Social nature of hunting sports doesn’t transfer to social marketing.
The shooting sports and hunting industry in the U. S. is healthy and growing annually. Here are a few figures presented – January 2013, by the National Shooting Sports Foundation.
- Hunter spending has a total economic impact of $90 billion on the U.S. economy.
- Hunter numbers increased by 9 percent between 2006 and 2011.
- Spending on hunting-related products grew by 30 percent during that same time frame.
- Money that sportsmen and women spend helps support more than 680,000 jobs. In some rural communities, the dollars brought in during hunting seasons alone can be enough to keep small businesses going from year to year.
- Sportsmen contribute nearly $8 million a day that goes to support wildlife agencies and conservation.
Why the community of field doesn’t carry over online.
Hunting sports, being both social and rife with storytellers should lend itself to social media and social marketing. Hunting product and support companies should excel at social media and social marketing. As with any industry there are those that are superstars. However the vast majority of sites catering to the hunter seem to be caught up in a “Share and like” spiral that creates a lot of likes but very little engagement. This begs two questions. The first is, Where are the great stories of last years hunts? The second is, Why don’t these sites get these stories and use the attraction factor.
The community of hunters and hunting enthusiasts is a close-knit bunch who thrives on the stories, true and exaggerated, shared by fellow hunters. If you’re an angler or hunter, you have heard these stories told over a cup of coffee, around a campfire, or on the ride back home or to camp. Compelling, exhilarating, funny, or terrifying, they suck you in. So why is it so rare to find this content on a hunting page or website? It boggles the mind why any business would not tell the great stories of their niche. When a niche built so often on the stories told does not leverage those stories, it’s a travesty.
I hear so many of the managers and owners of the businesses in this niche talk about just trying to get to the “numbers”. What they seem to miss is that it is like the sport itself. You won’t hear many hunters consider “Seeing the Herd” as success.
The story of successful social marketing is no different from any other hunt. You know your target, learn its story, follow it and when the time is right, execute.