I recently moved across the country, and when I got settled into my new home, I wanted to find horse shows or other equine events where I could get to know the local equestrian community. So, I did what any modern human would do nowadays… I asked Google. Of course, there were endless search results, but very few that showed me what I was specifically looking for. To find a moderately sized local event in my discipline, I had to overhear someone talking about one when I was getting my hair cut!
Horse people, we can do better than this! It’s easy to find big A-shows and national events. It’s also easy for former attendees, or people on your email/phone/mailing list to find your event. However, for people new to the sport or the area- who are often qualified and worthy leads- they have to get lucky. Thankfully, you can consolidate your promotion efforts to three main places to get the most bang for your buck. If you are seeking out horse shows, events, or just like-minded horse crazy individuals, these are also the best ways to search.
Remember, in promoting your event, you aren’t just gaining more exhibitors or participants, you’re attracting spectators, media, and social media followers. In doing so, you are growing your brand, and gaining credibility in the industry.
Seems obvious, doesn’t it? There are nearly 2 billion people using Facebook. Even so, it’s a widely underutilized tool- and there is a proper method. Use the “Events” tab on your organization’s Facebook page, and then Create An Event.
Your cover photo for the event should be 1200x 628 pixels. Upload a high-quality image that effectively reflects the tone of your event. Though this tool, you can also add tags like dressage, horse shows, or equestrian.
Utilize Facebook groups, as well as friends or others involved in the event, and post your event to their page. Don’t forget local riding organizations and clubs, or even sales pages. That way, anyone in the group will see the event.
Tag others involved every time you post about the event- which you should do on a regular basis. Certainly a few times a week as the event gets closer. Perhaps you receive the ribbons for the competition or get a bunch of flowers and decoration: Take a photo and post it. When the show ring is freshly manicured and looking beautiful, post again.
Post the event on your Facebook timeline as “Status Updates” counting down to the event, and under the “Events” area. For added effect, boost the post to thousands of people on Facebook for (we recommend a budget as affordable as just $15.00 per post to start). You can target people who are showing interest in horses, shows, equestrian sports- or even get more specific.
Instagram is a very quickly growing medium that can effectively draw new interest to your event if you know how to use it. Studies have shown that Instagram users are the most highly engaged among all social media, so that means they are most likely to share your event or post.
Instagram photos should again be high-quality and 1080×1080 pixels. You can upload multiple photos per post, as well as videos. The secret weapon, when it comes to Instagram, are your specifically chosen hashtags. Use multiple hashtags every time you post about the event. You can even copy and paste your favorite set of hashtags into a note in your phone for easy access. Feel free to get creative, and use the hashtags to seek out your general as well as specific audience. First, use Instagram’s search took to see what applicable hashtags have been used and followed. For example, if you live in Austin, Texas, and you are holding a hunter jumper clinic, you could apply the following set of hashtags: #austinhunterjumper #centraltexashunterjumper #hunterjumperclinic #hunterjumper #centraltexashorseshows #atxhorses #usaequestiran #centraltexashorses
Anyone following these hashtags will see your events. They are likely to comment, like or share them, which then further extends your reach.
Make sure you also tag others involved. This could be your clinician or manager, or farms and riders you know are attending. This is a great way to maximize your exposure. Just like with Facebook, use these same hashtags and people every time you post about the event. You can link your Instagram and Facebook together so that you can post once and get exposure on both mediums, so take advantage!
Even if people find out about your event through Facebook or Instagram, they will probably seek out more information through Google. And if people are actively searching for an event, Google is most likely to be their first method.
First, make sure you have a page for that event, and that the page is easy to find on your homepage. The event page should provide all details, such as time, place, parking, prize list, entry blank, and any other pertinent documents or information. Even better, include photos or testimonials from previous events.
Then, you can use your Google My Business page to make your event easy to find.
- Go to your Google My Business page.
- Go to Posts, on left-hand navigation menu.
- Click on Write a Post, and choose Events.
- Fill in the details!
There is so much more you can do like blogging about the event, optimizing SEO for the event, and using Google Adwords. The above is just the tip of the iceberg. If you want some help creating an effective and professional promotion for your events, contact us at Top Line Media Team and see how we can help you make take your event to the next level.