, I think the power of social media marketing in the equestrian industry is still truly not understood and we are years behind other industries. It really is a great investment for any equestrian business.