Are you running a horse business? If so, chances are you would rather spend time with horses than deal with social media. I feel your pain.  When it comes to social media for horse businesses, we are often strugging with what we should do, what we have time to do, and what actually works for our lives. 

As an equestrian business owner myself, I can say that I would definitely prefer hanging out with some cool horses to staying online all day. After all, my cell phone can’t give me horsey smooches.

Unfortunately, social media has invaded our everyday lives. Not only on a personal level but also as an equestrian business owner.


Do you ever feel like every social media guru out there is giving you advice…and it’s all different?


Post every day!

No, post 3 times a day!

Search relevant hashtags!

Post something different on every platform!

Make on-trend videos!

Write detailed captions!

Always show your face!

Smile, Dance, and point like the good little business owner you are!

Have the perfect thing to post no matter what the situation!

Engage every single day, 23 hours a day, 365 days a year. (You get one hour to sleep).

Pressure on horse business owners is building to be present 100% of the time on social media.

Who’s got time to run a business? Especially if you are a one-woman show?

I mean, seriously, a girl needs to eat.  Maybe catch a few zzzs? Relax?


But here’s the thing…


I don’t know about you but I have a life outside of social media.

I have teenagers…and trust me when I tell you that’s a full-time job in and of itself.

I have aging parents and in-laws. A husband who travels with work. I run a full-time equine photography business.

I have two dogs who need attention – a lot of attention.

Seriously, their neediness is a little embarrassing…

I try to keep my home…well, not “cleaned”…but at least picked up.

What’s a girl to do?


Tips for Easy Social Media for Horse Businesses


Whether we like it or not, social media is here to stay. And, like many people, I have a love-hate relationship with social media.

It has connected me to some amazing people that I would have never known otherwise. It has made it easier to keep in touch with friends and family who live far away.

Social media does have value for horse business owners.

Starting with the fact that much of it is free. If your business budget is tight, it can be an affordable way to help market an equestrian business or brand.

But, it is, and should be, only one of many marketing tools you use to promote your horse business and brand.

Social media can amplify brand messaging. But, it’s at its most powerful when it’s one part of a solid marketing strategy. 


Truth Bomb:


Should you build a business only on social media?

Nope, nope, nope!


Every Day a New Social Media Platform


Does anyone remember Clubhouse? Clubhouse was going to be the next big thing when it comes to social media.

There was this huge surge with “everyone who is anyone” rushing to set up a Clubhouse account. That lasted about 2 months.

And Clubhouse is only one example of a new hot platform to go cold pretty quickly.

Believe me, there are others. We’ve just all forgotten their names.

The fact is, you can’t be everywhere. Nor should you want to be.


Truth Bomb:


As a horse business owner, the end goal of any marketing effort is to make your business money.

If you are on “all the platforms” I’m guessing you have a bunch of accounts you never use or only use rarely. Or, you have a staff with someone dedicated to handling all your social media accounts.

So, instead of having accounts on all the platforms, pick one or maybe two.  And do it well.

As a horse business owner, the end goal of any marketing effort is to make your business money.

So, which do you think will net you more income in the long run?

One social media account that is well done? Or 9 different accounts on different platforms that get one or two posts a year?

So, now you are probably thinking, ok, all the kids are using snap chat! So that’s what I’ll do.

Not so quick there, Skippy.

Consider this:

Which platforms do you actually like using?

Which platforms actually work the way your brain does?  I know it sounds stupid but on some of the platforms, I can’t wrap my brain around how to post or create. 

I’m looking at you, Instagram reels…

Do you loathe to the core of your soul being on camera? If so, why would you want to be on a platform that prioritizes goofy videos?

Where does your ideal client hang out?

If your ideal client is a woman in her 40s why do you want to be on a platform that speaks to teenagers?

These questions will guide you towards which platforms will work best for you.


When it comes to Social Media for Horse Businesses, Follower Numbers Don’t Mean Anything


When social media first came on the scene, followers were the sign of success. You weren’t successful if you didn’t have thousands and thousands of followers.

And then came the “buy some followers” bots… *facepalm*

And, now in 2022, follower numbers don’t mean a thing. We are so quick to latch onto that dreaded number we forget that it doesn’t make a difference.

What counts is engagement.

Here’s why:

Let’s say your Instagram feed has 200,000 followers. 200 people comment or like every post.

Your friend has an account with 2,000 followers and has 50 people commenting or liking every post.

Which account is more successful?

Yeah, I know. Math…

The larger account has a .001% engagement rate. But the smaller account has a .025% engagement rate.

Never forget that your business goal is to make money. So are those inactive, disinterested accounts spending money on your business? Nope, so delete them. Or, at a bare minimum don’t worry about them.

It is far more valuable to your business’s bottom line to have a small engaged following.

The truth is that most followers aren’t wanting to buy your services right now. But by engaging with you, you are top of mind when they are ready to buy or, refer that service to a friend.

Think about it this way:

If you are a small boarding barn in east Tennessee, your focus is people who use boarding barns who are local to you. Those are the people who, if they move to your barn, are going to add to your bottom line.

Sure, it’s great if someone from California likes your account.

But what good does it do for you when it comes to your bottom line? Nothing. So don’t worry about it.


What is the Right Schedule for Social Media for Horse Businesses?


How many social media gurus out there have broken down the “best times” to post on various platforms? If you look at them what you might notice is that none of them really agree on when the best time to post actually is.

I would venture a guess that “when should I post on Instagram/Facebook/TikTok?” is one of the most searched questions about social media.

The truth is that no strategy is going to fit every business model in every type of industry.

So pick a schedule that works for your life and your horse business and go for it.

If you are putting out good quality content designed to talk to your ideal clients, they will find you.

The key isn’t to post at all the different times and days that every guru says.

The key is to be consistent when you post.

In fact, you are better off posting one great post a week than 5 posts of low quality. So, if the only time you have to post something is Sunday afternoon, go for it.

If the best time is while you are waiting for your lesson students in the afternoon, do it then. If you only have time to post 3 times a week at 7 am before the kids get up, do it then.

Consistency and quality matter more than the schedule.

And think about this: As a consumer would you rather visit an account and read a good post after a good post? Or would you rather have to sift through 20 meh posts to find 3 good ones?


Truth Bomb:


The truth is that no strategy is going to fit every business model in every type of industry.

This is what works for me in my equine photography business.

I hop on social media for about 5 minutes in the morning to see if there is anything I need to deal with. Then I don’t look at social again until lunchtime.

At lunch, I do what I laughingly call a “Social Media Power Hour”. In actuality, it’s more like 20-30 minutes.

If I am posting that day, I do that. I spend the rest of the time scrolling a bit and leaving some likes and comments. Then I’m off social all afternoon. 

In the early evening, I do another 5-10 minute scroll. Respond if I need to, and drop some likes and comments. That’s pretty much it.

Does this always work? Nope. Sometimes I’m tied up with a client or a family situation and I can’t get to it.

I also have a timer set on my phone so my social media usage is an hour or less every day. Social media can be a huge time suck if you let it.


Planning and Scheduling Social Media for Horse Businesses


My little Type A heart goes pitter-patter when it comes to systems, time blocks, workflows, and automation.

Yeah, I can nerd out with the best of them. But it’s part of my brand values so it’s ok.

And while you might think to yourself. “Puhhhh, who wants to deal with all that nonsense? I’ve got a business to run.”

Those things have saved me weeks of work over the long run. It’s because of workflows and automation that I have time to have a life. 

Advanced planning means all you have to do is post quickly and Boom! Done! It also means you can put some strategy and think about what you are posting.

You might find it easy to plan weekly, monthly, or even quarterly.

Personally, I usually do it quarterly. I don’t want to have to think about it too much. And, because I tend to run marketing campaigns that change every quarter. Planning in advance also allows you to stay consistent with your brand and messaging.

And, added bonus! If you have a brand image library, you will already have images available for your needs.


Looking for a Planning Program for Social Media?


I currently use a program called Planoly to plan out my social media posts. I have also used Later, Buffer, and Hootsuite before.

Which planner is best for your horse business will depend on several factors:

  • Which platform(s) you use
  • How often you post
  • What media type(s) you want to post
  • How your brain works

While these programs all have paid versions, for many horse businesses the free version will work just fine.


The Negative Aspects of Social Media


You can’t write a post about social media without mentioning the negative aspects.

I like to think that overall most people are decent people. But, without a doubt, social media has brought out the trolls. The people who get some form of enjoyment from making negative comments and causing others to feel bad.

Thankfully, I haven’t had to deal with too much of that. However, I have friends who have had extremely stressful experiences with the negative side of social media.

If you do receive rude comments, delete and block the account.

You don’t have to engage them. They clearly aren’t your ideal client so they don’t matter.  Block, delete, and move on with your day. 

The Follow, Don’t Follow Dilemma


You are not obligated to follow anybody. If a person’s account makes you feel sad or inferior when you see their content, don’t follow.

Comparing yourself to others? Don’t follow!

Does an account make you feel inadequate? Don’t follow!

Keep seeing an account where they seem to have it all together living their amazing life? Don’t forget that social media accounts are highlight reels.

Following someone who looks like a million bucks in every picture? Odds are they took a ton of photos before that they don’t show you.

Worried that people will ask why you unfollowed? You don’t owe anyone an answer if they do ask. But, if you are concerned, you can also always ‘mute’ someone on Instagram. It gives you a break from them popping up on your feed without unfollowing. 

Following your local competition in your market? Why? I don’t. 

It’s nothing personal. I don’t want to know what anyone else is doing in the market because it might make me think about changing what I do.

I have plans, strategies, and goals for my business. So by not following others in my market in the same industry, I’m not tempted to change.

Plus, I’d rather be uniquely me than a poor copy of someone else.



Prune your Social Media Accounts


Have you ever taken the time to look at what Facebook pages you actually like?

Years ago, I read an article that said that many Facebook users liked close to 1000 pages. That seemed pretty high to me so I actually went and looked at my liked pages.

I then realized two things.

First, I was clearly below average on this stat.

And, second, there were pages that I hadn’t seen a post from in years.

Most likely, because my interests had changed. And I stopped interacting with their content.

It’s well worth going through and removing things you aren’t interested in anymore.  

The same idea can be applied to your online friends and contacts. It is always a good time to evaluate and prune. Is it time to unfollow, mute or hide contacts? Most won’t even notice that you did it.

A recent Facebook study found that knowing about the lives of your Facebook friends can affect you negatively. And, while this study is specific to Facebook, it most likely can be said for most forms of social media.

So go through your social media pages, friends, and contacts and clean house.

And, while doing this, add in some pages or accounts that you find entertaining or inspirational. By viewing positive and constructive information on social media, you’ll give your brain a happy break. 


Take a Social Media Break


Do you remember a while back when Facebook, Google, and Instagram were all down for about 6 hours? The world appeared to lose its collective minds.

Millions of people with Twitter accounts – who never used them – flocked to Twitter just to lament that the rest of the platforms were down.

Not me. I didn’t even realize there was a problem until it was almost over. There is a whole wide world out there outside of social media. Enjoy it.

Personally, I have two goals with social media. To engage in a way that will benefit my business. And to keep in touch with friends and family members that I don’t see on a daily basis.

As I mentioned earlier, I have a timer on my phone that stops me from doing the endless scroll. I comment on posts and stories and I reply to comments people have left on my posts. 

Once done, I put the phone down.

In fact, there are a few recent studies that looked at the benefits of this.

Taking a 5-day break from Facebook can lead to lower stress and higher life satisfaction.

If the thought of quitting social for an extended time makes you cringe, consider cutting back without going cold turkey.

Using Facebook, Instagram, or Snapchat just 10 minutes a day for three weeks results in lower loneliness and depression.


Social Media for Horse Businesses


When thinking about social media for horse businesses remember that it shouldn’t be an added stressor in your life. It should be considered a marketing tool that you can you to amplify your equestrian brand or business.

If social media is adding stress to your life, look over these tips and see what adjustments you can make. If that doesn’t work, consider, outsourcing it to someone else so you don’t have to deal with it at all.

Betsy Bird of Ride the Sky Equine Photography spends her days doing insane things to make horses look at her. Clearly, she’s desperate for attention. Outside of acting like a total weirdo, she invests time and energy into growing her business, hanging with her favorite dog, Nitro, dealing with her teenagers’ angst, and planning her next big wheels-up adventure. Betsy is a Certified Professional Photographer (CPP) with the organization Professional Photographers of America (PPA). The CPP designation is held by fewer than 2,500 photographers nationwide and is a hallmark of consistency, technical skill, artistry, and professionalism. Betsy specializes in creating storytelling magic for horse girls of all ages. In other words, she enjoys working with fun-spirited clients who need horse portrait, equestrian senior, and equestrian brand photography. She even throws in some dogs for variety because what true horse girl doesn’t love a great pup too. Based in Chattanooga, TN, Ride the Sky Equine Photography works on location in Tennessee, North Georgia, and beyond.

These photos are copyrighted by their respective owners. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use prohibited.