Tag Archives: equine marketing

Monday Morning Quickie – Are Facebook Deals Better For Horsebiz Than Groupon?

As reported last week on Fast Company’s website, Facebook’s Deals has launched in five U.S. test cities. Due to the social networking aspect of Facebook, Deals could prove to be a better deal for the equine industry than Groupon, and here’s why.

Facebook Deals doesn’t focus on the cheapest prices, or the deepest discounts. Instead, the focus is on experiences, things that you and your Facebook friends can do together, deals that you can pass along to your network of Friends or Fans. Here are some Deals that were on Facebook when I checked this morning:

  • A 3-hour Tuscan cooking class for two at a California restaurant
  • A full-day photo safari and workshop
  • A hot air balloon ride with a tour of California wine country

You get the picture. Experiences to share, gifts for friends and family, memory-makers.

Creating memorable experiences will help your horsebiz take advantage of Facebook Deals

Now, what if those Deals were equine-oriented?

  • An autumn country outing, complete with hay-wagon ride, BBQ, fireside sing-along, and s’mores
  • A lunchtime workshop on how to bet the ponies, followed by an afternoon visit to your local racetrack to put those theories into practice
  • Art workshops on how to sketch, paint, sculpt, or photograph horses, with live equine models
  • A romantic trail ride & picnic dinner for 2 to celebrate a June wedding anniversary (remember, all those June brides have June anniversaries!)
Putting together a Deal might require some out-of-the-boxstall thinking:
  • Instead of a package of riding lessons, what about a riding lesson for a group of four friends, complete with a limo ride from their pick-up location to your facility and back, plus gourmet lunch al fresco and candid photos of the experience?
  • Instead of a birthday party with pony rides, what about ‘pony learning stations’ combined with games for kids to show off their newly gained knowledge, plus a barnyard treasure hunt with prizes?
  • For a tack shop, partner with a local stable to have a Fashion Day with the latest trends in clothing for the show ring, with outfits on horse & rider models under real-life conditions instead of just inside the store. Add in brunch or hors de oeuvres & drinks, and you’ve got a social experience.

What you come up with for a Deal depends on your own particular business, but I think Facebook Deals opens up a lot of interesting possibilities for equestrian businesses.

Remember, promoting experiences requires that you know your target audience; what will make them say ‘I can’t pass this up!’ and reach for their credit card? You’ll also need to put effort into your copywriting for the Deal, so that it paints a clear, compelling picture of the experience for your potential customers.

Read up on how Facebook Deals work here, and how your business can set up a Deal here. While currently only in Atlanta, Austin, Dallas, San Diego, and San Francisco on a test market basis, Facebook has plans to roll out Deals to other areas of the country.

What do you think of Facebook Deals? Would your horsebiz or equine organization use them? Why or why not? Share your thoughts on Deals via the Leave a Comment link below.

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Filed under Equine Industry Marketing, Facebook, Monday Morning Quickie, Uncategorized

Monday Morning Quickie – Twitter Turns Five, Founder Tweets Story

Happy Birthday, Twitter!

Image via ZDNet.com

The 140-character ‘microblog’ that many love to hate, and make fun of, turns five this year, from the ‘first tweet’ on March 21, 2006, to the public launch in July of that year.

In recognition of the 5th anniversary, Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey’s tweeting the origins of Twitter over a several-week period; you can follow him via @jack, and use the hashtag #5yrs to share your own favorite tweets from Twitter’s first half-decade.

Twitter has become much more than online ‘watercooler’ chit-chat; it’s transforming communication in many ways, such as how we connect with each other, and how we are exposed to, and participate in, breaking news events; here’s a great article from ZDNet.com about the mobilization of breaking news.

Despite trepidation by some, the equine community on Twitter is growing by the day as more people sign up and begin to integrate their Twitter accounts with Facebook, other social media, and for horsebiz accounts, their traditional marketing methods.

Last week I was asked to give a presentation on Twitter at a meeting in Lexington; with the five year anniversary upon us, I thought it made sense to take a look back to see how we got to this place via the Twitter Timeline below; today’s the perfect day to share it with you, on the 5th anniversary of the first tweet.

Twitter Timeline:

2007 – SXSW festival – created a ‘tipping point’ with many influential buzz-makers

  • Large screens streaming tweets exclusively
  • Attendees kept in touch via tweets
  • During event, tweets increased from 20k per day to 60k per day
  • Twitter received SXSW Web Award that year

2008

  • From Feb 2008 to Feb 2009, Twitter had 1,382% growth (475,000 visitors to 7 million) – Facebook had a 228% increase during that same time
  • Nielsen organization ranked Twitter as fastest growing site in Member Communities category in March 2009

2009

  • Trending Topics sidebar and Search bar added
  • Twitter ‘Lists’ feature added
  • Verified Accounts added – confirms that celebrities are authentic
  • Changed the Twitter questions from ‘What are you doing?’ to ‘What’s happening?’
  • Twitter servers crashed when Michael Jackson died – over 100k tweets per hour had the words ‘Michael Jackson’ in them

2010

  • 3rd party Twitter applications and services have a seamless interface through OAuth which confirms, so logins are no longer necessary – only clicking one ‘permission’ button when access is requested
  • ‘New Twitter’ revamped version rolled out in Fall of 2010
  • Entertainment Weekly put Twitter on its ‘end of the decade’ Best Of list

2010 TIME magazine

  • Included Twitter in its formula for determining their 100 Most Influential People list in 2010
  • The formula was:   (Twitter followers) x 2 + (facebook connections) divided by 2

2011 Twitter use

  • Usage spikes during & following news events, such as the Egyptian & Middle East revolutions
    • News of events often breaks first on Twitter before it hits mainstream media
  • Charlie Sheen signed up for a Twitter account, and within a week he had 2 MILLION followers, a new record

Please note, much of the information in the Twitter Timeline summary is from Wikipedia’s ‘Twitter’ page; if you’re interested in reading up on Twitter, I recommend it!

I personally fell in love with Twitter from the moment I signed up (which was March 24, 2009). I love the immediate connection I can have with like-minded people, the cross-boundaries connections, and the ability to share interests and resources. I encourage you to give it a try.

Want to see the very first tweet? This article from The Atlantic shows Jack Dorsey’s first message to coworkers.

Love Twitter? Hate it? Let me know what you think via the Leave a Comment link below.

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Filed under Equine Industry Marketing, Monday Morning Quickie, New Media, Technology, Twitter, Uncategorized

Monday Morning Quickie – Get The Most From Your Logo

Logos are very helpful in the business world – they convey in ‘shorthand’ what your business is about. You can put logos on just about anything, from letterhead to gift items for clients.

These days, your logo can even serve as your ‘avatar’ image on social media such as Twitter and Facebook; setting up your logo as a Gravatar, a globally recognized avatar that will ‘follow’ you and show up when you post at places like blogs and Web forums, is a smart strategy and very easy to do.

Since you’ll have a logo for some time, it pays to consider the design, and the designer, carefully.

  • Bookmark sites with logos you admire, or copy and paste them into a document (with the URL for follow-up!), or print them out and put them into a paper file for discussion with your logo designer. Having some ideas helps provide a starting point for what you do and don’t want in your own logo.
  • Find out who designed the logos you like, and whether they can design a logo for you within your budget. Most designers will provide you with a few variations to consider initially, plus a final version.
  • A good logo designer will spend time asking about your business, both current operations and your vision into the future.
  • They’ll also ask how you plan to use the logo; the more detailed & ornate a logo is, the less satisfactory results can be when you do something like screenprinting or embroidery (for example, on a t-shirt or fleece vest, etc.)

There are some options for free & low-cost designs on the Web; simply google ‘free logo design’ to find them. The caveat is that these can sometimes look ‘same-y’ especially if you’re using a template that other horse businesses might use; the upside is that it can get you rolling at a low cost, and once your cashflow improves you can launch a logo redesign.

It’s especially helpful to have logo files in a variety of sizes and resolutions, and both with white backgrounds and no backgrounds, so your logo can be used in a variety of ways. There’s nothing more frustrating than wanting to use a logo as an overlay on an image or document, and having your only version be one with a big white box surrounding it!

Logo files can be used as watermarks on documents or images; set up as letterhead, envelope, and label templates; printed onto Avery iron-on transfers for small quantities of custom logo gifts for clients; used in Web banner ads and messages on your Web site; and any number of other applications.

How do you use logo files for your horse business? If you have an idea I didn’t share here, send me a message via the Comments on this page, and I’ll post the ideas!

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Happy Holidays to all my readers and subscribers, and thanks for a great first year on my blog! I appreciate all your comments and support, and look forward to sharing even more great marketing stuff in 2011. Be safe and warm, and enjoy your time with two- and four-legged loved ones!  Lisa

 

 

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Filed under Equine Industry Marketing, Uncategorized

Monday Morning Quickie – Is Public Relations Like A Trail Of Breadcrumbs?

This past weekend I experienced a perfect example of the ‘trail of breadcrumbs’ I often see in modern-day public relations, and that I spoke about during my recent Equestrian Lifestyle Expo talk on stretching the marketing budget for the equestrian business.

I’d arranged for one of my clients, equestrian photographer Gabriele Boiselle, to be a special ‘Black Friday’ guest on the Horses In The Morning (HITM) show on Horse Radio Network Internet radio; they were looking for a unique guest, one they could have an extended, 30 minute chat with (normal segments are about 10 minutes), and Gabriele’s schedule allowed for it, so everything fell into place there.

The interview went very well, and despite traveling through rural Wisconsin and losing my Internet connection every few minutes, I caught most of it. Later that day, I tweeted about it via my Twitter account (@KempEquine), including a link to the archived version of the show. I also published a news release about the interview via the American Horse Publications (AHP) newsgroup, which sends news releases to all AHP members and most of the equine industry media outlets.

Then, later during the Thanksgiving weekend, I discovered that my tweet, and mention of Gabriele and the HITM interview, made it into The #photographer Daily, an online ‘paper’ that collects information and resources from various sources, including tweets that include subjects with ‘hashtags’ (#), which makes them a searchable topic. Plus, it got tweeted again with a link and mentioned my @KempEquine twitter name:

Tweet from The #photographer Daily

To me, PR is sometimes like a trail of breadcrumbs…you have to watch what’s ahead of you on the trail, and look for the opportunities to get the word out. Plus, don’t be afraid to start small, since one thing can definitely lead to another.

I’ll keep you posted on where this particular trail leads! In the meantime, if you’d like to listen to Gabriele’s interview on HITM, click here.

Image courtesy Edition Boiselle

 

 

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Monday Morning Quickie – Is Your Equine Business Telling Stories?

This morning one of my Twitter followers tweeted the following:

from Twitter.com

 

 

 

In case the image is too small on your screen, it says ‘My most valuable class in college was creative writing. Storytelling matters so much in marketing.’

I’ve been thinking a lot recently about just this topic. I think so many good horse professionals get hung up on the terms ‘marketing’ and ‘public relations’ and don’t realize that at the very heart of good marketing is simply telling your story, to an audience that will respond to that story.

In a story, you want to know the ‘who, what, when, where, and how’ – it’s like in the game Clue, where you learned that Colonel Mustard did it in the library with the candlestick. That told a story, and gave you information you needed.

Several years ago, a friend of mine, executive coach Barry Zweibel of GottaGettaCoach! Inc., gave me a book titled ‘Not Quite What I Was Planning – Six Word Memoirs By Writers Famous And Obscure’ – it’s a play on the legend that Ernest Hemingway was once challenged to write a story in six words. His story?

For sale: Baby shoes, never worn.

According to the book ‘Not Quite…’, Hemingway said it was his best work. And in modern times, sometimes six words is all you get to capture someone’s imagination and get your message across.

I recommend seeking out the book and at least flipping through the pages. It’s not only inspiring to read what people write about their lives in six words (and enough people thought so that it became a New York Times bestseller), but it’s a good lesson in storytelling.

If you had to sum up your marketing message in six words – what would they be? If you want to take on that challenge, send it to me via the Comments and I’ll post the six-word marketing messages here.

Make it a great week!

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Filed under Equine Industry Marketing, Uncategorized