Facebook – Instagram
Social media can be a equestrian business gold mine — or a total waste.
Social media is a key component of any equestrian business’ marketing efforts. To get known. To get seen. To find new customers. When done right, a social strategy helps your equine business connect directly with riders and horse buyers. With an added plus of creating a good will among equine industry.
But as with anything on the internet, for all the power and potential of social media, there are pitfalls as well. Namely, where are those clients that YOU want? What social media platform do you find them. Are all social media platforms the same?
Are you looking for a 14-25 year old, who is still in school, starting a career and fighting for an income? Or is the better solution the 30-45 year old established professional?
The equestrian community, in recent days, tends to think that Instagram with it’s highly photo oriented user interface is the way to go. They post sale horses in mass, hoping that one person may want to try the horse for sale. Yet the reality of the demographics, spread across the social media world, the individuals with money, reside in a very different location.
Let’s look at the numbers:
140 Million user in the United States
According to Statista, 35% of US teens rate Instagram as their favorite social network, second only to Snapchat. In terms of gender, 43% of women use Instagram while 31% of men use it.
Of those 1.2 million users the breakdown of demographics by age include:
- 75% of 18–24 year olds use Instagram
- 57% of 25–30 year olds use Instagram
- 47% of 30–49 year olds use Instagram
- 23% of 50–64 year olds use Instagram
- 8% of 65+ year olds use Instagram
The real key is the numbers in the market of equine industry and what it’s demographic consists of. Which social media platform, BEST aligns with the type of audience a equestrian business is looking for.
According to The Equine Economy in the 21st Century, Horse owners are divided into 3 types of groups:
- Intense enthusiasts
Within these groups, horse owners have the follow characteristic. They are:
“We found that horse owners are more involved in their vocation than just about any other group,” Volk said. “Horse ownership defines them They spend an average of 22 hours a week with their horses. They read equine publications, they use the web, and they are impulse buyers. It is a community. The average horse owner is a married female, age 35-54, with kids between the ages of 12 and 17. They also enjoy country music, hiking and outdoor activities, read lots of publications, and own cats and dogs.” (https://www.eastcoastequestrian.net/news/horse-owner-demographics.php)
Most equestrian business, with the exception of veterinary and tack/feed shops, are going to be looking toward the Professionals and Intense enthusiast. Those are the individuals who are interested in competing, buying new horses, boarding horses and looking for professional training. With that in mind…did you catch the connection between the demongraphics?
DID YOU CATCH IT?
Did you catch the key point and cross reference? The viewer who truly owns the horses and pays the bills? The user who wants, needs and can afford your service? From the demographics
1. Group is age 35-54
2. Married females with children
3. They READ
4. Established income levels.
So which is the best social media platform to get the attention of your desired audience? Is it Facebook or Instagram?
Purely from the demographics. Is that Instagram? NO.
Yes, Instagram can be appealing, just because of the photo-centric user interface. It appeals to those who want to show off their horses or activities. But does that picture or image, drive traffic to your business or website? Do they remember the sale or service? Or is just an interesting artifact of a bias owner/trainer. What does is say to the viewer? Why do they want to look deeper?
Facebook, on the other hand, is about story, community and information. Pictures are definitely part of the package, but are secondary to the communication of community. This fits the lifestyle of the equestrian community, according to the surveyed stats.
FACEBOOK IS THE WINNER
IS SOCIAL MEDIA ENOUGH?
All social media pages needs to be backed up by a fully functional website, dedicated to your equestrian business. Why a website? In short:to facilitate everything you want to present without censorship. Social media is fantastic for getting interest, but it is limited in that information is being controlled by a company that has another agenda, social as well as industry.
Facebook does censor, especially horse sales, when trying to promote a horse that is available for sale. There are legal reasons why they don’t want to be involved with the promotion of any horse for sale. But you can advertise on the platform a general availability of services and horses, driving them to that personalized business website. Facebook makes your service visible to the potential horse owner. That leads them to your website. Your website fill in the details for your potential customers who drives them to your physically based equestrian service.
In short, Facebook is the Platform of choice for the equestrian training and services industry. But it can only get the attention. You website is leading the horse to the water, where you and your site content can “make them drink””.