Using Facebook For Your Equine Business, with Specialist UK Equine Portrait Photographer I via sophiecallahanblog.com I #equinephotography #photography #equineblogger

Welcome to your last installment of this Facebook for Business series, as part of my FYI FRIDAY posts, where I post a business related post each and every Friday.

If you’ve just stumbled upon this post and have missed part one, two and three, you can find those here. This week we’re going to get into the nitty gritty of using your Facebook page and I’m going to share some of my most valuable tips and tricks with you. This one is going to be super content heavy, so grab yourself a cuppa and settle in. Let’s get started.

 

How Often Should You Post?

Now you have a better idea of what to post, I wanted to address a question that comes up time and time again, regarding social media. How do you know how often to post?

Too often I hear people saying ‘I only post once a day because I don’t want to get on peoples’ nerves.’ Yet in the next breath they tell me that their content isn’t being seen by anyone!!

There is a huge misconception about the amount we are seen by people on social media. If you only post once a day, you dramatically reduce your chances of being seen by a massive chunk of your audience.

 

On Facebook I post around three times a day, sometimes four, most days. And I’ve heard some social media gurus say that they advise posting as many as six times per day!! But I’d say that aiming for three times a day is probably a good starting point. The trick is to get social media to become a habit, rather than a chore. Build it into your life and into your workflow, so that you do it without thinking about it.

By using your insights, you can see what time your audience is online and post accordingly. For example, a post when people are on their way to work, a post at lunch time and a post in the evening, might be a good plan. I find most of my engagement comes in the afternoon and evening, when my audience are home from work, the horses are done, the kids are in bed and the husband has been fed.

Take a look at your insights and work out when the best time to post is, to reach your specific audience.

Using Facebook For Your Equine Business, with Specialist UK Equine Portrait Photographer I via sophiecallahanblog.com I #equinephotography #photography #equineblogger

Scheduling and Planning Ahead

That leads me on to scheduling. Have you tried this?

Scheduling posts is a great way to keep you on top of your social media strategy and make sure your posts go out at the optimum time for your audience. To schedule your post, write it as you normally would and instead of clicking publish, click the arrow next to the button and select the ‘Schedule’ option.

Why not have one day (for me it’s either Sunday evening or Monday morning) where you sit down and work out the majority of your posts for the rest of the week.

 

For example, a typical week could look like this…

Mon: Question, behind the scenes workspace pic, quote
Tues: Funny graphic, recent shoot & client story, link to a relevant horsey article
Weds: Pic of my dog, question, promo post for my gift vouchers
Thurs: Link to a cute horsey video, pic of cup of tea, quote
Fri: Funny story, recent shoot & client story, pic of my dinner on a night out
Sat: Quote, pic of me with a horse, question
Sun: Link to some industry news, funny graphic, recent shoot & client story

That’s literally just off of the top of my head. But you could schedule the majority of posts on the Monday and set yourself reminders to post the others that require time-specific content that you don’t yet have to hand.

Remember to be flexible and open to changing things up if something arises that you think would make great content. Or, alternatively, post more than three times a day. It’s your page and you are in control.

I challenge you to schedule a week’s worth of posts for one week.

Using Facebook For Your Equine Business, with Specialist UK Equine Portrait Photographer I via sophiecallahanblog.com I #equinephotography #photography #equineblogger

Get Help from Friends and Family

Please be aware that, even with all everything we’ve talked about, these things do not happen overnight. It takes time, trial and error and persistence, to increase your engagement. Every audience is different and you will need to test what gets them interacting with you and what doesn’t.

And even then, it still doesn’t always work. For example, I have 15,000 Facebook followers, a while back I posted a shareable quote that reached 630,000 people and received over 8,000 shares. And then, a few days later, I posted an interactive status, asking my readers a question and received one comment. Don’t be afraid to ‘fail’. Just chalk it up to experience and try again.

Asking your friends and family to help you when you first start, by getting them to like and comment on your posts is the perfect way to boost engagement. Send out a little message to your contacts, or even to your email list, telling them that you’re starting your new social media marketing strategy and you need people to engage with your content. Ask for a simple ‘like’, but let them know that a share or comment will make you love them forever. For example, in my family we have made a pact to always like and try to comment on one another’s social media posts, whenever we see them.

It just means that, when people start engaging with your posts, Facebook will think you are interesting and post you onto more and more peoples’ news-feeds. Every little helps.

Facebook favours personal content over business content, so I’d also highly recommend that you share your page posts onto your Facebook profile to get them in front of your friends and posting them to groups can sometimes work too. We’ll chat more about that later.

 

The only way to get better is to surround yourself with people who believe in you.

Using Your Insights

So, I mentioned your Facebook page insights when I was talking about scheduling. These are a great way of tracking what is working for you and what isn’t. Have you used your insights? I’d recommend just going through each of the tabs and looking at the information there, if you haven’t already.

The things I use most often are the Likes tab, to see how my following is increasing and the Posts tab. This shows you what time your fans are online, which I spoke about with regards to scheduling posts and it also shows you how each of your posts did, with regards to reach and engagement.

Using Facebook For Your Equine Business, with Specialist UK Equine Portrait Photographer I via sophiecallahanblog.com I #equinephotography #photography #equineblogger

Tips and Tricks

So, we’ve worked out what to post, when to post and how often to post. Now I’m going to share with you a few little tips and tricks that will hopefully make running your page easier and more effective for your business.

Tagging

Tagging is such a great tool for social media. If you keep in mind that the average person on Facebook has between 3-500 friends. Every time you tag a client in their image (and this is another reason it’s important to share their stories) you are marketing yourself to 3-500 extra people on their friends list!! And there is no better recommendation than through a friend, so if their friend has used you and had a good experience, the likelihood is, they will be happy to use you, too.

Every time I post images from a shoot and tag the client, I almost always get at least one message, within the following hour, from a friend of theirs, requesting details and prices and wanting to book a shoot. So tag away!

Getting Likes, from Likes!

This is something that is soooo useful and that it seems hardly anyone knows about.

When you post a picture, update or status and people like it, it will say underneath it, ‘Joe Bloggs, Sally Smith and 10 others like this.

If you click on the ‘10 others’ part, it will bring up a list of who has liked the post. You can then invite the people who haven’t already liked your page, to do so. Facebook will send them a notification and ask them to like your page.

This is great, because the likelihood is, if they’ve already shown an interest in your post, they will probably like the rest of your content too. They are probably even part of your target market!

Again, this is something I’ve found hugely successful, especially with the shareable graphics, because once it has been shared out to other people’s’ timelines, people who don’t already like my page will see it and hopefully click like. It also works well with photos you have tagged your clients in, as their friends will click like and then you can invite them to like your actual page. Super, super useful and probably my favourite tip of all!

Using Facebook as Your Page

Do you do this? I would put aside at least ten minutes a day, more if you can, to actually use Facebook as your page. If you don’t know how to do this, when you see a status from a page that is relevant to your audience, you can choose to comment or like as either your profile or your page by clicking on the mini profile picture just above the comments section, on the right hand side.

You can then start interacting with other pages, commenting, liking and even sharing their content. Sharing the content from other pages in your niche is great, as it establishes you as an industry authority, providing news and interesting, valuable content to your audience.

By commenting on other page’s posts, you are then exposing yourself to their audience, too. Horsey magazines are good because they do a lot of interactive statuses and their audience are very actively engaged.

You can also track the replies to any comments you’ve made, by going to the Settings tab, at the top of your page, clicking on the Activity Log, at the bottom of the left hand menu and then clicking on ‘Comments’ also in the left hand menu. This will show you where you have commented, as your page, and you click on each activity and see if people have responded to you.

Using Facebook as your page, interacting with the equine community and getting your page name out there on Facebook is an absolute must and something that people definitely don’t utilise enough. Again, it’s all about being sociable.

 

Using Facebook For Your Equine Business, with Specialist UK Equine Portrait Photographer I via sophiecallahanblog.com I #equinephotography #photography #equineblogger

Using Groups

I touched very briefly on using groups earlier, but this can be a really effective tool for getting your content out to a wider market. I am a member of so many equine groups on Facebook, from local area groups, to breed specific groups or discipline related groups. And these really come in handy when I have content I want to spread across new audiences.

I don’t use this tool too often, because it would be easy to become annoying and irritate the group admin, but I do use it for very specific content.

For example, when I put my Christmas gift voucher campaign out, or when I was running a competition, I shared it on various equine groups and got a lot of extra interest. Just share straight from your page, onto the group wall, adding a little description if necessary.

Warning: You can also get blocked from posting in groups, if you abuse this tool. So be mindful not to over post and appear spammy.

Using Message Templates

Do you find yourself typing out the same message to people over and over?

Maybe people always get in touch to ask your pricing, and you could write the reply in your sleep. If you go to your page and go to your message inbox, click on the first message in your inbox and on left hand side it should say ‘Saved replies’. Click on ‘Manage replies’ at the bottom of the box and you can create template replies that you can use every time a client asks you one of those FAQs. You can edit the replies to suit the individual, too.

Using Facebook For Your Equine Business, with Specialist UK Equine Portrait Photographer I via sophiecallahanblog.com I #equinephotography #photography #equineblogger

“You don’t have to have it all figured out to move forward.”

Other Social Media Platforms

I also just wanted to quickly touch upon using other social media platforms and how to combine them with your Facebook marketing.

I use Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Youtube and my blog. So these are the platforms I am most familiar with. Every business is different and I’d advise picking a couple of social media platforms and doing them well, rather than spreading yourself too thinly. Perhaps pick one or two, get really good at using them and gradually introduce more.

I’m currently making a point to use Twitter more, and have had great results so far. I post pretty much everything on there and find it’s quite an all round platform. But I haven’t yet put a lot of time into learning how to make the most of it, so I mostly just use it so that I do have a presence, as it’s such a popular platform.

Instagram, as I’ve already touched upon is a very visual platform. With the introduction of Instagram Stories, it’s great for sharing who you are with your clients. I share lots of personal pictures on there and I also share images from each shoot, every time I blog. So it’s a real, all round representation of me; my work and my personal life.

Pinterest is much more popular in America and not so widely used over here, in the UK. I do, however, find it super useful for putting together ideas for outfits ideas for my clients, etc. and as I mentioned earlier, it’s really great for finding content inspiration. The other thing I love Pinterest for is for discovering blogs with business, social media and marketing advice. I can spend hours getting lost in Pinterest posts.

If you’ve been following me for a while, you might have seen that I started weekly vlogging, back in the summer. So I also now use Youtube to upload my vlogs, every Monday. This is a platform I’m still working out and building, but with regards to video, I can absolutely vouch for it’s power, when it comes to online marketing. It’s such a valuable tool and has been super beneficial for me. I share the links to my vlogs onto my Facebook, Twitter and embed them in my blog, and often a little snippet of the video on my Instagram stories.

And lastly, there’s blogging, which I can not recommend highly enough. Blogging is a lot of work, but it’s such an incredible tool. By sharing tutorials on things in your line of work, stories about your clients, personal stories and other articles, you can really establish yourself as an expert in your industry, develop an online voice and connect with your readers. But that’s a whole new series, right there! If you want to think about blogging for your business, I’d suggest http://blogambitions.com/ as a great place to start.

 

So that’s almost the end of my four week Facebook for Business series. I hope that you found it valuable and I hope to see you all nailing it on Facebook, from here on in. If you’ve got all the way to the end, I’d love you to leave a link to your Facebook page in the comments below, so that I and other readers can find you and offer some support.

And also, if you have any questions at all, please don’t hesitate to leave a note below and I’ll do my best to either answer directly, or in a future blog post.

 

And I’ll see you next week for another FYI FRIDAY post!

Specialist equine portrait photographer, blogger & vlogger. Essex based, travelling throughout the UK.