Horse mad on social media


Badminton Horse Trials was the centre of the twittersphere for anyone with an equine interest, according to Equigeek, a company that provides top quality computer assistance to those in the equine industry.

The Badminton Horse Trials were trending!

The Equestrian world has certainly embraced the entire social media phenomenon, but doesn’t it make perfect sense? We are always, on the hoof, quite literally, and social media works extremely well from mobile devices. We are people of (relatively) few words, so often 140 characters just suits, and really, we don’t have time for messing around, and it gets right to the point.

Not only that, but our sport has been marginalised by television producers the world over, as something for the wee hours, or the red button! This more than anything, gave rise to the swell of twitter and facebook traffic last weekend.

Horse and Country TV had the following editorial policy – “Part of our editorial premise for the event was to provide a full Twitter commentary so that those unable to be there could get up to the second commentary from the event.”

The Badminton Website gave us BHT Radio, with Pammy Hutton, and Carl Hestor giving priceless commentary.

On the hashtag #BHT2011 alone, there were over 2500 tweets , about everything from the leader board to shoe choices! Facebook also played a large part, several pages providing up-dates on a regular basis.

The Irish Horse World joined in, with regular updates on twitter @TheIrishFieldHW and Facebook( and it was very much a win win situation. People got up to-date news and gossip from Badminton, as well as updates from Sponsors as to how their riders were doing, and even in some cases from riders themselves, most notably Mark Todd. @MTEventing is Mark Todd’s twitter persona, and gave us great insight into how things were going. After his first round of showjumping he tweeted “one down for Milo – hope that is my only fence of the day”

Which it was!.

Twitter followers were among the first to know the result on Monday,  as well as how Esib Power was doing, and whether Ashdale Cruise Master had injured himself in that fall.

Social media gives us an access all areas pass to places we would normally be excluded from,and it’s not just events and visitors that are taking advantage of this new audience.Sponsors and suppliers are now finding it a very effective way of reaching their target market.

They are utilising Facebook, Twitter and You tube to get their message across, and make their voices heard., with announcements of special offers and new product releases.

We are even one of the first industries to have our own Social Media Awards.

Asked what equestrian bsinesses can learn from the weekend, Liam Killen from the Equestrian Social Media Awards said,”Any equestrian business looking for social media inspiration, the ESMA finalists are worth watching. Not everyone can afford an online marketing department, but that’s why social media is so powerful – all it takes is your time. The bar has been raised by what we’ve seen over the last 2 weeks. The FEI is now getting in on the social media action with the launch of their Facebook page and Twitter account.”

Liam revealed exclusively that,

“The finals of the 2012 ESMAs will see the introduction of an expert panel. The marks of the expert panel will constitute 50% of the total, with the public vote making up the remaining 50%.

Some of the world’s top names in PR and digital marketing are onboard. Full list of experts will be announced later this year.”