Your business needs to be on Facebook. Oh, you just gotta have an Instagram page. Twitter is where it’s at for engaging with your customers. All of these statements have an element of truth, and in all honesty, you’re probably a little sick of hearing them. Yes, you know social media is important for your business, not just from a marketing and promotion point of view, but also for how you connect and communicate with your customers. But the three kingpins of social media mentioned above are very different places to what they were 10, five or even two years ago.

The world’s most popular platforms are constantly changing and evolving, and not always for the better. Facebook’s issues with its algorithms and advertising channels are well documented, Twitter can sometimes become a place where arguments seem to be in their natural habitat, and sometimes with Instagram it’s hard to see the content for the influencers—not to mention the fact that they are all also way more crowded than they used to be.

Your computer or cell phone becomes a rabble of companies, brands and individuals fighting for your attention every time you check in on social media. Don’t get me wrong here. I use social media as much as the next person, and I definitely get its value for a brand – but what if there was a different way? Aren’t there some different or fresh platforms out there that we could be reaching our customers with, and perhaps more effectively? Well, as it turns out, yes there are. You just have to know where to look.

Pinterest 

442 million monthly active users 

Often overlooked as a marketing tool for businesses, Pinterest is in fact very geared towards ecommerce. The site essentially allows users to create virtual pinboards of themes, products and inspiration about particular topics. Posts can take a variety of forms including photos, videos, product purchase links, collections and stories. What’s really interesting about Pinterest is its demographic – about 60 per cent of its audience are women, 65 per cent of its users say they use it to start projects and an incredible 98 per cent of its users report trying new things they find on Pinterest. If that doesn’t spell a recipe for targeting new people for the fishing industry, I’m not sure what does.

LinkedIn 

300 million active users

LinkedIn is the business social media – and most of you out there probably have dabbled with an account at some point as a way of helping your career along. But it is also quite a profitable place to market your company and its services to like-minded professionals. It has a truly global audience, with more than 70 per cent of users from outside the United States (China, India, Brazil and the UK among the highest users). The other real key thing about LinkedIn is that it’s a place where decision makers live – an estimated 90 million users are senior level influences, while about 63 million are decision makers. LinkedIn might not be for marketing to end users, but it could help your business become a bigger player within its industry and strike up new and interesting ventures and partnerships.

Quora 

300 million monthly active users

Quora is all about questions. In some ways, it is kind of like a giant forum, helping people find the right knowledge and expertise on a whole range of subjects from people all around the world. That’s where it could really work in favour of fishing tackle retailers. By having a presence on Quora and providing helpful advice and information, you are fulfilling one of the things you normally do in your brick-and-mortar store – but reaching a much wider audience. The platform also allows you to advertise to very targeted audiences and even pay for promoted answers to commonly asked questions. “How do I catch bass?” anyone? 

WeChat

902 million daily active users

Chances are, if you deal with a manufacturing facility in China, you may already be well acquainted with WeChat. If not, here’s the deal. WeChat is the number one social media app in China with a staggering 1.2 billion users (902 million active daily users). It is essentially a messaging app, kind of like WhatsApp, but it also has the ability to post ‘Moments’ and ‘Channels’ which are methods for companies to advertise to its users. People use this app all day, every day – whether it’s for text chats, voice calls, paying for things, playing games, sharing their lives, or browsing for inspiration – it really is all-consuming and a brilliant way to gain some market penetration in one of the world’s fastest-growing consumer economies.

Fishing Specific Social Media

Lastly, it would be remiss of me not to mention the fishing specific social media platforms that have popped up over the last decade (and remiss of you not to investigate them). Apps and websites like Fishidy and Fishbrain allow anglers to not only get useful information on fishing locations and tactics, but also to share their catches and points of view with other likeminded anglers. 

Fishbrain has an estimated 11 million users, 89 per cent of those who actively post catches and interact with the app. It has an ability to create a business page so you can sell gear directly to this audience, aided by an impressive 350,000 gear reviews. 

Fishidy also allows you to register on its platform as a business, making you searchable on a map and allowing you post reports, promotions and more to target its several million users.

So, next time you come around to a marketing strategy meeting for your company, think twice on where you put your social media efforts. The big guys will always be there and always be important, but consider the people you’re missing by not exploring the other opportunities out there.