Part I: The Thoroughbred Trainer in the Digital Age
Published in European Trainer, January - March 2018, issue 60.
This is the first article in a two-part series on social media for thoroughbred trainers. It examines social media usage and issues faced by trainers who wish to promote their business online. Part II will focus on broader industry issues and how trainers may use social media to affect positive change and ensure the future of the sport.
In less than 15 years, social media has changed the way we meet, work, shop, communicate, consume news and entertainment, find romance, and more. Few aspects of our lives have been left untouched by this remarkable phenomenon. Social media has made a limited group of people incredibly wealthy, empowered others to create new businesses or expand existing ones, and made various individuals famous or infamous.
Simply defined, social media consists of online networks that allow users to connect, create, communicate, and share in virtual communities. And we cannot seem to get enough.
• 73% of Europeans use some type of social media.
• 41.7% of Europeans use Facebook, the most popular social media platform.
• Many Europeans, including three-quarters of Facebook users, log onto social media sites as part of their daily routine.
• Most European social media users utilize more than one social media platform.
• The growth of social media is likely to remain steady for years to come.
As a trainer, you may be one of the hundreds of millions of Europeans who is familiar with the ins and outs of social media. You may be an occasional, routine, or even heavy user.
Alternatively, you may be a hold-out who is too busy or privacy-oriented. Regardless of your personal opinion of social media, it is worthwhile to step back and examine how social media may assist in expanding your training business, or, alternatively, present potential risks including both civil liability and criminal violations.
As a trainer, unless you have a full roster of owners, it is wise to have a social media presence to promote your business. Consider the many positives: