Brand coaching + visibility​: a winning​ team

EQ Athletica Product review 3I’ve had the pleasure over the past few months to work with a young entrepreneur to start up a new line of technical riding breeches: EQ Athletica. Manon Schuten, the founder, is the visionary behind the brand, the designer and the one with the drive to launch an innovative new product into a difficult and saturated market.

I’m incredibly proud to say that this week the brand has gone live and is ready to sell via their online shop thanks to an intensive coaching process including the definition of the brand story, the USP, defining the communication strategy and determining a long-term growth strategy.

One of the benefits of working with The stylish equestrian consulting as your brand growth partner is that we can offer not only tailor-made start-up coaching or brand re-positioning, but also immediately offer a platform for visibility to a targeted equestrian audience by leveraging The stylish equestrian social media (Instagram, Facebook and blog): Brand coaching + visibility: a winning team

Go have a look at the latest product review for EQ Athletica’s first line of technical breeches and get in touch if this could be an option to help boost your brands’ awareness and visibility.

Boosting your brand visibility with targeted social media collaborations

4 seasons in one day

You want a very select group of consumers to get to know your brand, but you’re not sure how to go about it?

Why not work with a select group of social media influencers who can not only showcase your brand to an extremely targeted audience, but also endorse your products with genuine support and product reviews for increased credibility.

A good example is thestylishequestrian.com: a platform that showcases the latest trends and provides daily inspiration for the ultimate street to stable lifestyle. Working with the stylish equestrian has brought small businesses new distribution opportunities and large brands the targeted visibility they require for growing their brand with the right audience.

The stylish equestrian provides tailored visibility packages that include visibility in the signature sets on multiple social media platforms, but also brand ambassador programs that include product reviews, Instagram endorsement to over 31K followers and the option to run give-away competitions.

Want to work with The stylish equestrian or need some advice on how best to increase your brand visibility?

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Digital detox

Screen Shot 2017-03-07 at 07.38.40.pngWhen vacationing in the Philippines, our phones decided to go for a surprise swim in the South China Sea. Imagine the shock and horror of someone who lives off of being a social media influencer and consultant: losing your phone is pretty much like having your right arm chopped off.

 

Well, actually, that’s how it felt the first 12 hours, but then, slowly, it gave me time to have a little think about how much posting is really needed and made me realise that checking the instagram likes and website stats every 20 minutes might not be necessary, especially not when vacationing on a magical Island like Palawan.

Of course I could have used all kinds of pre-scheduling apps like Hootesuite or solve Instagram posting problems with a solution from your pc to Instagram like Gramblr, but me being a bit of a spontaneous, spur of the moment, what’s good right now kind of poster, didn’t think I would need these during our holiday.

So, my forced small scale digital detox got me thinking: how much online activity is really needed and how much is too much? Ironically, I found myself discussing exactly this query earlier this week with a couple just starting their Stand Up Paddle Board business in Ibiza (check’m out here – a must do when on the island!). Well, it depends…. are you intending to become a social media influencer and want to get noticed by brands, then probably there really is no limit to how much you post, as long as you retain the quality over quantity rule. Are you a small business and want to attract customers, then relatively slow is probably the way to go, focusing more on generating website traffic and loyal followers, but even here, quality over quantity is the golden rule.

Island vacationing has given me ample examples of when the digital addiction might be taking the upper hand. A few 20 something girls for example, were with us on a magnificent tour of the Bacuit archipelago and spent most of their time checking their selfies and their likes in insta: seems like a bit of a pity to not enjoy the magical location and moment a bit more. Hey, I was also guilty of a selfie or two and posted a quick update to my Instagram stories (with a back-up phone), but that was it, for most of the time we just enjoyed the view.

Over dinner we encountered a few more 20 something ladies taking pictures of their food. Everyone does it, and if you’re writing a foodie or travel blog, then by all means go ahead. But, if like in this case, you’d like to gain some likes and followers on your social media profiles, maybe a pic of a plain pasta in the wonderful Pilipino Islands is not what’s going to boost it for you.

Quality over quantity, my golden rule. Maybe taking this forced mini digital detox has helped me realise this even more. Taking a few days off (you are on holiday after all) isn’t really a a bad thing. It gives you time to relax, reflect, regroup and come back more focussed and energised.

Would you like to know more about how to find your ideal quality over quantity ratio for your business or social media profile or how to schedule posts so you can enjoy a little digital detox yourself?

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How to get more likes on Instagram – equestrian style…

Screen Shot 2017-02-16 at 17.12.26.pngData tells us that colorful pics, particularly those predominantly washed in blue, get the most likes on Instagram (blue, really?). But it takes more than a fast filter to attract, and engage, a dedicated following on instagram.

I’ve done some searching to find the magic formula… which unfortunately doesn’t exist. I did however come across some top tips from the fashion industry and have translated them into equestrian relevant instagramming tips and tricks.

 

1. Be you

If you want to build a real presence on Instagram, you must first and foremost “be you” or keep it real (read more on that here….), and although you should keep your followers engaged with a regular flow of relevant and curated content, there should not be an overdose of you. Most successful instagrammers and bloggers mix it up with a few personal posts and other original content. So maybe mix up the horse selfies or Eskadron sets with a spontaneous snap or an impression of your beautiful barn surroundings.

2. Find your groove

Finding your groove applies to how you pace your posting to the general ‘theme’ of your stream. Being consistent helps followers to get a sense of who you are and really get connected to your point of view. It took me over a year to find my groove, but paying close attention to what your followers want to see, is worth the time spent and the homework done. Find what they love and suits you best and stick with it. This takes time and there will always be a pic with a little less engagement, but keep going. Do you have great shots of you and your horse at competition, or are you best at artistic seat shots, and do your followers respond to these? Keep’m coming!

3. Connect

Want to gain engagement fast without compromising your account by using one of the many like-follow bots out there? Connect! Connect with accounts you love and the ones with followers that you think would be a great fit for your account. Find a creative way to collaborate (don’t just ask for a shoutout, there needs to be a benefit for both of you!) and be active on their accounts. On my own account (@the_stylish_equestrian currently at 28.4K followers) a major growth boost has come from my collaborations with larger accounts in the form of special edition blog posts. This not only got me noticed, but also landed me some great new Instagram friends.

Would you like an objective editing eye to have a look at your Instagram and help you find your groove?

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To #hashtag or not to #hashtag

hashtag-horseWelcome to the wonderful world of the #hashtag. What was once upon a time the key to press to indicate confirmation on a dial phone or representing a number in written text, is now THE symbol for social media communication.

#confused? No problem, here’s the lowdown on what it is, why and when you should use it, and … when to cool it on the #hashtag usage (i.e. when it becomes #awkward)

 

#WHAT

A hashtag is a type of label used on social media platforms which makes it easier for users to find messages with a specific theme or content. Users create and use hashtags by placing the “#” in front of a word or unspaced phrase, either in the main text of a message or at the end.

#WHY

Searching for that hashtag will yield each message that has been tagged with it. A practical example, on Instagram, the hashtag #horse allows users to find all the posts that have been tagged using that hashtag.

#WHEN to #hashtag and #WHEN NOT to #hashtag

You can use hashtags on a variety of social media like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google+, Vine, Pinterest etc etc. Let’s focus on two examples:

Twitter: This is really where the whole hash tagging phenomenon got started, and Twiter offers a bit more versatility in hashtags than with other social media. Twitter hashtags are used to denote topics of conversation, which can then become ‘trending’. In the ‘trending’ sidebar you can find a list of popular hashtags you might be interested in. Recent ‘trending’ hashtag examples: #trump, #beyonce or more relevant for equestrian businesses #horsehour.

Instagram & Facebook: : Hashtags can be used to complement photos shared on Instagram (& Facebook) and help you discover new accounts and pick up followers. Some hashtags were created specifically for Instagram photo challenges like #tbt (throw back thursday – THE retro photo #).

Hashtags can help you gain awareness and followers if used correctly, within context and sparingly: #do #not #over #do #it #because #it #makes #you #look #a #bit #silly….

In order to be successful with (Instagram) hashtags, it’s important to be strategic about your hashtag usage. The “most popular” Instagram hashtags are just simple words, and while tagging #love #happy #fun may get you a few more likes, it’s not going to do much for your growth long term. Instead of using the most popular Instagram hashtags, it’s better to use the top Instagram hashtags that have an engaging community behind them and are specific to your audience i.e. #equestrian, #oldenburger #dressage.

In fact, the narrower the scope of the hashtag, the more engaged the users usually are. You can even go as far as creating your own # and continue using it a on all your communication.

screen-shot-2017-02-02-at-17-29-02The maximum hashtags you can use on an Instagram post is 30. But, 30 really is overdoing it a bit. Posting a wide variety of hashtags in your caption doesn’t look great, and could come across as a bit too promotional and slightly inauthentic. Instead, try choosing a few relevant hashtags that are most representative of your photo to use in your caption, and if you’d like to add more, then you could choose to add the rest in the first comment.

Here’s a list of a few popular Equestrian hashtags to get your started:

#equestrian #stallion #horsesofinstagram #andalusian #instahorse #horse #grateful #olympics #twohearts #horses #equine #horstagram #caballo #pferd #cheval #dressage #horseriding #pony #horselover #love #equinelove #horsetagram #horsebackriding #jumpinghorse #jumping #horselove #equestrians #equestrianlife

Still a bit lost? We can help you find the best ‘hash tagging strategy’ to build your business or grow your personal branding.

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