Its that time of year again so I thought I’d recycle and update a previous post of mine regarding the ESMA’s.
There's 20 General Categories and you can submit up to 3 entries per category if you wish!
So I thought I'd take this opportunity to suggest some possible criteria's on each category to help aid you in your decision, as I realise it can be a bit of a mind field and slightly daunting after all social media is so varied and vast now in the equestrian community!
CATEGORY 1- FACEBOOK
Probably one of the most open categories as is open to anyone with a Facebook account. A top tip for this category is to view the users history/ timeline- Are they regular users - daily or even hourly? And have they been on facebook for a considerable time to be able to warrant the award? Do they inform us of news/ results/ promote offers/ hold competitions/ recommend to other users? And most importantly do they interact with others- its all great having thousands of likes but if they aren’t accessible and approachable are they really using Facebook to their best ability?
CATEGORY 2- TWITTER
Also Probably one of the most open categories as is open to anyone with a Twitter account. A top tip for this category is to view the users past tweets- Are they regular tweeters - daily or even hourly? Have they been on twitter for a considerable time to be able to warrant the award? Do they inform us of news/ results/ promote offers/ hold competitions/ recommend to other tweeters/ interact with other tweeters? If your choosing them for their professionalism are they constant in their manor? Do they use Twitter tools such as “Retweeting” and “Favouring” to good effect e.g. to inform others?
CATEGORY 3- SOCIAL GOOD
Which Charity or campaign has best explained their needs using social media? Have they done any fundraising ideas which are unique? Do they associate with any other businesses or professionals to help the cause? Has their social media interaction lead to you investigate their charity or campaign further and perhaps partake in an associated activity (whether that be creating your own charity show in aid of the particular charity/ cause or buying a product that will help the charities/ campaigns funds?)
CATEGORY 4-PROFESSIONAL HORSE PERSON
How often does the rider update their information/ news pages and in how much depth? Are they promoting their sponsors in a positive light and do they do anything else other than riding e.g teaching or journalism? What make's their site/ social media stand out from the crowd? Do they use different types of social media (Twitter, Facebook, You tube, websites)? Do they reply to messages and answer questions/ aid others where they can and encourage the younger generation/ the amateur to succeed?
CATEGORY 5- AMATEUR HORSE PERSON
Similar to the Professional Rider category- How often does the rider update their information/ news pages and in how much depth? Are they promoting their sponsors in a positive light and do they do anything else other than riding e.g teaching or journalism? What make's their site/ social media stand out from the crowd? And most importantly can they and do they match up to the professionals? If not for the results and glory why does their social media engage and intrigue you enough to take interest?
CATEGORY 6- PUBLICATION
Does one publication go further than the rest? Do they offer online articles/ bloggers that don't feature in the publication? Any extras such as competitions, question and answer sessions and online forums? How accessible is the publication to those that don’t buy the paper version? How regular are their updates and how varied (do they cover all forms of equestrianism or if they are a specific publication on one branch of equestrianism do they feature all aspects?)
CATEGORY 7- HORSE ATTIRE BRAND
Similar to For the Rider- Does one brand stand out for offering quality at reasonable prices? Do they use social media to promote new products and advertise sales? Is there website the best due to being easy to navigate around? Do they have a great after sales team that’s always happy to help? Do they have good size guides or offer extra information such as “does come up large” on their social media that may help your shopping experience? Do they use a variety of breeds and heights to demonstrate and advertise products online?
CATEGORY 8- FOR THE RIDER (ATTIRE BRAND)
Does one brand stand out for offering quality at reasonable prices? Do they use social media to promote new products and advertise sales? Is there website the best due to being easy to navigate around? Do they have a great after sales team that’s always happy to help? Do they feature reviews of products? Can you easily find contact numbers/ addresses in a rush? Can you get a response by a team member through any form of social media contact e.g. through a tweet or an email?
CATEGORY 9- EVENT/ COMPETITION
Has a particular event moved into the 21st Century? Can you enter online easy and pain free? If they are a ticketed event can you pre order admission? Are results updated and times available on time each time? Have they even got an App as well as website, facebook and twitter accounts? Did they post live updates throughout the event- whether that be results per individual or travel updates?
CATEGORY 10- TALKING ANIMAL
Which animal sums up Equestrian Life or Sport? Do they offer humour, insight and information that us humans sometimes can't show/ say? How do they communicate - Via an 'Apple' a 'Hoof-top' or via a 3rd party? How often do they update their social media and are they always by the talking animal or has their owner/ rider hijacked their account?
CATEGORY 11- RIDING SCHOOL
Vote for a riding centre that offers it all- private lessons, group lessons, lessons on your own horse or a borrowed horse, breaks away with your horse and competitions. Do they advertise prices, schedules and diary dates as well as asking the public what they would like to see organised in the future? Have they started interactive lessons yet- where you can get advice via social media? Do they do virtual competitions through their social media in conjunction with their riding school?
CATEGORY 12- SADDLERY/ TACK SHOP
Has one Tack Shop gone beyond their need of call to trace you a product? Is their customer service the best or do they just have the largest or unique range available? Think about how they inform you of offers- Facebook, email, twitter, news letters or loyalty clubs? Are their social media sites easy to navigate off if in a hurry?
CATEGORY 13- BEST NEWCOMER
Who's discovered Twitter, facebook and the internet over the last 12 months and thrived from it? Do they do regular updates and have they explained what they are/ what they do clearly? Have they become a must visit site/ a follower you couldn’t live without since discovering?
CATEGORY 14- BLOG
Who is the most dedicated Blogger? It doesn't always have to be competition based but who blogs with clarity, with, and enthusiasm about all things equestrian? Do they use all forms of media - pictures, you tube, facbook etc? Have you checked their blogging history- do they ensure a new blog is available- monthly, weekly or even daily or are they just a ‘off-season’ blogger?
CATEGORY 15- SOCIAL NETWORK
Where is the best site to share information or seek an answer? Which social network site is the most friendly and welcoming? Which has the best features/ organisational structure? Are they an active network with new posts daily?
CATEGORY 16- BROADCAST MEDIA
Who has featured Equestrian Sport the best? Who has featured the best variety of equestrianism throughout the year? Are they accessible to all or do they come at an extra cost? Do they feature live broadcast or only edited shows featured weeks after the event?
CATEGORY 17- CREATIVE EQUESTRIANS
For creative equestrians - has one particular professional photographer/ artist/ designer or journalist/ or so on excelled themselves this year? Have they offered something unique or inspiring this year? Do they strive for the best and produce the best? Does their social media represent their creativeness?
Then finally you will have the opportunity to vote for the best of the best in your region.
Please Remember this is just a guide -believe me the Equestrian Market has plenty of amazing people and companies that are worthy of a nomination in any category and sadly sometimes we can forget that!
Amazingly I’ve made the cut in categories 2, 5, 14 and 18. Which is rather amazing as I’ve never made the cut in any category before (I’m a ESMA virgin!)
So this is my ONE AND ONLY plea/ request (as I’ don’t want to clog your timelines saying “please vote for me!”).
So if you’ve enjoyed anything I’ve done this year I’d be very honoured to receive a nomination!
I’d also be very grateful if you would also consider nominating Horse Junkies United as the sheer amount of effort and work that goes into HJU deserves recognition alone!