This blog is brought to you by the information provided by Denise Alvarez of Stormlily Marketing on the Arabian Horse Connection Podcast.
Social media can be intimidating. With the constantly changing trends, app features, and various platforms it can be hard to know how to get started or increase your online presence.
Before taking a dive into creating a social media page for your business, club, or Discovery Farm, ask yourself this essential question, ‘where is my audience already located?’ Meaning, what platform are the people you would like to serve currently using?
To find out what platform your audience may be utilizing, simply ask. If you already have a slew of clients, club members, or participants, take a quick word of mouth survey. You can even poll folks in your community who frequent your local feed store or equine businesses.
Once you have an idea of the social media platforms that your community uses, think about the platform that will work best for you and that you enjoy using. Picking a platform that you can commit to and one that you will be able to engage in will help your business in the long run.
Create Engaging Content
Content includes the video, picture, or text/caption that goes out on your platform. Creating content that people are excited about is an essential step towards increasing engagement. According to Denise Alvarez, engagement is a like, favorite, share, repost, comment, or view on a video.
Denise uses these three R’s to help her clients create engaging content.
Regular: Showing up regularly on social media will increase your visibility. Give your community an opportunity to engage with your content by posting regularly.
Relevant: Create and post content that relates to your business and the services you may offer. Think about what you are trying to sell, and how you can engage with your audience in a meaningful way to bring your message full circle.
Rich: Writing meaningful content that engages your audience with the story you are telling will be fruitful for your business.
For example, writing a caption like, ‘Had a great club meeting today!’ is okay because it is relevant to the services you offer as a club. However, you can level up this caption and engage your audience by writing content like this, ‘Having a community to share ideas with is one of our favorite things about our club. Last night’s meeting was a great way to connect and work on projects to move our club forward! You can find a list of meeting dates on our website. We hope to see you there!’
This caption is more meaningful and engages with your audience. It may even lead to more club memberships, as an audience member may be more likely to want to join.
Remember that social media was created for the purpose of being social. Think about ways that you can engage in content created by others. By commenting on another user’s post, you are issuing an invitation for others to find your page.
Find pages and profiles where your dream clients are currently interacting and post a few comments or respond to create engagement. Make sure your comment is meaningful and more than one or two words. Remember, intention equals connection.
Use the Tools Available
There are multiple tools for engagement across different platforms. While this may seem overwhelming, it’s important to remember that it’s okay to choose one or two tools when you are first starting out.
For example, you may really enjoy Instagram’s Reels feature, but do not like using stories. That’s okay! Fuel your creativity and pour more of your passion into creating reels. Then, just post the Reels you create to your page’s story.
Get in On Facebook Groups
If you are a Facebook user, there is a high possibility that you are already a member of a group. You can use groups to your advantage by sharing educational material and answering questions. Sharing your knowledge within groups is a great way to instill trust in your audience. “People buy from people that they like and trust” says Denise Alvarez, so it’s important to primarily use Facebook groups to serve, rather than sell.
For those that are apart of clubs, it’s a great idea to start a private or public Facebook group for your club. This is a great way to build a community, provide information for members, and reach new members who may be interested in joining.
If you are feeling overwhelmed by the commitment surrounding social media, don’t worry! If you take time to plan ahead, the looming feeling of posting dread will dissipate. Set aside one day during the week where you can intentionally work on the content you would like to post, so you can be fully present when you host an event, club meeting, or Discovery Farm tour. You can use features available to you via the note’s app on your phone or even save your post to your drafts section on social media.
Whatever method you choose, taking the time to schedule your posts in advance will lead to less stress.
Bonus Tip: Remember Your Audience
In today’s world, it’s easy to think of ourselves first, especially with social media. When writing captions and drafting posts, think of the people that you would like to work with and how to connect with them. For example, instead of writing “I can introduce you to an Arabian Horse at my Discovery Farm,” write, “You will be able to experience the full scope of the Arabian breed when you make a visit to Discovery Acres Farm.” When you start your captions with a ‘you’ statement, you automatically create a connection with your audience members.
More Resources from Denise Alvarez
Plus, listen to the How to Market Your Horse Business Podcast to receive insider tips on all things marketing.