Newton, Wisconsin – Omega Fields, Inc. announced it will begin their first ever “Pin It to Win It” contests on the popular social media site Pinterest, beginning in March 2013. Participating in the contest requires no purchase and is very easy to enter. To participate in the contests just make sure to log onto the Omega Fields Pinterest page at; http://pinterest.com/omegafieldss/ and follow our ‘Omega Fields Contest’ board. Please follow our fantastic boards and invite us to be a part of your community boards as well! You’ll find interesting and informative boards related to horse, dog, chicken and goat nutrition, great recipes using flaxseed, educational tips and articles and detailed information about Omega Fields’ products.
Sean F. Moriarty, President of Omega Fields, Inc., said, “We have seen an a great response from our customers through social media and feel it is an effective way of interacting and offering those customers additional value for showing an interest in our products.”
Written By Randi Thompson, Founder of the Award-Winning “How to Market Your Horse Business” website
Welcome to the fourth and final article in my series, “Marketing Your Horse Business through Social Media.” Here’s a quick recap of Parts 1-3: In Part 1 we explored how having a presence on social media can benefit your offline, “real world” horse business. Part 2 focused on developing a content strategy that becomes the foundation for all your online marketing. And in part 3, I covered my magic “Rule of Three” and introduced how to use your comments to create relationships and attract those who are looking for what you have to offer. Now in Part 4, we’ll go even deeper into how to use your posts to promote what you have to offer as you continue to build your network.
How to Market Your Horse Business with the Posts You Share
Marketing on Social Media is all about how we use our posts to “talk” to other people. Each post you share is an investment in your business and future success. By connecting with other people in your field, you will become a part of a network that will continue to expose you to more people who are looking for what you have to offer.
How to get Other People Talking
One of the best ways to get people to exchange comments, and to start “talking” with you is to respond to one of their posts first. Take your time and choose the posts of people you want to know better, or posts that a lot of people are already talking on. Join in that conversation and see if you can get people to respond to what you have to say. Imagine you are talking with a group of friends, how would you keep the conversation going? One way to get people talking is by asking questions. You can use open questions to everyone, or ask direct questions to whoever you want. Once the people in a community begin to respond to your posts, you will know that you have established yourself as a valued and welcome member. You will feel like you are a part of that community. That is when you can start letting people know what you have to offer with a “sales post.”
If you are not a part of the community you are sharing your “sales post” in, no one wants to hear from you and your posts will be ignored. In fact, you will be seen as a spammer and your post may be deleted and you banned.
Here are two important rules to understand about a “sales post”
1) Never try to sell through your posts or comments. Comments are for building relationships and interacting. Your “sales posts” should direct people to your website or sales page.
2) The Golden 90/10 Rule of Sales Posts. 90% of all the content (what you share) in your posts should be information that people might need, find valuable or enjoy. Only about 10% of your posts should promote what you offer.
Crafting Your “Sales Posts”
There are basically two ways to sell, or share what you have to offer, through your posts. One way is by responding to another person’s comments on a post. For example, you might be reading a post about an issue that someone is having. It just happens that you have the perfect solution with your product or service. Rather than trying to sell that person through a comment reply, you should contact them off the page first. If you can’t do that, then gently suggest that you might have a solution that could help them and ask them to contact you.
The second way to sell what you have to offer is by starting a new post, your “sales post” Here’s a technique that you can use that works very well. It does not sound or look like a sales pitch.
*Start with a good photo that will catch people’s attention.
*Introduce yourself with a friendly greeting: something as simple as “Hi, Everyone” or “nice to see you” will work.
* Share a few benefits people will receive through your product or service. This should be only a few sentences so it’s not spammy! You can also ask questions that lead back to your product or service as being the solution. This is the area you will be using to get people to “talking” to you on your post.
* Invite people to find out more by clicking on your link below the comment.
* Add your first name and tag your link with your website URL so people will begin to associate your name with your business. If your comments are interesting enough, they will go to your business page to see what you’re all about.
What about the Follow-Through?
Sometimes people are so focused on sharing their “sales posts” in as many places as they can that they forget to notice if anyone is responding to the posts they have left. This makes them look very unprofessional. You need to be very aware (and thankful) when someone takes the time to “talk” to you on any of your posts. Those comments are worth their weight in gold. Make sure you always respond to any comments that people make on your posts. Also, make sure that you “Like” any comments that other people add to the posts you’ve shared.
Social Media: It’s Easy, Fun and It Works!
Following the recommendations I’ve made in this “Marketing through Social Media” series can help you enter the Social Media world for the first time or improve on what you’ve already tried. You’ll find that your interactions and the relationships you build will help expand your business and open doors to new markets.
Written By Randi Thompson, Founder of the Award-Winning Facebook Business Page“How to Market Your Horse Business”
In my first article of this series, I explained how “offline” businesses can benefit by having a presence on social media networks like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and Google+. I left you with a two-part “assignment” for getting started:
1. Look at what other businesses like yours are doing on social media sites and web sites to promote themselves. What do you think their marketing strengths and weaknesses are? Are you clear about what they have to offer? How can you incorporate some of those ideas in your marketing?
2. Talk to your existing customers to find out what they’d like to see from you in the social media world. What do they do with social media? Where are they “hanging out” and who do they think are the “movers and shakers” of the horse social media world?
Now let’s continue by exploring content strategy.
Developing Content: What you share on social media will attract people looking for what you have to offer.
The expression “Content is King” originally referred to print and broadcast media but it’s equally true in the online world. A great comment, photo or video may get people to visit your web site or follow you on social media for a while, but if your content doesn’t remain valuable to them you’ll quickly drop off their radar and their newsfeeds.
Our goal is to get people to respond to us and interact with us through the comments and content that we share. Here’s why content and comments are the secrets to success for marketing on social media:
1. Good content builds loyalty. If a business had to get a new customer to make every sale, their marketing challenge would be enormous! A horse publication, for example, doesn’t make most of its money from people picking it up for the first time, it makes money from people who realize its content has ongoing value that they need, so they subscribe. Really successful Internet sites, blogs and social media pages also get most of their traffic from repeat business, based on the value of their content. It’s the content we share that gets people interested in what we have to offer and, most importantly, gets them to respond to our comments. When people respond to your comments, those comments go viral on the newsfeeds and you are then exposed to more people who are looking for what you have to offer!
2. Relationships lead to sales. When you build loyalty through high-value content that encourages people to interact with you, you’re actually creating relationships with people who are interested in what you have to offer. We’d all rather buy something from someone we have come to know, like and trust.
3. Well-planned content helps people find you. Search engines like Google and Bing are a way of life, zipping through the virtual universe to recognize and rank content that most closely matches a user’s query. You can help your content be recognized and ranked through the use of “Search Engine Optimization” or SEO. A whole SEO industry has sprung up to specialize in using the right “keywords” that will get a site recognized early and ranked highly on Search Engine results lists. But you have to do more than focus on keywords – your business has a better chance of flourishing if you provide great content first, while having a decent understanding of SEO and keywords.
But What Should You Be Saying?
It’s exciting to think of all the ways you can communicate on social media – your comments, photos, audio and video can be fun to think about and create. But the most important step in determining your comment strategy is deciding what you should be saying so people will respond and your comment will be shared on their newsfeeds.
If you want people to purchase your products or services, you need to be able to tell them what you have to offer in a way that’s easy for them to understand. Even more important, you have to show them how what you’re offering will benefit them. The first step in creating “benefits-driven” content is to organize your own thoughts about what you’re offering and how you are going to promote what you have to offer.
1. Start by making a list of the products and services you offer. If you have a retail store you don’t need to list every saddle and bit – just the product categories. If you have a boarding barn, you could include types of stalls; types of turnout; specialized services; what type of riding rings you have and whether you have trails your clients can ride on. If you’re a trainer, you could include group or individual lessons; discipline specialty; working with green or problem horses; offering weekend clinics, etc. No matter what specific horse business you have, you need to break it down into specific products and services you feel prospective clients will be looking for – you can’t promote what you can’t describe!
2. For each of your products or services, identify what is different about your offerings – and hopefully unique or better – than what the competition offers. Find those things that set you apart so your potential customer can understand why your offerings are the best choice for them.
3. Think about your priorities in terms of what you should be promoting first or most actively; you want to be sure what you’re promoting is not just relevant but is also of high value. For example, if your barn stays full of boarders but you need to add revenue, you could emphasize other things like lessons, summer camps or “adult pony club” activities. If you’re a retail store, you may have certain products that offer repeat purchase opportunities and better profit margins than other products. Here’s why prioritizing is important: on your own web site you can provide comprehensive details of your total business but when you’re marketing through social media, your comments have to be briefer and more targeted. The good news is that you can use social media comments to drive “target customers” – people who are looking for what you have to offer – to your website or social media network.
Giving careful thought to each of the three areas above will help you develop a content and comment strategy as the foundation for all of your marketing activities. So get started! In my next article I’ll talk about how you can use your comments to sell what you have to offer.
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