Starting a business is a time-consuming endeavor, often requiring new business owners to learn a plethora of new skills to get the company off the ground. Marketing a new business is vital to its growth and success, but as everyone in the equine industry knows, horses are a full-time job even without trying to run a boarding, sales, or training business. While most new equine business owners can get by managing their own social media marketing at the start, it quickly becomes apparent that curating content, posting consistently, and measuring marketing strategy takes up significant time and energy.
Do I need social media for my equine business?
Posting sporadically on your personal Facebook and Instagram pages unfortunately won’t build you the community you’ll need to more quickly market your sales horses, promote your lesson program, or attract sponsors. Consistently posting and engaging with your community is the best way to build your brand.
Here are a few reasons why social media is important for equestrian operations:
- Modern marketing requires riders and trainers to have a presence online to establish themselves as credible.
- Rather than word of mouth, today most horse owners use online platforms to shop for horses and boarding barns. You could be missing out on sales opportunities or the chance to fill extra stalls by failing to have an online presence.
- Sponsors look for riders who are active on social media with a large following. They prefer to see their product or service promoted not only in the show ring, but also online with a rider’s community.
- Syndicate owners appreciate updates on training and competition results and love to share posts with exciting news to feel like a bigger part of the team.
What is a social media manager?
Social media managers are experts in establishing a social presence across platforms that support your business and its goals. Managers understand best practices in posting for your industry, gather content that aligns with your brand, and assess metrics on your social platforms to better reach marketing targets. Hiring a social media manager means you have someone with experience in search engine optimization, advertising, and content creation who is handling the marketing of your business.
How do I know if I need a social media manager?
If you feel like every day is packed to overflowing with tasks and your social media is falling by the wayside, it may be time to hire an expert to handle your social platforms. Odds are good you got started in the industry because of your love of the time spent with horses and your clients, so why not hand off the tasks you don’t enjoy to focus your energy on the parts of the business where your passion and talents are needed most.
How do I choose a social media manager?
Choosing someone to manage your social media can be difficult, but once you’ve found the right person it can drastically change your business. Here are a few tips:
- Ask to see accounts that they currently manage both in the equine industry and outside. Does the tone, consistency, and content feel appropriate for the account? Are there any posts that make you uncomfortable or that feel like a red flag?
- While you’re hiring the manager for their expertise in social media, they should be more than happy to listen to your ideas and put together content that aligns with your brand. If they have a “my way or the highway” attitude, you may get steamrolled into content that doesn’t feel like you. (Remember, they are posting in the name of you or your company, so your content should reflect that!)
- Ask for results from past campaigns. Managers should be able to identify key performance indicators they were targeting, how the results matched the account goals, and how future marketing strategy was tailored once the results were in.
- Determine how many clients they currently have to be sure your account will be given the attention it needs to be thoroughly developed.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for a pitch where they can outline what targets they would shoot for with your social media marketing, campaign ideas, and expected costs.
If you think your company or brand may benefit from a social media manager, KTB Creative Group has extensive experience working with equestrian brands and companies, and would be happy to discuss opportunities with you!