Tag Archives: marketing calendar

52 Fridays – #17 Think You Don’t Have Anything To Share On Social Media? Think Again!

52 Fridays is a year-long series for equestrian professionals and equine business owners and managers, with marketing and public relations information, ideas, tips, & resources shared here each Friday. New EMAIL blog subscribers receive a ’52 Fridays’ PDF when they sign up; existing subscribers and new RSS FEED & WORDPRESS subscribers can send a request for their own PDF here.

Social media is about building relationships and community. Sharing interesting ‘stuff’ about your horsebiz with supporters, fans, customers, and followers helps them interact with you, strengthening connections and likely your word of mouth exposure. But when it’s something you’re immersed in (aka, your horse business), that ‘interesting information’ can be something you don’t even think about, because you take it for granted.

How can you start finding stuff to share? By going through your daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly routines with a fine-tooth comb, making a list of photo or video opportunities, events, clients, horses, and then creating a list or calendar (remember 52 Fridays #4, What The Bleep Is A Marketing Calendar, And How Do I Use One?) to plan for capturing things when they’re going to happen.

Still need a few hints? Here you go:

  • It’s breeding and foaling season on many horse farms. Have someone take photos of your stallion doing his studly best to impress a teaser mare. Or take photos of newborn foals, even of the birth process if the mare’s OK with it. Follow a few foals as they grow up, with weekly photos or video and stories about their personality, misadventures, imprinting, and training.
  • Are you clipping horses for show season, or is the farrier coming out this week? Packing up for a show, expo, or tradeshow? What else is going on?
  • How about your lesson students or training clients? Photos or video of a portion of their lesson can be shared, with their permission of course! It’s a good idea to have a signed photo release when you’re sharing images of others on your website or via social media, especially with minors who need a parent to sign for them.

Sure, all this is part of your regular routine, but that’s the point…you’re allowing others who are interested in what you do and what you have to offer to have a glimpse into what makes up the tick-tock of your day. Do be cautious about ‘over-sharing’ your personal details, and your current whereabouts; for more information about that, check out 52 Fridays #16 from last week.

Here’s a real-life Facebook-sharing example I learned from Mandy Parker, the marketing coordinator and art director at Heritage Homes of Nebraska; we met in a virtual conference event (a sweet concept, watch for a blog post sometime in the future about it!).

Heritage Homes builds custom homes in their manufacturing facility for a swath of the Midwest and Great Plains states, plus Canada. They’ve recently started Web Wednesdays, sharing ‘in-progress’ photos of client homes currently being built. They get a signed release from each client, and post the images at their Facebook page. Here’s what Mandy had to say about their results:

“Our Web Wednesdays have been a great “like” getter for us.  We just started the program a month or 2 ago and have gotten about 100 likes from it.  I know 100 is small potatoes, but for us just starting the Social Media realm I am pretty excited.”

Those ‘likes’ are the start of a relationship with people who are interested in new homes, ‘dream’ homes, design and architecture, etc. They might or might not become customers, but Heritage Homes is making use of social media to connect and share with people who are interested in what they do. They’re also leveraging current business, because don’t you think the folks whose homes are featured are sending the Facebook link to their friends & family?

It’s also a good idea to keep recording tools close at hand, and make documentation part of your daily routine. Last year I was working on an article, and interviewed a trainer/breeder; she said she always carries a camera out into the pastures and shoots a few minutes of video of whatever’s going on, then posts it to YouTube.

The best social media sharing involves telling your story to to your community, in bite-sized pieces that you share with them over time. If you’re wondering what you have to share, you might be surprised at what you do find if you just take a look.

What do you share on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, or other social media? Share links to your stuff via the Leave a Comment link below. See you here next Friday for 52 Fridays #18!

Read other 52 Fridays posts by clicking on the Sort Posts By Topic dropdown menu to the right and selecting the Facebook category, or you can select 52 Fridays to read posts #1 through #16.

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Filed under 52 Fridays, Equine Industry Marketing, Facebook, New Media, Photography, Twitter, Uncategorized, Video

52 Fridays – #4 What The Bleep Is A Marketing Calendar, And How Do I Use One?

52 Fridays is a year-long series for equestrian professionals and equine business owners and managers, with marketing and public relations information, ideas, tips, & resources shared here each Friday. New EMAIL blog subscribers receive a ’52 Fridays’ PDF when they sign up; existing subscribers and new RSS FEED & WORDPRESS subscribers can send a request for their own PDF here.

A marketing calendar helps you know what to do, and when.

Whether you use a digital, paper, or laminated-hanging-on-the-wall-year-long-planner version, you’re probably using a calendar of some kind to organize your life. You plan ahead for events, schedule appointments, and make notes about what has to happen in order to accomplish life’s goals. A marketing calendar helps you do the same thing, for your equine business marketing and promotion plans.

Here are several examples of things you might put on a horse biz marketing calendar:

  • Say you’ve got a stallion that you plan to stand for the 2012 breeding season. You might want to get that horse into the ‘stallion issues’ of your target publications, in order to reach your target audience mare owners. Print magazines often do things months in advance to accommodate the design layout, printing, and mailing processes, so you’re going to need to provide them with pictures, ad text, and/or camera-ready ads during Fall, 2011. Plus, you want your horse to be well-muscled and sleek, looking his studly best, which doesn’t happen overnight. Your marketing calendar can encompass all of this, from your stallion’s fitness and grooming regime starting now, to his photo and video shoot schedule at the height of his summer sleekness, to working with graphic designers on ads once the images are selected, to connecting with the prime publications for your 2012 stallion ads.
  • Or, perhaps your retail outfit attends trade shows and horse fairs each year. Maybe this year you want to stir up business a little bit with some advance publicity or special offers to draw attendees to your booth or trailer. Your marketing calendar can include due dates for regional newspaper ads, when to send out press releases, and when to post Twitter or Facebook updates. If you’re a wholesaler needing to connect with buyers and you’ll be sending out direct mail or email info-packages, your marketing calendar can help you schedule when to have things designed and printed, stuffed and stamped, and mailed in time for the buyers to get it before they leave for the event.

There are loads of other examples unique to your own equestrian business, but the point is that a marketing calendar is a necessity in today’s fast-paced world. Deadlines missed can be money down the drain.

If you want to develop your own marketing calendar, here’s a downloadable sample marketing calendar from Brandeo.com – it’s in an Excel format, and is adaptable for your own horse business under a non-commercial Creative Commons license. You can also search for ‘marketing calendar’ on Google or another search engine to find more information about what they are and how to use them.

Your marketing calendar can include dates for each piece of your marketing puzzle. It helps you plan ahead, and allows you to ‘back-into’ when things need to happen in order to meet your marketing goals and deadlines along the way.

If you have a question or comment for me about marketing calendars and how to use them, or want to share how you already use a marketing calendar, please click on the Leave a Comment button to send it in. Come back next week for 52 Fridays #5!

 

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Filed under 52 Fridays, Equine Industry Marketing, Uncategorized