2021 is fast approaching and now is the time when many equine business owners start to think about and plan for the year ahead. You may have already mapped out your business goals and set yourself targets, but have you thought about planning your social media marketing? It’s a daunting task for many, and often one that gets stuck on the back burner. Whether you are stuck for ideas, don’t know what you want to get out of your social media or simply don’t like having to do your social media marketing, this blog will give you some pointers to make the task a bit easier.
Get a Planner
This can be a digital or paper planner, and it doesn’t have to be a fancy one with all the bells and whistles! It’s absolutely fine to get a generic calendar and use that for your social media marketing plan. Just make sure there’s some room to write in what you want to do for each day.
Plan Your Over-Arching Strategy
This is far less complicated than it sounds! Think about things like your target market, how you want to use each platform, any offers, products or services in particular that you want to promote, and any social media content ideas you have. Jot them down, along with any hashtags you want to use.
It’s absolutely fine to focus on one or two platforms. You don’t need to be everywhere at once! Think about which platform(s) will work best for your business and focus on using them really well. For example, I tend to focus on Instagram and LinkedIn (especially my personal LinkedIn) and use Twitter more conversationally (e.g. Twitter hours or funny and interesting things I see) and Facebook for interacting with Groups and posting the odd business update, as well as running Ads.
Start with the Main Events
Think about any major events that are happening in the year ahead. These could be things directly related to your business (e.g. a conference you’re going to or your business anniversary) or things more loosely related to your business that you aren’t directly involved with (e.g. Badminton Horse Trials, Cheltenham Festival, etc.). Write them into your calendar along with how you want to integrate those events into your social media.
Think about how you can engage your audience and place your business into the wider conversation. For example, you could ask if anyone is going to Cheltenham this year, or what their favourite Badminton moment is. If it’s an event you’re attending, make a note to go live at some point and utilise Instagram Stories to give your audience an insight into your business.
Break the Year Down into Smaller Chucks
Planning your entire social media campaign for a year is a pretty daunting task, and literally planning every post for the year will leave you with no room to adapt or change things in response to your changing requirements. Break the year down into chunks – say between 30 and 90 days – and set a theme for each chunk.
Perhaps you want to focus on promoting a particular offer, product or service for weeks one-three, then move onto something else for weeks four-six. Think about how you can support your campaign with things like photos, polls, user-generated content, a competition or giveaway and blogs.
There is No Need to Post Every Single Day!
It’s a myth that you need to post content every single day, on every single platform. As a general rule, it’s better to post really good content once a week than spam your audience with daily doses of repetitive marketing spiel. The content you post doesn’t need to be flawless – branded graphics have their place, for sure, but you don’t need to use them for every single post.
A good, interesting photo (it can be a stock photo) with an engaging caption – perhaps one that asks a question or draws attention to one of your offers, products or services – is absolutely fine.
Use Scheduling Tools
There are plenty of free or very affordable social media scheduling tools out there to make your life that bit easier and save you time and hassle in the long run. I use Later for myself and all my clients, but Tweetdeck is a useful tool for Twitter and Facebook has its own scheduling tool. Scheduling your social media content in advance means you don’t have to find time on the day to post to your social media. Some tools even allow you to save captions, search for hashtags and tell you the best times to post, so you can actually get more out of your social media.
2021 – Time to Get a Professional in to Manage your Social Media?
If you’re finding your social media marketing to be time-consuming, complicated or less productive than you would like, then it might be time to get a professional in. I save my clients the time and hassle of planning and executing their social media campaigns, and I also help them to grow their audiences and increase sales. My clients are always welcome (and encouraged) to post their own content as well, so your business maintains an authentic social media presence. Book a free consultation today to discuss your requirements.