3 Social Media Tips Your Tackle Business Should Catch

[dropcap size=small]S[/dropcap]trange, it seems, that in a lifestyle so entrenched in the outdoors the internet is now taking such an integral role.

As more and more outdoorsmen have gained easy access to the internet through mobile phones and tablets, the once sleeping fishing industry has begun to awaken on social media.

And that means big opportunity for your business.

Fishing manufacturers and brands are already finding success on social media. Consumers aren’t far behind. Bill Dance has hit it big on Facebook, with over 80,000 fans. Strike King is ruling Twitter with 78,000 followers.

Okay—those are some big numbers, especially if you’re an independent retailer. So how do you leverage them to your advantage? To your market?

You leverage them by understanding the game plan behind them.

A pharmacist at one of the world’s biggest retailers once let me in on an industry secret—the pharmacies at their giant, box retail stores weren’t actually there to make money. They existed only to get customers in the store, where consumers would surely purchase other products like groceries, toys, and (yes) fishing tackle.

That’s kind of the game with social media.

Yes, it can generate income. But unless you’re a web-based company selling products direct from social sites, a strong presence is more likely to benefit you in other ways. Social media can foster relationships with your customers and build brand loyalty. And brand loyalty is going to keep customers coming back to your staff and your store for all of their tackle needs.

So what are some tools you can use to build a more social brand?

  • Facebook—The world’s number one social media network by a country mile, Facebook features an older demographic than other networks. Make use of a Facebook business account and get to know Facebook Ads Manager. You can target people specifically in your market who are interested in the outdoors for an affordable way to promote your business locally. Remember, it’s a better idea to master one social network than to stumble through all of them.
  • Blogging— People love useful information. Yes, there are thousands of blogs devoted to fishing; but are any of them written by the staff members your customers already love? Are they about that local fishing hole none of the big-time magazines are covering? Give people relevant, local information and you’ll become their resource for products too. Promote discussion about your blog on Facebook.
  • WordPress— This is a big one. If your website is stuck in the dark ages, consumers will notice. Consulting with a design firm about having your site rebuild on WordPress could reap dividends for search engine optimization and ease of use. Just as more fishermen have gotten easier access to the web, the web has gotten easier to use. If you can already operate Facebook and know how to manage files in your computer, chances are you can grasp WordPress. There’s even a walkthrough.

Think of innovative ways to bring these technologies in to your store. As Robbie Brown notes, many retailers are now using iPad kiosks to combat showrooming. Now imagine a kiosk that not only helps your customers price check online options (so you can price match and finish the sale), but one that leads people to your Facebook page or blog on checkout.

That’s a great way to bring your sales and social strategies full circle, and once you bring people in to your social circle it will be easier to keep them coming back.