Using Facebook to Market Ex-Race Horses

Bits & Bytes Farm is reaching out using new ways to spread the word about off-the-track Thoroughbreds (OTTBs). We created this Web site in 2001 just as the Internet was taking off. It is now ten years later and we are still looking for new ways to share information about Thoroughbreds after racing and to find homes for them.

Our Bits & Bytes Farm Web site was created for three reasons:

  • First, we wanted to promote the Thoroughbred horse as a wonderful option for a family or sport horse. Many people are uninformed about how kind and easy these horses are to ride and work around. Contrary to popular belief, many of these Thoroughbreds are actually very laid back right off-the track. See Imatexan and Spot Run’s diary in our Training Thoroughbred pages.
  • Second, we wanted to give the owners of sane, sound Thoroughbred race horses an option for placing their horses into loving homes and successful second careers. The Thoroughbred rescue groups do a great job placing horses that have filtered down to low end racing or who have gotten injured during their racing career. But who can find a home for a sound Thoroughbred that just isn’t fast enough to win? We can — and we need a way to market those horses . We use our Web site and now Facebook.
  • Third, like most horse owners we need a job to pay for our horses. Bits & Bytes Farm is not a profit making venture. We make our living and support for our Thoroughbred addiction by designing Web sites for clients large and small. The Bits & Bytes Farm Web site is our sandbox where we experiment with the newest technology to figure out what works as a marketing tool and what does not.

The new “Social Media” has taken over the Internet and our Web site customers want to learn how to best make use of the newest marketing tools for their businesses. We are experimenting with new ways to use Facebook for businesses — not as a vehicle to stay in touch with our personal “Friends” but as a way for the followers (Fans in Facebook lingo) of Bits & Bytes Farm Web site to share the information that is posted on our site. We have created a Facebook Fanpage. Unlike the personal Facebook pages which can only be seen by members of Facebook and their friends, non Facebook members can see a business’ Fanpage but cannot post to the page. Facebook Fanpages can be more visual than the standard Facebook Wall. Our Facebook Welcome page and our Training Videos pages are two examples using more stylized designs that follow the corporate identity of the business.

We have years of useful information for owners (and hopeful owners) of Thoroughbreds on our site. We have feeding and training information, information on how to start the training of an off-the-track Thoroughbred and how to teach them to jump. We have hundreds of OTTB Success Stories from the ten years we have been in business — written by the owners of the Thoroughbreds we have found homes for.

like-buttonOur Web site has a wealth of information to be shared with other Thoroughbred owners or soon-to-be owners. We wanted to make it easy for our followers (and Facebook Fans) to share the knowledge on this Web site with a simple click, so we added a Facebook Like button to our Newz stories and pages. If you are a Facebook member and you click on the Like button at the bottom of our Newz stories or pages, your Facebook account will alert your friends to the helpful information you have found on the Bits & Bytes Farm site by posting to your Wall. This way it takes very little effort for you to share a story you found useful with your friends on Facebook.

Not a member of Facebook? Many people do not care to be on Facebook and so we will always have our Web site. The most complete information will be posted on our Web site. Facebook is an additional marketing tool. We do not feel it is ready to become the primary marketing tool for a business. Many employers block access to Facebook pages (for good reasons) and not everyone is a member of Facebook. But, Facebook has some useful tools that we will be experimenting with over the next few months and we will share the results with you on our Web site so that you can use Facebook to promote your business. Call us if you need help getting started.

The number one reason to use Facebook as a business marketing tool:

It makes it is easy for Facebook members to share information about a business with their friends. It is extremely efficient in getting the word out quickly to thousands of people in a few minutes or hours as was proven recently when 52 Thoroughbreds needed rescuing.

Our hope is that you will find the information on this site useful, and by Liking our stories and our horses for sale, people will be more informed about about Thoroughbreds and more horses will find new careers after racing. If you find a story that you think would be of interest to your friends on Facebook, or could help another Thoroughbred owner, please click the Like button at the bottom of the story and help us spread the word. Your click will be like a pebble thrown into a lake. It will ripple out in cyberspace and touch the lives of your friends and their friends and maybe, just maybe, you will encourage someone to give another Thoroughbred a chance at a new life away from racing. Take a look at our Bits & Bytes Farm Facebook Fan page and while you are there, click the Like button to become a fan. Fans will always be the first to hear of a new horse being available soon on our Web site. We are calling it our “Early Release Program” (thanks Laurie Flebotte – Austin’s Wolf) for the title.

We hope you Like our new approach.

— Elizabeth & Barry

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