Saturday, February 27, 2010

Horsin Around with Social Media

Social Media is the craze these days as it should be because it works! It has leveled the playing field for "guru's" who have learned how to use it effectively-I love it! But, there are definitely some "Do's and Dont's" and for myself....well, I've learned the "Dont's" the hard way! But, that's okay; the best lessons are learned through mistakes, right?

Because I'm almost as fascinated by social media as I am by horses......key word here being "almost"..... I decided to share some "tips" that I recently shared on a LinkedIn group forum about what is working for me when it comes to using Social Media to spread my love of horses around. So here you go:

....What is working for me is utilizing social media platforms to promote my blog. As well as keeping in mind that there is a fine line between marketing and annoying people! I first created my blog years ago in order to write about horses for "fun"....but it's evolving into more than that now. I'm developing a voice about not only "celebrating horses" but also a way to promote responsible horse ownership, and horse welfare issues my area- Memphis, TN- and beyond!

My strategy is incorporating every medium I can around my facebook page, my twitter account, websites, other sites I contribute articles for.... this all creates credibility for me (I hope) and generates interest. Good, fresh, relevant, content in a variety of forms-videos, links, questions, photos, statements, etc. is important! As well as keeping it positive, responsive, and inviting...You have to find a way to "connect" to your audience. If you can do this effectively, your audience becomes "interactive." This is a feat that takes time and patience and can't be rushed or pushed!

I'm having fun using social media to "connect" with "like-minded" people about horses. It's really cool, and I'm having fun watching it evolve.... into what next, who knows? But the key is that by taking time to develop good content, and by using a strategy of cross posting using a variety of social media tools, in addition to using common sense, I actually have a following! And, what's better, I think my efforts are starting to raise awareness and hopefully help some horses and people in the process! Pretty cool

Social Media is good stuff when used wisely. Learning to use it wisely, is somewhat of an art-form and tricky. For me, the hardest platform to "grasp" has been twitter.... Word to the wise, don't be tempted to take the easy way out with twitter! If you use it like a spammer, the only followers you will have are fellow spammers ;) Whatever you use, be genuine!

Maybe I should start offering my own social media seminars? Who knew I "knew" all this?

If you would like to learn more about using Social Media for your horse business, here's a free webinar being offered by Equestrian Professional, March 15th. Check it out:

Smart Social Media Strategies for Horse Professionals & Horse Business Owners


horsespiritwriter said...

Hi, Ashley...really good cross links, THANKS! Wanted to also invite anyone interested in gathering info about the WILD HORSE DILEMMA in our country--I will be posting all sorts of info on subject throughout March. "Please visit or join my blog, you can email for an all your readers"...Horse Spirit Writer in Blogspot Happy trails today, wfh & PHF

Ashlee said...

Thanks! And what a Dilemma the Wild Horse issue is! Hoping more horse-lovers take an interest and get more active in demanding our government and the BLM to clean up its act when it comes to our wild horses! Happy Trails back at ya!