Establishing social media pages for your livestock operation is an essential part of marketing your operation in today’s day and age. While it seems most breeders gravitate towards Facebook, there is value in also using Instagram, Twitter, and even Snapchat. With all of these social media tools, it is important to utilize them in the correct way to maximize your online presence. So how are you supposed to navigate the social media marketing world? Below are some tips to consider and think about when using social media to advertise and market your brand.
Consistency is key in the marketing world. With so many different platforms (website, email blast, Facebook, Instagram, print ads, etc.) it can be pretty easy for your brand and marketing to become muddled. It is important to prioritize staying consistent in your messaging across all areas of your brand to allow instant recognition in the industry.
Once you have decided on a logo and colors, you should aim to stick to those. Graphics and designs that are used on your website, should cross over and be implemented on your social media pages. You need to create one unifying theme that will resonate with customers and clients. The ultimate goal is for people to know who you are based on a design or ad, without even needing to read your name or see your logo.
So how do we accomplish this on social media? People tend to argue that posting the same thing across multiple platforms becomes redundant, and while this may hold true at times, the truth is that the repetitiveness is actually stamping your brand and look into people’s minds. When you are creating content for social media, it should fall in line with the same look, feel and verbiage that anyone would see elsewhere from your brand. This may mean you tweak wording or the graphic to match the social media platform, but you still want to get each piece of information out on all social platforms.
Creating content that replicates what is seen on a website or a print ad can be difficult if you aren’t a graphic designer, but most any marketing professional today offers social media management services, and this may be something for you and your operation to look into if you are struggling to form a consistent look. After all, breeders are forced to wear many hats, and social media guru might not be in the cards for you.
Launching your Social Pages
Let’s talk about launching your business social media pages. Your brand/logo should be used as your profile pictures. It will be the first thing people associate with your page and the image that resonates the strongest with them. After that, determining what to place as a cover photo on Facebook and Twitter can be challenging. This image will be the first large branding piece that people see when visiting your page. Initially, having a graphic with names, contact information, and even your website URL, may be helpful in letting people know who you are or how to learn more about your brand. But we also encourage you to update this with sale dates, or recent winners.
What do I post?
In order to answer this question, you need to first know what your goal is with marketing on each social platform. Is it for people to get to know you? Are you trying to sell pigs? Do you want to advertise winners? More than likely, it is probably a combination of all of the above. Your content needs to reflect your goals. In the beginning, you may want to give background and pictures reflecting your brand and the people behind it. As time goes on and people have your face established with your brand, you can then focus more on advertising your sale pigs and posting pictures of recent winners. Once you have reached a certain point in your social marketing, creating a calendar to plan out some of your posts or content can be extremely helpful, that’s what we do here at Showpig.com. It is all about planning what your followers want to see during specific times of the year. Planning this out saves a lot of future headaches.
Do I need to create content?
During certain times of the year, sale season in particular, you will have a lot of content to post, but it is important to remember that you need to consistently post content throughout the year. This gives you an opportunity to highlight foundation sows, boars, or even the juniors that maybe exhibiting your livestock. This is when it is important to create content that continues to keep people engaging with your page. During busy times, you may be posting to Facebook between 5-6 times a week. During slower times, you should still be posting 2-3 times a week to keep people following your brand and your story. Each page will give you statistics on when the best time to post is for your specific following. *HELPFUL POSTING TIP*: Posting during the week will get more engagement than posting on the weekend!
What is boosting? How does it work?
We often get asked what boosting a post means and how it helps you. Well first and foremost, in order to boost a post, you should ensure that there isn’t text covering more than 20% of the image you are promoting. Previously, Facebook wouldn’t allow you to boost these images, and while they allow it now, your post won’t be as successful when boosting if it contains a lot of text and Facebook will send a warning about the amount of text contained in an image.
Boosted posts, just like many of the things we have talked about, should have a goal in mind. Each boosted post should have a clear and concise message, directing people to take an action. When boosting, you are given two options; get more likes or get people to message you. If you are trying to publicize a winner, it would be best to try to get more likes and engagement, meanwhile, if you are trying to sell pigs, you may want people to directly message or contact you. The amount you decide to spend is entirely up to you. The more you spend, however, the more engagement you will get. Typically, posts that are boosted for an extended period of time will be the most successful. Plan to make a post and boost it, depending on the event or item you are advertising, for anywhere between 3-10 days.
Too often people associate Instagram as a platform that only young people have. While this may hold true in the sense that almost every millennial is very active on IG, the main question is, why wouldn’t you want to target this demographic? Your junior exhibitors are on Instagram! Not to mention, more and more people are choosing Instagram as the best platform to market and sell items. Navigating Instagram, tagging yourself or showpig.com, is as easy as a click of a button!
As previously stated, junior exhibitors are the main demographic you can target on Instagram. While they may not have the money to purchase anything, they will also be the first people to find a picture of an animal for sale on IG and turn around to their parents and say “Hey, look at this one!” This also provides a unique opportunity to post winning pictures, tagging junior exhibitors, and highlighting the kids that purchase their projects from you! This demographic will also do marketing for you, sharing your posts on their own Instagram stories and getting their followers to follow you.
The use of hashtags is key when it comes to using Instagram. Creating your operation hashtag and using it on EVERY post is important. Hashtagging and marking your location can also help to draw new followers. Some other common hashtags to include to draw more people would be #showpigs, #stocksshowlife, and of course #showpigcom! Just about every brand has an Instagram and tagging those brands and including their hashtag can help to promote your page and business as well!
Snapchat is a whole other area of social media marketing that is becoming wildly popular in the show livestock industry when it comes to selling animals. Snapchat can engage people to talk and discuss with you after you have posted an animal being for sale. The most frequent complaint we get from people holding online sales is that too many people buying online wait until the night of the sale or into extended bidding before they contact a seller. Want to find a way to get people engaged in asking questions and knowing more information before then? Go to Snapchat!
It might go without saying, but it is important to build your Snapchat friends list with buyers to effectively market to them through this platform. You can do this by posting your Snapchat username on your business social media pages, adding it to your auction page, or going through your linked phone contacts and adding them. When using your Snapchat account to promote your show pigs, it is a different mindset than why you are usually snapchatting someone.
On Snapchat, you don’t have to have a separate business account, just use your own! Post pictures or videos of sale lots to your story, with just the basic information (lot number, sale date, sale platform, etc.) and then let the people come to you. It takes about 5 seconds for a person to see a picture of your sale animal on Snapchat and then immediately type in the “send a chat” bar, asking what that animal is or wanting to know more info. This is a great way to engage people weeks before the sale or even the day of your sale, garnering interest in your animals long before the sale closes. Another positive to Snapchat is posting unedited, raw picture and video of the sale animals. In an era when Photoshop has taken over, people have begun to start trusting Snapchat as a place to see images and videos of livestock that haven’t been edited. Give your clients and buyers an honest look at your stock. They will appreciate it and trust you as a seller.
Most people tend to have a love or hate relationship with Twitter, but it is an area of marketing you can use. Twitter is great for posting short blurbs of information and can largely be used to drawback to your other pages, like Facebook or Instagram. Twitter is mainly used for publishing news, so you can use it for publishing news about your operation as well. However, Twitter only allows a certain number of characters in any post, meaning you need to be short and concise. Post a picture, include basic information and then drive your followers back to your other pages or your sale site on Showpig.com. Twitter is also a great place to use your hashtags. The more you use your hashtag, the more popular it becomes and the more widely searched it will become. Twitter won’t help you write your story, but it will help to promote your other pages, website, or even print ads, which will let people know who you are and what your story is.
Struggling with putting together a social media plan? Don’t know how to manage your Facebook content? Let Showpig.com help! Contact the team and let us help you get started.
When putting together your social media plan for the new year, take advantage of our current deal! Through January 1st get 3 social media graphics for $100. Let us help you stand out from the crowd!
Katey Brattain 765-720-2769
Stacey Watje 209-604-2542
Emily Miller 419-575-5999
Taylor Miller 419-822-1796
Tonya Fender 937-402-6599