Social Media......Friend Or Foe?

by Jake Freeman May 17, 2016

Social Media......Friend Or Foe?

In the age of social media there are tons of reasons to utilize this great, free platform, but on the other hand there are a ton of reasons to use it correctly because one false step or post and your life, world and fishing career can be turned upside down.

 I think that very few people realize that a facebook, Instagram or social media post, once “post” is hit, it broadcast to the world. Reason that more than just your direct friends on facebook can see what you post is that because of a glorious feature on cellphones called “screenshot.” I myself have screenshot some seriously weird post on facebook to send to all my friends, some of which don’t even have facebook, mostly for entertainment purposes and some for the “wow” factor. Wow, as in there is no reason this person should have ever post this and.

I understand that passions run high in the fishing world but to see some of the things that I see go across social media, concerning this sport that we all love, simply boggles my mind. A rip of a company here, the dogging of another angler there, the cursing of a rival sponsor and even the cursing of a potential sponsor that simply said that they weren’t interested in you at this time goes on almost daily in this sport. Sure, it seems innocent or seemed like the thing to do, but I can promise you that most of the time, 99% of the time, it’s not the right thing to do. If before you hit the post button you second-guess yourself, then you might not want to post.

 Anglers nowadays feel the need to fill their timeline or instagram with way too much sponsor information. I know that sounds absolutely crazy from a business owner within the industry but as stated before, social media is like mayonnaise. Too much and it makes people gag and to little and no one even knows it’s there. There is a delicate balance to all this that will make sponsors and even friends that view your timeline happy.

 The rule of thumb to me for good social media is to keep it fun and keep sponsor stuff somewhat limited. By that I mean don’t post what rod, reel, line, bait and hook on every fish picture you post. It can be too much. With 5X3 staff I like to see product placement and by that I mean some good photos of our staff wearing our clothes, on and off the water. Not an angler talking about our product so much that people become numb or accustom to our product and many businesses feel this way. Just having products feature in your photos sometime is enough.

 Now sure, there is a time and place to go into detail about your products and sponsors but on every post on social media is not the place. Save those things for times when you are out talking face to face with people and they ask or seem genuinely interested. But know the product you represent before you ever open your mouth online or in person. Nothing irritates me more than someone that is constantly repping a product but have no real knowledge of the product or company behind the product.

 Hashtags? Here we go on this social media fad. Most people don’t realize the hashtags can be super useful when used correctly but overuse and it’s to much mayonnaise, people gag. Hashtags are great for searching out particular items and companies online as they are very searchable. I am, however a fan of creative hashtags that tie a story together or end a funny post but to have 36 hastags after a picture of a 2lb fish is simply put, OVERKILL. 99% of people will not read them, research them or tolerate them. Overuse of hashtags most of the time gets the “unfollow” button clicked by me.

 In closing the best social media people in the industry are ones that can combine family, friends, humor and fishing all in one nice neat package. Social media shouldn’t be sponsor, sponsor, sponsor, gripe about fishing industry, sponsor, sponsor, sponsor. It should be more family, tackle prep, funny, sponsor, friends, family, fishing, sponsor. See, you draw people and potential sponsors in and fill them with interested by showing you them you are more than just a walking billboard. I really enjoy a well-rounded social media from anglers, regardless of skill level. I on the other hand can not stand the old “used car salesman” type social media where you are brow beat by sponsorship stuff every time you turn around.

 Think of it this way. If you are a fisherman and all you know how to fish is a Carolina rig, you are limiting yourself and you will rarely win a tournament or even place well.   The angler that wins the most is the angler that is the most well rounded and has a good general knowledge of all tactics and baits that are out there. The angler that is going to excel in social media is going to be angler that has a good knowledge of all aspects of social media.

 In closing, this is for the women, a very small percentage of them (5%) feel the need to bare lots skin to get attention and this is NOT cool. To me, this is something that I stay away from at all cost. Sure, it sells product sometimes but to me that simply is not the image that should be projected and at 5X3 it will not happen. Don’t degrade yourself for a few free bags of plastics or a discount on a rod. Women, ladies and teen girls, hold yourself to a super high standard, fish hard, do what is right and things will happen. Don’t make a post that 10 years from now you wish you had never posted. Times change and the last thing that you want to come away with in this industry is regret.

 

Now get out there and make social media a part of your fishing game because it is here to stay and the ones that are good at it will prosper while the others spend hours typing up hashtags for a 2lb bass.

 

Jacob Freeman

CEO | 5X3 Fishing LLC




Jake Freeman
Jake Freeman

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