Posts

Equestrian social media – 5 ways to promote your equestrian business on social media this Christmas

Five ways to promote your equestrian business on social media this ChristmasAre you getting in the festive spirit? Have you got your Christmas stock in and raring to go? Have you planned your social media for the next few weeks on the lead up to Christmas? The thing is, now is most definitely the time to be harnessing social media for your equestrian business… and it’s definitely worth a bit of thought. From the really obvious posts that drive a sale to something a little more thoughtful, here are five ways to promote your equestrian business on social media at Christmas. And, spoiler alert, none of them are advertising…

Five ways to promote your equestrian business on social media at Christmas

  1. Collaborate – I love a collaboration, and there’s no better time than Christmas. Collaborating with businesses that complement yours can be a great way to get in front of potential customers who might not know about you. One of the key points to remember when you’re plotting your collaboration is that a collaboration should benefit all parties. Your equestrian business, the other equestrian business… and your customers too. It shouldn’t be all ‘me, me, me’, quite the opposite actually!
  2. Shoppable links – have you seen that Instagram has now added shoppable links to Stories? I let out a little squeal when this happened a few months ago. If you have a Facebook shop connected and working, this means you can now add shoppable links to Facebook, Instagram and Instagram Stories. It might be simple, but we need to do all we can to make it easy for people to shop. If they need to remember a complicated website address and type that in to their computer/phone before they get anywhere near your business. Well, it’s just not good, is it?
  3. Behind the scenes – and if you’re so inclined you could have some fun with this too. There’s no better time to show what goes in behind the scenes of your business. How are you making sure that people get their orders on time? How are you harnessing the Christmas spirit in what you do? Has the office dog also donned his antlers to get involved? SHOW US!
  4. Competition – competitions can be a great way to raise the profile of your equestrian business. You can either do this on your own or as part of a collaboration with a sponsored rider or maybe another business. Please, PLEASE make sure you competition is easy to enter, complies with all relevant Ts and Cs depending on the platform you are promoting/hosting it on though. Please. For me. And sharing or tagging on Facebook don’t comply. See the Pages Promotion Guidelines.
  5. New products – tell the world about the new equestrian products you have in store ready to delight and excite them. Maybe you can help to show how these new products work together (and even how they work)? What about who they would be good for? Help people. We all need some help at Christmas time and your equestrian business, if promoted well, could be that beacon of fairy lights for all those tired horsey shoppers.

These are five easy ways to promote your equestrian business through social media at Christmas, but there are plenty more too. What’s more, these ideas aren’t JUST for Christmas, oh no, they’ll work all the time. So yes, they might help you promote your equestrian business this Christmas, but take them into the New Year too!

Equestrian Social Media – 5 ways to hide hashtags on Instagram Stories

5 ways to hide hashtags on Instagram StoriesDid you know that you can use hashtags on Instagram Stories too? Actually, you can hide hashtags on Instagram Stories too!

If you use Instagram at all, you’ll know that hashtags are really important. These nifty little words and phrases prefixed by  a # allow your content to be categorised and searched by these terms making it a lot more discoverable.

But what about Instagram Stories?  You might not realise, might think that not that many people use them, or might thing they would look ugly. Thing is, you can hide a hashtag on an Instagram Story, which means that more people might be using them than you think… and that they won’t mess up any aesthetic either. So, without further ado, here are five ways to hide hashtags on Instagram Stories.

5 ways to hide hashtags on Instagram Stories…

1 – Colour match. This is particularly good for still images or text based posts on a coloured background. You can type your hashtags in and then just use the colour match option to make the hashtags the same colour as the background. This hides your hashtags. Simples.

2. Make them REALLY small. You can make your list of hashtags really, really small by just pinching them and making them tiny. This doesn’t mean they’re completely hidden from view but depending on the image or video, it’ll make them hard to spot.

3. Put them behind a sticker. For this one, just put your list of hashtags onto your Story and then use a Sticker (like Location, Mention or Hashtag) over the top. Shrink the list down and it’s a lot easier to hide!

4. Put them behind a gif or Emoji. The same as the above applies really – get the hashtags added, decrease their size and pop them under a gif or an Emoji as relevant – and then you’ve hidden them on Instagram Stories.

5. Put them behind a shared story. When people tag you in Stories you usually have the option to share on yours (depending on their settings). When this is the case, you can share at full size, but you can also shrink and rotate the shared image and, if you like, you can pop your hashtags behind it. Good eh?!

These are five easy ways to hide your hashtags on your Instagram Stories. Of course, if you want to use them and not hide them, all power to you! You can even use the hashtag sticker if you like (although this will only allow you to post one). But do give it a spin and have a look and your insights to see if it helps the reach of your Stories, you might be surprised.

 

Pssst – Episode 8 of the Small & Supercharged Podcast was all about Instagram Stories… you can listen here

5 easy ways to use Instagram Stories

Running an online only business with Ruth Chappell- Small & Supercharged Podcast

You’re in for a treat today! On this episode of the Small & Supercharged podcast we catch up with Ruth Chappell, the lady behind Dressage Anywhere. In addition to being a huge part of Dressage Anywhere, Ruth has a lot of strings to her bow. She’s an absolute superstar and is also a ‘tech wizard’. In this episode, we chat about how Ruth got to this point, the difficulties with running a digital, online equestrian business and more.

Let’s talk about online equestrian businesses and how to create a digital business, with Ruth Chappell – Dressage Anywhere

Show notes for the Small & Supercharged Podcast – Episode 8 – online only equestrian businesses, how to deal with competition, cyber security and making a connection with customers…

  • Ruth talks about how she came to Dressage Anywhere, the online dressage platform
  • We talk about competition and how to deal with being the only online dressage company to how it is now.
  • We spoke about where the idea for Dressage Anywhere came from.
  • The benefits of an online business, the international appeal and global reach the business has.
  • How Dressage Anywhere actually works.
  • The limitations of being an online/digital business and how this can be quite challenging.
  • The opportunities that social media has presented for digital businesses.
  • Particular highlights including the Riding for the Disabled Association.
  • Some of the tools that Ruth uses to help run Dressage Anywhere effectively.
  • Social media content for digital businesses and how this can be used to help promote connection and business.
  • Finding friends and amazing connections through social media.
  • We talk about cyber security and data protection, and how that even a small business needs to be aware of this and understand the responsibilities connected to it.
  • And we talk about user experience, customer journey, automation, and balancing tech with usability… because they have to work together.

It was an absolute joy chatting to Ruth – not only do I love Dressage Anywhere, but I am a huge Ruth fan. She is a fountain of knowledge on ‘techy’ things and has helped me out on more than one occasion when I’ve had a tech based ‘why does everything hate me’ meltdown. OK. That happens quite a lot!

To find Ruth and Dressage Anywhere online, follow the links below…

Dressage Anywhere website

Twitter

Instagram

Facebook

Beautiful image provided by Karen Bennett Photography

Subscribe to the Small & Supercharged podcast on iTunes

Small & Supercharged Podcast – Let’s talk about Instagram Stories

Well hello there- and welcome to this Small & Supercharged podcast… well, the show notes. To listen to the Small & Supercharged Podcast, you can listen below or you can follow the iTunes link here. Today it is all about Instagram Stories. I adore these. I add to mine every single day and I love the engagement, the comments, the responses and more I get from it. In this Podcast, all about Instagram Stories, I share why I love them, five ways to use them… and there’s a freebie you can download too. I know, I spoil you. Enjoy…

Let’s talk about Instagram Stories…

 

Let’s talk about Instagram Stories and how you can use them for your small business

Show notes for the Small & Supercharged Podcast – Episode 8 – Instagram Stories. What you’ll hear in this episode..

  • The difference between Stories and the grid… and the difference in the kind of content you’d post on the two
  • How Instagram Stories can be used to show the behind the scenes of images you post on the grid
  • How to access Instagram Stories (sorry if you feel I’m teaching you how to suck eggs. I just think it’s good to make sure everyone can get involved).
  • We talk through the different kinds of Stories.
  • Why I usually do Stories when walking the dog (and why you might like to do something similar).
  • We talk through ‘behind the scenes’ ideas.
  • How you can use them to share a thought, talk about something you’ve seen and loved… or just #firstworldproblems. Such as when you have a hole in your sock… yeah… I’ve added that to notes too. I’ve not got over that…
  • We talk about how you can use Instagram Stories to show a process – taking ‘behind the scenes’ to an extra level.
  • How you can use stickers and how these can encourage engagement and can also create additional content.
  • Using Stories to show what’s new. You should never use social media as a hard sell, but you should use it to tell your customers, fans and followers about you and what’s new.
  • I touch on shoppable links and how these can be integrated.
  • How to hide hashtags in your Stories, and why hashtags are good on Instagram Stories.
  • And for the freebie – download the pdf here about Five Ways To Use Instagram Stories.
  • Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram.

If I’ve whet your appetite, I have a few blog posts about them too. To get some tips, tricks and hacks to take your Instagram Stories to the next level, they’re all on this website!

Equestrian business – 5 reasons to use social media

Do you use social media in your equestrian business? If you’ve answered this question with anything but ‘yes’ (and ‘meh’ and ‘kind of’ counts as no!), you’re missing out. Social media can be game changing for your equestrian business in lots of ways. I don’t want to overwhelm you and leave you tutting/shaking your head or throwing your computer across the room… so here are just five reasons to use social media in your equestrian business…

5 reasons to use social media for your equestrian business

Reason 1- Equestrians are on social media!
It’s so, so important to be where your customers are. And the good news is for you, you equestrian business owner you, THEY’RE ON SOCIAL MEDIA! With over 2 billion monthly active users on Facebook and 1 billion on Instagram, there’s a LOT of people to go at… and a number of these are equestrian!

Reason 2 – Your equestrian business can reach new people if you use social media

social media for equestrian businessYour social media won’t just reach your current customer pool – depending on how well you use the platforms, you have the opportunity to reach new people interested in your brand/products and services all over the world… or just a few miles away.

Reason 3 – You can use your social media to show behind the scenes of your equestrian business

Customers and people who might be future customers love this. This might be you receiving a new delivery, opening corporate clothing, visiting a sponsored rider at home… you name it. This allows your customers to see what really makes your equestrian business tick. And you can utilise this ‘behind the scenes’ story telling in so many different ways with video, Lives, filters and effects… the social media world is your oyster.

Reason 4 – It’s free to get started

How many ways to market your equestrian business start at zero cost? Completely free? You can get yourself set up on all the places your customers are NOW and start promoting your equestrian business through social media. Within the next hour you could have fans and followers on all these platforms for nothing. How good is that?!

Reason 5 – People buy from people

Don’t just use your social media as a way to tell people to ‘buy stuff’. No. It’s social media for a reason. And a good reason. It’s the perfect place to be sociable. The internet is the most amazing tool but the screen and a lack of face to face contact can make customers feel distant. And they feel the same distance too. So how can you address that? But using your platforms to communicate directly to them. Become the face of your equestrian business, like you would if someone walked in your shop. This is a great way to bridge this gap in the digital world we live in.

I’m hoping this ‘take five’ blog series will inspire you, make you smile… maybe it’ll just get your head nodding as you enjoy a well earned cuppa and a biscuit. Either way, I’d love you to carry on the chat over on Instagram or Facebook. Hope to see you there.

Small & Supercharged Podcast Ep 4 – how Kylie Jenner’s Face Filter changed the game

In this episode, we’re talking about Kylie Jenner, augmented reality… and how all this matters to your business! This is a solo show, so we’ll be hanging out for the next few minutes. I hope you enjoy it. So, without further ado… shall we have a chat about Kylie Jenner’s Face Filter, augmented reality… and why I’m very excited about both!

Have a listen here…

 

Let’s talk about Kylie Jenner, augmented reality and why Face Filters could rock your business

Show notes for the Small & Supercharged Podcast – Episode 4 – augmented reality, Face Filters and Kylie Jenner… what you’ll hear in this podcast episode…

  • What augmented reality is and how you’ve (probably) already used it.
  • How Kylie Jenner’s Face Filter didn’t just make me look a whole lot more polished, it also signalled the start of new applications for this function inside an app.
  • How powerful Instagram really is and how many users it has.
  • How the Face Filter and its application connects to real life sales.
  • How filters could help to bridge the gap between the online and in store shopping experience.
  • How augmented reality could make shopping from home even more realistic and useful than going to a shop.

Don’t forget to subscribe to the Small & Supercharged Podcast so you don’t miss an episode! You can find it on iTunes, Spotify and Podcast Player – just search ‘Small & Supercharged Podcast’ or my name. Another perk of having a weird name!!

Small & Supercharged Podcast Ep 2 – Social Media Scaremongering

This week we’re having a solo Small & Supercharged Podcast episode with me – and it’s all about social media scaremongering… and why it drives me mad!

Have a listen here!

Social media scaremongering – and why it drives me mad!

Show notes for the Small & Supercharged Podcast – Episode 2 – Social media scaremongering… what you’ll hear in today’s episode…

  • I recorded this episode as I wanted to talk about something that really annoys me –  scaremongering connected to social media algorithms. I see so much of this.
  • Every time a new update is announced on any social media platform, you see all the messages popping up about how it’s the end of the world. You read how Facebook’s dead and how Twitter is dead and how Instagram is dead and how everything is dying and dead because of this algorithm change. I want to tell you why these changes are not a cause for you to panic.
  • The main thing we need to realise here is that these are not our platforms, we have the absolute luxury and privilege to use these platforms for free, yet we can pay to advertise.
  • When some of these algorithm changes happen, it means that perhaps we need to pay to play a bit more.
  • When Facebook announced that they were changing the way that posts for businesses were displayed in the newsfeed, you would have thought that Facebook had announced they were coming to live in all your houses.
  • We’re so lucky that we get the opportunity to be part of these platforms, to be part of this. We don’t have control over it and that’s why it’s really important to grow our following in different ways, which is a subject for numerous other podcasts, but it maybe it should make us think about how vulnerable some businesses are to these changes that we cannot control.
  • The algorithm works on a series of things that we don’t know everything about. People don’t reveal the in-depth elements of that algorithm. All you can do, and I really believe this, is do your best work. Look at the response, adjust accordingly and go again. Rinse and repeat.
  • If you have a post and you put it out there and nothing happens and it’s rubbish, it doesn’t necessarily mean that an algorithm is screwing you over. It could mean your post is rubbish. It could also mean you’ve placed it at the wrong time of day. It could also mean that maybe the imagery isn’t as strong. It could perhaps mean the title isn’t getting people engaged. There are loads of different reasons and one of the best ones I heard was just your content isn’t that good?
  • The other thing I think it’s really important to think about when these big social media giants announce these changes, think about why they’re doing it. A lot people will say it’s to make money. But think about it even harder, Facebook has got over 2 billion people using it. If the Facebook community is getting really bored and detached from the newsfeed and they don’t want to click on the apps – we all have a problem!
  • If Facebook didn’t protect its community, it would hurt us all. If people did leave Facebook on mass, it would hurt us all when magazines were really the only way of getting your message out there, which was a while ago.
  • If you are putting out rubbish content, it’s going to hurt anyway, but you need to look at your content. Don’t blame any of the social media platforms, when you put out rubbish content and it does badly, that’s on you. You need to address what you’re doing. You need to do the research, do the legwork. You need to look at what your audience actually care about and you need to create content around that. There’s going to be loads of ways you can do this.
  • Make sure that you are thinking about your customer and you’re creating content that works for them.
  •  It should not all be sell, sell, sell, sell, sell. Social media has got the word social in it for a reason. It’s important to you. Respect your audience, you speak to them, you talk to them, you actually care what they’ve got to say.
  • I know some people who don’t have websites and have everything running through their Facebook page. Please don’t do this. If you do this, look at ways to make sure you are putting your eggs in more baskets. Get yourself a website, start growing your email list.

Thanks so much for tuning into this week’s episode of the Small & Supercharged Podcast – don’t forget to subscribe!

When Instagram Face Filters changed the game – Kylie Jenner

As I was looking through Instagram Stories on Friday night, something caught my eye. I was watching Jasmine Star’s Insta Stories and under her name it said the filter she was using. The Face Filter to be precise. What was strange was that I hadn’t noticed she was using a filter. And that was kind of the point. This was no ordinary Instagram Face Filter. This was an Instagram Face Filter by Kylie Jenner. And, for me, it’s really changed the game on filters.

What’s an Instagram Face Filter?

First things first, if you’re not sure what I mean by Instagram Face Filter, let me explain. Have you seen people on Instagram Stories with dog ears and rainbows and other craziness on their faces? Yep? Instagram Kylie Jenner Face Filter - augmented reality (1)That’s a Face Filter. They’re usually comical in some way and it’s very, very obvious that one’s in use. But this was different. It wasn’t like that at all.

Kylie Jenner

I am sure you don’t need me to tell you who Kylie Jenner is… but I’m going to because if you don’t know then the next bit of this blog is going to make very little sense to you! Kylie is part of the Kardashian clan, and she has her own make up collection. As you’ll know if you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, I have no idea about make up. It’s more luck than judgement that I know about her make up range, but I digress…

So what’s the Kylie Face Filter?

It’s a form of augmented reality and an absolute stroke of marketing genius in my opinion. I had a jaw dropping moment when I realised what the filter did and how it worked. So, unlike comical filters, the Kylie Face Filter makes you look, well, really quite good. But it’s more than that. Inside the Kylie filter you can chose from one of eight different looks with the central focus being the lip colour. These eight different options show a range of colours and are, wait for it, based on her lip colour collection. This sounds good – I mean, when I discovered it I was pretty tired and I was not looking my best…. and this filter definitely improved things, put it that way. But it’s SO much more than this. I really believe that this is part of the future of marketing. Want to know how make up is going to look on your with your colouring? Easy. How about furniture in your house? Clothes? All from your phone. Even through on of your favourite apps?

The one obstacle in the way of shopping online has always been that you can’t really see the products and how they’ll look on you through a computer screen. With this kind of technology being used, can you imagine the scope? Can you imagine the potential?

Blummin well done Instagram. Another absolute triumph in my eyes. And I for one can not wait to see how augmented reality grows in this accesible way.

Are you coming to #styleskillsandsilver?

I’m beyond excited to be part of Hiho Silver’s Style, Skills & Silver, which will be taking place at The Fish Hotel, Broadway on Thursday September 6th. I’ve had a few people ping me messages about it, so I thought I’d take this opportunity to have a little chat with your about this fab event. Whether you’re a business, a blogger or a vlogger, I KNOW that you’ll love this event!

What’s #styleskillsandsilver all about?

Well, that’s the hashtag for the Style, Skills & Silver event – but as for the event itself, read on…

The event, hosted by Hiho Silver, has been designed to bring together Hiho’s brand ambassadors, team, brand friends and more under one roof. The day will be lighthearted and fun, but also packed with value. There will be…

  • A style workshop run by Melanie Clarihew from Mackenzie & George, Harriet Edwards aka A Girl About Country, and Karen McConnell aka Karen & Clan
  • A skills workshop run by Rachel Bragg from Sweet Images, Sophie Callahan from Sophie Callahan Photography, Emma Warren from Hiho Silver and Ruth Chappell from Dressage Anywhere, and me too.

And they’ll be lunch, tea, cake and the most amazing goody bag.

What will happen in the workshops?

I’m heavily involved with the Skills workshop, so I’m going to focus in on that! I know that we’ll be learning all about flatlays and have expert advice on how to create them and use them on in our businesses, we’ll have real life examples of how flatlays can work for all businesses including service based ones too. We’ll chat about the power of social media and how to harness it for what you want and we’ll be looking at how to repurpose and use the content you create, to help ensure that all your effort works as hard for you as possible AND generates the response you want. We’ll also be talking about how to manage that little voice in your head that suggests you shouldn’t do things and you shouldn’t try… because what if you’re not good enough? What if you fail? We don’t like that voice… we appreciate his good intentions but there’s no need for that kind of madness in #styleskillsandsilver.

In the Style workshop, the three ladies will be looking at how they style outfits, how accessories make all the difference, and how you can dress up and dress down looks with a few minor tweaks. I’m excited.

But I won’t know anyone at Style, Skills & Silver?

You know me, don’t you? In all seriousness, I know all the ladies involved and they are all absolutely lovely and within a few minutes you’ll feel like you’re lifelong buddies. I also reckon that you’re connected to a lot more people than you think. That’s the beauty of social media. I know a lot of people from my Small & Supercharged group are going, so if you’re in there, it’s a great place to meet the people you chat to. In real life. And if you’re not in the group, you should join now… here’s the link.

But in all seriousness, I get it. It can be really daunting to think you’re going to be spending the day with people you don’t know and you’ll be on your own and isolated. You won’t be. The way the workshops are designed means that you’ll have lots of chances to engage, interact, chat and enjoy. Yep, the day will be really interesting and you’ll be learning new skills, but you will also have chance to speak to people, pick up ideas to help you grow and develop your business or blog, and meet new people. And if you’re feeling funny, I’ll be the tall one eating the sweets and the cake – we can have a chat, OK?

OK, you’ve twisted my arm, how do I book a ticket for Style, Skills & Silver?

I know that #styleskillsandsilver only have a few tickets left, so crack on! You can book up through EventBrite here. If you have any other questions, just drop me an email or a DM. I promise you that I won’t bite and that I’m really looking forward to the event. I should be able to answer your questions, but if I can’t, I will find the answer! Hope to see you on 6th September in Broadway!

5 ways to use social media to promote your country business

If you have a country business, this blog is for you. It’s all about how to use social media to promote your country business. And it’s really, really important that you do. Even if your strongest ‘marketing’ is your customers and word of mouth, or even traditional forms of media like printed ads, I would urge you strongly to get on board with social media. It’s free to get started and allows you to reach people who will have never heard of you. More than this, it adds a new dimension to your PR and marketing as the world is your stage. Not just people in the local vicinity. Social media does level the playing field and also expands your audience to global. Even if you have a local business who serves the local community, you need to get on board. Yes, social media can have global reach, but you can also really focus in on your local area if that’s what you want to it. It also helps you to create a real brand. The kind that brings people in from afar. So let’s get cracking, shall we? Here are five ways to use social media to promote your country business.

Five ways to use social media to promote your country business

  1. Who are you? Use social media to introduce people to your team. Who do they speak to when they call you? Who packs orders? Who serves in the shop? Who churns the ice cream? Who started it all? Share the information. This can be done through images and text or, even better, video. This helps people get a real feel for your business and what makes it tick. It’s a really easy thing to do that can make a real difference.
  2. Where does the magic happen? If you’re a country business, why not show people where you’re based? You don’t have to give people your full address and postal code, but why not show a studio for a craft business? Your animals? The surrounding countryside. Help people buy into the lifestyle, the animal welfare, the feeling that your company wants to create in its customers.
  3. Share tips. If you sell produce, create some recipes- video them/write them up/take some nice images. If you create clothing – style tips. If you run a rural accountancy firm- how to keep track of your receipts. Tips help people and they also help you and your expert status. You can decide to display these tips in a blog, as graphics, as video… or, better still, all of the above.
  4. Document, don’t create. This advice is from Gary Vaynerchuk, and it’s so right. Your everyday life as a country business is filled with things that you might find mundane but, to someone who doesn’t know about what you do and how you work, it’s fascinating. If you run a farm shop, opening up in the morning, dealing with suppliers and restocking could create really great content. Maybe you’re talking about new season’s asparagus that only comes in for a limited time. Yes, it’s your day to day life, but why not share it with your customers? Get them excited about your new asparagus too!
  5. Get people involved. User generated content is a really big deal, and it is a great way to use social media to promote your country business too. Retweeting, sharing and reposting content from your customers can help them feel special and cared for, but it does huge things for your social media too. You could always introduce a competition to encourage this kind of engagement too.

So here are five ways to use social media to promote your country business. Of course, there are loads more, but it’s a good start!

If you’d like to find out more about one aspect of social media, Instagram Stories, download my free guide here by signing up to my newsletter list.

Instagram Stories