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

If you haven’t already noticed, I am a massive advocate of using social media for business, especially Facebook. When I started my business, I had no money to invest into marketing or advertising, so I had to find a way to reach my clients that wouldn’t cost me a penny. And that was where my love for social media began.

I use four social media platforms daily, integrating them into my workflow and have built my entire client base through these channels.

I now have over 15,000 followers on Facebook, over 7,800 on Pinterest, over 4,900 on Twitter and over 6,000 on Instagram.

And in this series of blog posts, as part of my FYI Friday feature (weekly business related posts), I’m going to teach you how you can use these free resources to build your following and fill your diary with bookings and sales, just like I did!

In this series you will learn:

  • What to post, when to post and how often
  • How to increase your following FOR FREE
  • How to attract the RIGHT followers
  • How to engage your audience and keep them interested
  • How to sell to them without them knowing it

So let’s get started.

‘The best way to get things done, is to simply begin.’

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

Social Media Stats

Every single day 936 million users log on to use Facebook, with a whopping 1,440 million users every month. That’s infinitely bigger than any magazine readership, any shop footfall or any notice board viewings. There is nowhere else that can claim the kind of numbers that social media can.

We scroll through our news feed whilst we’re eating breakfast, whilst we’re on the public transport, whilst we’re at lunch, to fill awkward moments of silence, before we go to sleep… We’re constantly connected to our social media outlets.

Now, obviously, not all 900 million of those users are going to want what you’re selling, but it stands to reason that some of them will. So, the reason that social media is so great is that you don’t have to work to get your target audience to be there. They already hang out there. You just need to work out how to find them and how to make them love you. And we’ll get to that.

 

Your Profile – Business or Personal?

The first thing you need to do, before we get down to business with your page, is to decide whether you are going to keep your profile private or are going to add your clients as friends. Personally, I think there are huge advantages to adding your clients.

Note: The difference between a profile and a page, in the simplest of terms is this: Your profile is where people can add you as a friend and your page is the one people can ‘Like’.

I actually have two profiles. ‘Sophie Callahan’ and ‘Sophie Callahan Psnl’. The ‘Psnl’ one is just for friends and family. I don’t really post much work related content on there but I do get tagged in pictures of me on a night out, or not looking my best, lol. It’s the one my Mum shares photos of me as a kid on.

My ‘Sophie Callahan’ one is for work. I can add my clients and they feel like they can get to know me a little better. I can definitely get to know them better and I do often have a little browse of their photos of them and their horse, before a shoot.
It also allows me to keep up to date with them, after their shoot. If they win at a competition, I can congratulate them. If it’s their birthday, I can wish them happy birthday. If they post a funny picture of their horse, I can comment. It allows me to maintain the relationship and ensures that I stay in their mind once we’ve had our shoot.

I am usually logged onto my work profile on my laptop and my personal one on my phone and I am an admin for my page on both accounts, so I can check it on both my phone and my laptop.

So, think about your relationships with your clients and decide whether you want to keep your profile totally private, whether you want to add your clients as friends or whether you want to create a new profile entirely, so that you have a little more control over your professional persona.

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

How Are You Using Social Media?

Now we’ve talked about your profile, we can move onto the business side of things. Let’s begin by looking at how you already use social media. I want you to take a look at your Facebook page and answer these questions honestly.

What kind of things do you post? Is it all salesy and advertisement posts?

How much engagement do you get? Do you find that your posts are being ignored? Or maybe they aren’t even being seen at all.

And now really look at your page as a whole. When people land on your page, what is their first impression of your business?

Is it fun and bright? Does it immediately show a viewer what it is you’re offering? Are your cover and profile pictures professional or are they amateur, pixelated iPhone photos?

 

“To give real service, you must add something which cannot be bought or measured with money,
and that is sincerity and integrity.”
 – Douglas Adams

Your Page – Profile and Cover Photo

The best place for us to start, when re-vamping your Facebook page would be your profile picture and your cover photo. This is your shop-front. It needs to be smart and reflect your brand. I like to think of the cover photo as your window display and the profile picture as your shop signage. One needs to be consistent and recognisable, the other can be changed regularly to entice customers to explore whatever you are offering at the time.

When it comes to your profile picture, if you are a small business, I would always recommend using a professional head-shot, rather than just a logo. Perhaps you in branded clothing, with a horse, holding your product or tools of the trade.

The power of a good head-shot is so hugely underestimated!

As human beings, we create trust on a visual level. We like to look into the whites of somebodies eyes before we decide whether we are going to connect with them or not. Facebook and other social media platforms, such as Instagram, are such visual environments and images are king of all content. Having a profile picture of YOU, rather than your logo, is a fundamental way to connect with your clients before they have even met you. It creates a feeling of trust, authenticity and relateablility. People want to know they are dealing with a real person, not just a logo and a brand-name.

You are your biggest asset, you are your brand’s identity, so you should be using you!

I strongly recommend getting a professional photographer in to take some headshots of you, maybe some behind the scenes photographs of your business and also some shots of your product or services. It’s also important to use the same profile picture across all of your social media channels and on your website, too, to create continuity and make you easily recognisable.

Moving on to your cover photo… This is your chance to display logos, products, advertisement and seasonal campaigns. For my cover photo I usually have a photo from a recent shoot, with my logo, website and the words ‘Specialist UK Equine Portrait Photographer, Blogger & Vlogger’ on it. This means that somebody visiting my Facebook page for the first time will instantly know who I am and what I do. And I change it regularly to keep it fresh, seasonal and relevant.

You can also use your cover photo as a call to action. For example, at Christmas, you could have a Christmas themed photograph, with an advert for your Christmas campaign on it. You can use the image description to add links and details about the specific campaign.

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

Your Page – About Section

The next thing to focus on is your ‘About’ section. I’m sure you filled it all in when you first started on Facebook, but you’ve moved on since then. Is it still up to date?

You have the short description, which can be seen on the front of your page as soon as somebody lands on it. In this, you need to sum up your business in just a couple of sentences. Your ‘elevator pitch’, if you like. What do people need to know when they first glance at your page? Perhaps your location, or that you’re based online? What it is you offer?

And then there is the long description, or ‘Bio’ in some cases (depending on how your page has been set up) where you can go into a lot more detail. Once again, I strongly believe in including personal details in your About section, both on social media and on your website. Don’t be afraid to be yourself. Your audience want to know who it is they’re connecting with. People will trust and relate to you so much more, for it and in turn, they will be more likely to do business with you.

Don’t forget to fill in all of your website links, contact details, etc. It’s important that it’s easy for people to get in touch with you.

 

So, that’s all I have for you for this week’s FYI FRIDAY, but next week, we’ll continue this Facebook for Business series and talk all about beating Facebook’s algorithms, increasing your engagement and how to use content marketing.

If you have any questions that you’d like me to address in next week’s post, please don’t hesitate to leave them down below in the comments. And of course, always feel free to just leave a message of appreciation, or just a hello, if you’d like to connect. Those are always nice to read, too. 🙂

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