Having an engaging social media presence can be hard to start with but perseverance is key and, once you get into the habit, being active will be much easier!
Social media is important for generating interest in what you're doing and for prospective sponsors to see your achievements, your reach and how eloquently you write.
The main Social Media sights used currently for businesses are Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Some of these tips and tricks are relevant for all three but the ones that aren't will be labeled Facebook, Twitter or Instagram!
*Always spell and grammar check before you post. We all miss corrections occasionally but the more you spell check, the more likely you are to notice small things! If you struggle with expressing yourself in the way that you would like, try sending your work to an someone else to look over. This is important particularly when contacting potential sponsors.
*Be likable, modest and approachable! Let your achievements speak for themselves, the more arrogant you sound in your posts, the less likely people are to relate to you (and therefore follow, like or re-tweet you)! When writing what you have achieved, rather than saying: "I won the Novice.", try saying "My horse won the Novice!" or "Massively proud that we won the Novice today." This makes you more likable whilst still stating your achievements.
*Find a slogan or tag line that fits you! A tag line is something people will remember you by so try using something that applies to you. Our slogan is: "For the love of the horse" because all of our training and work is based around our love for horses and our efforts in trying to help them.
*Always Follow back (TI) and reply to comments! When you follow back, you expand your network and people see you as more friendly. Replying to your comments is also very important as someone might ask a question a lot of people were thinking and they can check the replies for an answer. If you don't have time to reply to people, ask someone else to help!
*Use hashtags! Keep your hashtags relevant to you. You can use your slogan as a tag but also use #horses or #equestrian as people may search the hashtags and then find your posts!
*Tell people what is going on in the picture or post! If you post a picture, tell people what the picture is of. Example: "This is us dressage training ready for our upcoming event!". This is helpful for your audience and may make them check back to see how you have done at said event.
*Link your accounts! Linking your accounts is easy to do and can save you a lot of time. On Instagram, to link accounts, head to the 'settings' cog (top right of your profile) and scroll down to 'linked accounts'. On Twitter, go to 'settings' (under your profile picture in the top right hand corner of the screen) and go down to 'apps'.
*Try to run competitions! If you can't afford competition prizes, you can offer something as simple as having the winner's picture as your page cover for a week! Competitions help get your page shared around and more shares will generate more likes!
*Don't share too much! Try not to give away too much about your personal life! Your followers don't want to hear you ranting, they want to hear about your horses! Don't post about grudges or even controversial debates. These may generate an audience but not the one you're looking for!
*Listen to your audience! Look back and see what posts have got the most likes and do more of the same!
*Do your research! When contacting potential sponsors, be sure to do thorough research on what the sponsors offer and specialise in. Try looking at the details on their Facebook page or type them into google and see what comes up!
*Be an active follower! Following other people is important and costs nothing! Being an active follower, including liking and commenting on posts helps to show people that you are an open and supportive person. Commenting on other people's post isn't just good for them but also for you as their followers may see your interesting or supportive comment and end up following you! If someone else is doing well, even if they are in direct competition with you, show them some support!
You never know which Facebook or Instagram pages are going to end up running sponsorship competitions and, if you're already an active follower, you will be much more likely to win the sponsorship! A company isn't going to want to sponsor someone who has shown no commitment, they want to know for certain that you will be a good ambassador!
*Find your unique selling point! In the world of horses, you are competing for sponsorship along with the masses! You need to find something that sets you apart. Whether it's a less common horse breed or charity work, find your USP and use it in your favour!
We have loads more tips but these will do for now! Contact us if you have any questions, we will always try to help!!
Thanks for reading!