You have posted your horse’s for sale ad, we have approved it and visitors can see the ad on Horses of the West. Now what?
The horse market is pretty competitive today so it’s a good idea to do everything you can to increase visibility and traffic to your ad. Sure, we run the paid for Google ads and others for Horses of the West in general and we provide social media exposure for your ad on our Facebook and Twitter feeds, but what else can you do? Actually, you can do a lot!
Still the largest of the social media sites, Facebook is a great place to share links to your Horses of the West (HotW) ads. Once your ad is up, it’s really easy and quick to get a nice looking post to show up on Facebook. But first we have to be able to copy the URL or website address for your horse’s ad.
How to copy a URL or website address
Open two browser windows. Navigate to your HotW ad in one of them and to your Facebook page on the other.
Then click on the URL or web address of your ad. If you click just once (don’t double click) your entire address should turn blue to show you that it is selected. To copy that address, you can Right Click over the top of the address. That will give you a context sensitive pop up menu and Copy is the choice you want. Left click on the word Copy. That copies your ad’s URL or web address to the (invisible) clipboard so that you can paste it into a status update on Facebook.
An alternative method of copying is to select what you want to copy and then hold down the Control button on your keyboard and type a “c”. That will also copy to your clipboard.
How to paste your ad into Facebook (or the others)
Now switch to the browser window that has your Facebook page showing. See where it gives you a place to enter your status update? Type an introductory line or two about your horse, type Enter to go to a new line, and then right click at the beginning of that new line.. That should give you a menu from which you can choose Paste. (Alternative, Control + “v”.) That should paste the website address of your horse’s ad to the status bar.
Now you’ll need to just wait, possibly for a whole minute. Facebook should figure out that you just added a URL and go find information from the website to go with that address. It will generally give you a thumbnail picture, the title of the page, and a few lines of text from the ad. Pretty cool, huh?
Under your thumbnail picture you should see some arrows which will let you choose which picture you want to show. Click those arrows to choose one that will work really well for that little square area. Sometimes you’ll get HotW’s advertisers buttons in your choices – sorry about that but usually you can just click past them and find your horse’s best picture.
Now you can click to post your status update to your Facebook timeline. Have some friend’s you would like to show your ad to? Share your new post on their timelines too.
Do you belong to any Facebook groups related to horses? Many, many groups on Facebook allow members to post information about their horses for sale. If you belong to groups that your horse might interest, be sure to post on them as well. Search for and join other groups that allow posting of horses like yours. One caution – please read the instructions for each Group to be sure that your horse fits that group’s rules. Don’t post a weanling on a group for advertising kid broke riding horses, you’ll just make a bad reputation for yourself.
Trouble? If Facebook doesn’t go grab the information from your ad after you paste the link into your status bar, sometimes it helps to refresh or reload the browser window with Facebook in it and then type in your text and paste in your web address quickly and post it. It’s almost like Facebook can’t find the information from another site if that window has been in the same place very long. And once in a rare while it just won’t go find the other website’s information. You can just paste in the link and it will be there for people to click on.
Craigslist is free and it gets a ton of traffic. Why wouldn’t you post a classifieds on there with a link back to your Horses of the West ad?
Here’s the easiest way. Type in a good ad title, a quick sentence or two to describe your horse and encourage readers to click through to a link to your horse’s ad here. To paste that link into your craigslist ad, just copy it from the address bar in your browser and paste it into the ad text box. Having the address on a line of its own is always good.
Google+ is Google’s version of Facebook. Some people call it Facebook for grownups because it tends to be more business-like and is a great place to find technical information. It’s currently not nearly as active with horse people but there are some. If you have a G+ page, you might as well post your horse ad to it, just as you did to Facebook. On Google+ you’ll want to type #Horses (pronounced “hashtag horses”) at the end of your text and before you paste the link.
This is the social media site that is all about photos – so pictures of horses fit right in. How much good will it do you? That’s hard to predict so far but if you already have a Pinterest board, you should go to your horse ad and Pin at least one of your photos.
If Pinterest doesn’t interest you in any way other than to Pin your ads, it is probably not, at this point, worth the effort to sign up for it. However, it is a neat site and you might enjoy it. It’s importance to horse marketing could easily change in the future. For artists, it may well be the most important social site already.
That’s a quick summary of some of the major social media outlets that you should consider to help promote your ad. Sure, we’ll be doing similar things on our own social media pages, but your social media efforts will add to what we can do. It doesn’t cost money, chances are you are visiting those sites anyway – so please take the time to post your ad.
What social media strategies do you use successfully? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.