Whether you run a horse farm, riding stables, or are a horse breeder, you might be looking for new ways to grow your business. Word of mouth and local advertising can only go so far, and the latter can end up costing more money than you are willing to spend. That’s why so many small businesses have turned to the internet when it comes to their marketing efforts. Having a website and a business page on various social media platforms and directories can help get your horse business noticed and will definitely provide you with an advantage when it comes to web searches. As helpful as these online tools are, there are other ways in which you can use the internet in order to further grow your horse business. Social media can help introduce you to the world of online communities where you can easily connect with others, like and share relevant posts, and help spread the word about your business and what services you offer. There are several different types of places where you can look for fellow horse lovers and enthusiasts who might be interested in visiting your farm or simply sharing your content online and it would be in your business’ best interest to harness that power as much as you can.
General Online Communities
Online communities have been around since before social media, and are arguably an earlier evolution of the platform. Online communities often bring people together with a specific shared interest so as a horse farmer you may be able to join several that might fall under the category of your business. Sure there are communities for horse lovers and horse riders, but there are also other sites devoted to other related hobbies and interests such as ranching, farming, horse racing, you name it. Conducting a Google search can help direct you towards these sites where you can begin to network with people of like interest. You may even find an online gathering of people who may be interested in your services that are in your area. But don’t underestimate the power of connecting with people from all over the country or even world, too. You may be able to coordinate and meet at conventions where you can make even more connections and possibly grow your business.
Facebook is the go-to when it comes to finding others with shared interests these days. There are pages for specific brands, companies and services but there are also pages for general topics and interests as well. It is definitely a good idea to make up a page for your horse business, but you might want to consider getting involved in Facebook communities with your personal account – that way you can connect with others without coming off as pandering to them. Connecting with others, networking, sharing posts and pictures, and everything else Facebook is famous for can help you build a network of people with the same interests. You can mention and share posts from your business page, too, but you might find more success in this sphere if this content is coming from you and not solely your business.
You can also create your own Facebook group, too. Make a group related to your business and your local area. Encourage people to like and share your page. The more you engage with people in your area, the more attention you can draw to your business from interested parties or even business partners.
Twitter is an interesting platform that allows you to share ideas in 140 characters or less, which is why many businesses use this platform for building their brand and spreading the word. Twitter also relies on hashtags which are used to categorize posts by topic or trend. You can easily use already trending horse-related tags to build an audience and to boost your page’s content, but you can also make unique hashtags specific to your business as well. You can make a hashtag of your business’ name that followers can use when sharing posts about your services or how much of a good time they had on your horse farm. Additionally, you can start a fun hashtag of your own, too, in order to engage with current and potential followers as well.
Whether you start a blog of your own or decide to engage with others by following and commenting on them, getting involved in horse-related blogs or blog communities is another great way to build an audience and network with others. With blogs, you can connect with other experts and business owners while also interacting with fans and enthusiasts as well. Many blog writers share information and dole out advice which you can apply to your own business. You may also want to consider sharing some valuable content of your own as well, especially if you are thinking of writing a blog of your own and are looking to start a following.
Some blogs tout affiliations with others and sometimes even larger groups of blogs with shared or similar interests. Getting involved in a blog ring or group can help you reach out to more people and can be great for promoting your blog and your business.
Forums are discussion based, and though people do share content and photos, forums are more geared towards inspiring conversation and comments from what was shared rather than simply garnering likes or views. Forums can be a great place for you to share and gather new ideas for your business. If you have any questions about how to do something or what particular things potential customers might like, you can use a forum to get the feedback you need from people all over the country. These sorts of sites, like forums and message boards, make for great resources.
Many of the types of sites mentioned can be used in similar ways and utilized in order to meet similar ends, but it is all up to you. Using any or all of these platforms can help boost your horse business whether you are using it as a marketing tool, a resource tool, a networking tool, or all of the above. The way you use each kind of site depends on what your intentions for your business are and how much time and effort you believe is necessary in order to get your horse farm where you want it to be. You can use sites to connect with people in your area, with others all over the country or even the world. Some sites may feel easier to use than others, and you may end up preferring one over another for any number of reasons or simply personal preference, but in either case it is still a good idea to check each one out and give it a test run in order to see what it can do for your business.