10 Biggest Mistakes Equestrian Brands Make On Social Media
It’s immediate, it’s cheap, it’s accessible…social media is a fantastic way to build your brand. However, doing it well is not as easy as it appears. Faux pas to mega blunders are being made daily on social media. If you’ve made these mistakes before, fear not. We’re here to help you avoid them and if we’re too late…show you how to fix them.
1. Bad photos.
Dark, fuzzy, blurry pictures are not only not appealing but reflect poorly on your brand. You don’t need to be an expert in photography but you should pay attention to the quality of the images you post. How’s the lighting? Is the photo framed properly? Is there anything distracting (i.e. porta-potty) in the background? Today’s smartphones can capture vibrant and beautiful shots. And there’s an assortment of apps and software to make editing those pictures a breeze. With a little creativity, there’s no excuse for posting dull or subpar photos.
How to fix it: Read articles and learn the basics about photography. Get creative! Start exploring new filters. Discover what looks good and what looks bad. From there you will learn how to deliver beautiful images for your posts every time.
2. Too much text.
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How to fix it: Be strategic with your words. While Instagram and Twitter may not have a limit on the text to image ratio, the ruling is founded in good design and the aesthetics.
3. Improper sharing etiquette.
Sharing the pictures and posts of other users is a great way to build relationships. But if you don’t do it the right way, it could result in copyright infringement. Never grab a photo or video from another user and upload it to your own page as original content. Click the share button instead (retweet on Twitter or repost on Instagram) so it links back to the original content creator.
How to fix it: It’s exceedingly important to be considerate when sharing pictures and posts that are not directly your own. Give credit. Ask for permission. Link back. You’re a consumer as well, how would you want a brand to treat you and use your original materials?
4. Unprofessional behaviour.
It’s ok to show some personality, but a business account should be professional at all times. You shouldn’t be making underhanded comments (also known as subtweets), rude jokes, angry tirades or posting anything vulgar or inappropriate. Avoid controversial subjects or posting when you’re not in control of your emotions. Always keep the identity of your business in mind and remember to act as if your followers were standing right in front of you.
How to fix it: If you’ve behaved in an unprofessional manner, the best way to handle it is to stop doing it immediately. Delete the tweets or comments. Apologize to any parties that have been involved and start thinking before you post.
5. Posting too little or too much.
It’s social media, you just post when you post, right? Wrong! Many businesses use a social media schedule. This is a great way to ensure you have content being posted at prime times. However, are you remembering to log in and be social? Careful with posting too much – too many posts can get spammy and could get you unfollowed.
How to fix it: Make a content calendar and use scheduled posts to optimize your time so that you’re not glued to your phone. Also make a point to be there “live” every day to engage with followers and create new conversations, and be ready to shoot from the hip to provide added authenticity.
6. The perception of being unapproachable.
Are you easy to talk to? Do you reply to questions and comments? How is your customer service? These are all things that can make or break a company on social media. If you don’t care about people, they’re not going to care about you.
How to fix it: This one is a no brainer: connect with your followers! Be humble, be kind, take the initiative to create relationships and be the type of business that seems like they have a real person running their social media accounts.
7. Chasing new platforms.
In the digital age, there is always a hot new thing. It’s Snapchat! It’s live Facebook video! With limited resources, there’s a danger of spreading yourself too thin.
How to fix it: Get on that new social media platform, reserve your username, and follow key influencers. Once you have staked your claim, take a step back and watch to see where it goes. Often by the time it’s announced as popular it can be on its way out. Take a look at MySpace, Peach and other platforms that have not passed the test of time. Be strategic. Use platforms that make sense with your audience and brand identity.
8. Not having a branded identity.
Everything you do should be on brand. Do you have a specific voice that encompasses all of your business social media accounts? Do you have a logo that you place on your pictures? If someone were to remove your social media handle would people still be able to identify your brand? If the answer is no, your organization might not have a branded identity.
How to fix it: Decide how you want your business to be viewed. From there, determine a voice, determine how you want to create conversations, engagement, and what type of content you want to share. Your brand should be easily identifiable.
9. Lacking a call to action.
Your account may be hilarious and visually pleasing, but what do you want your followers to do? Going viral is great, but without a clear path to conversion you can spend a lot of time on social media without actually growing your business. Are you showcasing your products and providing a link where your followers can purchase them? Do you post content that convinces potential clients to do business with you? Without a call to action, your business account might as well be your personal account.
How to fix it: Come up with a call to action and make sure it is apparent in your posts. You don’t shout at your followers to buy from you, follow you, or build a relationship with you, but you do remind them you’re more than a buddy, you’re a business.
10. Boring posts.
Does your brand struggle to come up with new ideas and utilize social media to its fullest? You’re not alone. Creativity can be difficult.
How to fix it: Don’t look at your competitors, they might be boring too! Make a plan. Set time aside to brainstorm. Think outside the box and try new things. Work with creative companies that can help you create unique content that captures your brand’s identity.
At Heels Down Media, we manage four branded platforms (Heels Down Magazine, Horse Junkies United, Stable & Spice and The Scope Network) for a combined 20 social media accounts – and that’s not counting the websites, app, magazine etc… so creativity is the name of the game! If you’d like to expand your brand’s reach, contact us today at hello(at)heelsdownmedia.com!