Top tips from equestrian social media’s big hitters: ideas to help you improve your Instagram, Facebook and YouTube

  • Have you ever wondered how some equestrians’ social media accounts grow so big and others don’t?

    There are lots of factors to consider, and just having a look at the accounts below will show the diversity across the content, the fan base, the style, and so much else. There are, however, lots of ways to improve your chances of becoming one of the equestrian world’s social media big hitters. Or, more precisely, grow a genuine following online. Things like being consistent, creating genuinely good content, and putting time into engaging are huge. And not only can these things seriously boost your equestrian following (and, most importantly, the quality of the following), they don’t cost a penny!

    To give additional tips and hints to help you develop your social media following on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube in particular, we caught up with some of the people behind the biggest and most engaged social media accounts in the equestrian world.

    Be genuine, supportive and entertaining

    Gracie Tyte
    Instagram @pony_nuts (109k), @ponynuts_extras (39k)
    Youtube Pony Nuts – 32k subscribers – over 3 million views

    “Enjoy it! It’s so easy to get caught up in the likes and follows, and that isn’t really the point of social media,” says Gracie. “Instead, I think it’s important to be genuine, supportive, and entertaining as you share your journey.”

    Gracie also believes how important it is to share all the parts of the journey, the good and the bad: “No one is perfect!”

    Capture everything

    Emily Lewis
    Instagram @kizzy_and_etties_ponies (56k)
    Facebook https://www.facebook.com/kizzyandettiesponyadventures/ (19k)

    Emily’s daughters Kizzy and Ettie (pictured top) shot to equestrian Instagram fame as Emily started to share their antics on social media. One of tips centres around what you think is worthy of filming.

    “Get yourself a fully functioning Smartphone with a good battery and film everything,” says Emily. “You just never know when you’re going to get a little gem! Some of my biggest hits such as ‘Cinderella Whoosh’, ‘Well this is a lively little morning’, and ‘Beaten by a Shetland’ almost didn’t make the cut as I thought they weren’t interesting enough. You can never tell what will be a hit, and you might just go viral.”

    Relevant equestrian hashtags and don’t rise to negativity

    Ben Atkinson
    Instagram @ben_actionhorses (182k)
    Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Ben-Atkinson-528940100483796/ (29k)

    “Stick to relevant hashtags. I use just five – my team, my sponsors and the two biggest equine tags. Don’t try adding every single hashtag on earth just to reach more people,” explains Ben, who’s an equestrian trainer and performer. It pays to do your hashtag research – a really simple way to do this is to type a hashtag in and Instagram will show how many times the tag has been used, and also similar tags.

    “Never rise to negativity. No matter if you post about your horse in his stable munching hay or sharing a milestone, someone out there could try and have a go at you,” says Ben. “I never reply, I just delete the comments and block the people. Keep your social media as a place to celebrate and smile with a positive attitude – blowing out another person’s candle won’t make your flame any brighter.”

    Share the journey and be prepared for negativity as you grow your following

    Kate Lewis
    Instagram @blobthecob (117k)
    YouTube https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCGT3ZqmjakPwvim8gAhrs9A
    (31k subscribers, 3.6 million views)

    “Post as much as possible,” says Kate. “Being an equestrian is difficult and for viewers seeing how you get on in day to day life can inspire them to keep going with their horses and remain positive.

    “I like to see the good and bad. Social media has a tendency to make everyone look perfect. No one likes to post their falls or eliminations. However, as influencers it’s important we share with our younger audience that it isn’t all sunshine and rainbows! We’ve all had bad days.”

    But it’s not all good as your account grows – this is something of a recurring theme.

    “Once social media grows you will start to see a lot more negative comments across your platforms. It’s hard not to let it get to you, but I think the best thing to do is to remove these comments or block and report those responsible. Remember the only opinions that should matter to you are that of your family, friends and coach!”

    You don’t need expensive equipment – be original and use your imagination.

    Esme Higgs
    Insatgram @this_esme (101k)
    YouTube https://www.youtube.com/c/ThisEsMe
    261k subscribers, 38.3 million views

    Esme has grown a serious following on Instagram and has recently worked with the FEI: “My advice would be that you don’t need expensive equipment. I got most of the way on my YouTube journey using a phone and free editing software. The most important thing is to have a passion and be yourself, be original, use your imagination to make the content you want to make.”

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    Try new things and share the journey

    Jesse Drent
    Instagram @_jessedrent (346k)
    YouTube https://www.youtube.com/user/jessetjuhhh/
    95k subscribers, 3.7 million views

    “Try out some edits and see what you like,” says Jesse. “Instagram has some good options itself and there are more apps that can help.

    “Try to get some variation. Try to go a little out of your comfort zone otherwise people won’t be paying attention any more.”

    Jesse is also very aware of how his following is more than just a number.

    “It is amazing how you can get such a big ‘internet family’. I am really grateful for every single person that follows me and always like to meet them at events so I also get to see some of their faces.

    “Numbers are still real people, don’t forget that! Even when you get a million messages, go through a few messages sometimes and put a little effort into appreciating them.”

    For all the latest news analysis, competition reports, interviews, features and much more, don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine, on sale every Thursday.

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