Social Media: the Wave of the Future…and Today

Category: npaa

 Jan 17th, 2012 by OutdoorsFIRST 

Modified Jan 17th, 2012 at 12:00 AM

Look to the Future!

Forestville, WI-Following the National Professional Anglers Association annual conference theme, Steve Pennaz titled his keynote address, “Look to the Future.”  The executive director of the North American Fishing Club and celebrated TV show host spoke to a record crowd of nearly 200 anglers in Minneapolis on January, 7th.   

“There is a massive transition in media today,” said Pennaz.  “The new media efforts now are like the Lowrance green box was in its time; many changes will take place quickly and we’re seeing this occur daily.”  He also said “History teaches us that every new revolution presents opportunities — digital opportunities are amazing.”

Smart phones and I-pads are common, and by 2014, one-third of US citizens will own a tablet, Pennaz predicted.  “These could be the key media in the future,” Pennaz said.  As an editor and publisher, he said recent postage increases alone will cost the North American Fisherman group millions per year.  The majority of today’s print media companies are now pushing digital media.  He said, “This is an effort to eliminate postage, paper and printing costs.”

In a recent survey, Pennaz said 70 percent of readers want access to immediate information about where to buy the products they’re reading about.  The I-pad version of North American Fisherman links readers to online stores and company websites.

Comparing traditional media to the digital sites proved easy.  Magazines and television shows require long lead times.  The staff members are already over-worked, and ideas must pass through one or more gate-keepers before even being acknowledged.

Digital is very timely.  “In fact, it’s instantaneous,” he said.  It’s also offered in small bite-sized pieces.  “One thing that seems the same is that sensational material produces a better response, like big fish, humor and pretty gals,” he said.  However, the opportunities exist because customers seem ready to pay for online content.

“I found 16 online fishing magazines, and we’re adding NAF digital magazine content online, also,” he said.  “On top of that, social sites are being launched by individuals and companies; all are ideal for promotions.  In the last two years, tackle and tactics innovations have come from the tournament guys.  Let the world know.”

On social media, Pennaz said Facebook is a valuable tool to maximize reach.  Twitter is not yet a major outlet, but a good promotional tool for his TV shows.  Video generates the best response.  North American Fisherman has 53,000 fans on Facebook, but those fans have 11,000,000 friends.  There are 170,000 digital news subscribers, and 3,300,000 readers. 

A free application called “My Fishing Advisor” had 250,000 downloads in 2011, and 750,000 fishing plans have been filed.  “Media is not the same anymore,” he said.

One of the industry leaders in social media, Outdoor First Media from Rhinelander, Wisconsin, presented a conference workshop on the “Do’s and Dont’s” of social media.  Company owner Steve Worrall along with TJ DeVoe tag-teamed and echoed Pennaz.  “Facebook and social media are absolutely massive,” they said.

Worrall said, “To put yourself in front of many eyeballs, be familiar with Facebook.  Use it.  Be active.”  DeVoe said even though this is a new ball-game, there are rules.  He listed what not to do:

1.    Don’t spam.
2.    Don’t argue or fight.  Don’t be negative.
3.    Don’t be heavily sales oriented.  Describe a product, and then let friends ask questions.  The answers will sell it without pushing it hard up front.  Creative marketing is 90 percent of the game; salesmanship is 10 percent.
4.    Don’t over-post. 
5.    Don’t talk about other products or those from your sponsors that break or don’t perform as advertised. 
6.    Don’t whine.
7.    No politics.
8.    Don’t try to make something up if you don’t have anything to say.
9.    Once it’s up, it’s up forever.  If you wouldn’t say it in church, don’t say it on Facebook. 

Worrall said there are hundreds of millions of potential impressions, and it’s easy
to lose them if not careful.  On the “Do” list, Worrall offered these tips:

1.    Post relevant content.
2.    Keep it updated (NOW!).
3.    Stick to issues of fishing, boating, etc.  Watch your tone. 
4.    Keep posts short and to the point.
5.    Instead of paragraphs, use a couple sentences.
6.    Instead of two sentences, do it in one.
7.    Tell fans how to link to the information you’re talking about.
8.    Connect with fans at least daily.  Don’t over-do it. 
9.    Answer and interact with fans.
10.    Talk tactics, techniques, how-to and products.
11.    Encourage questions.    
12.    Use what you learn from tournaments to teach friends and fans.
13.    Facebook is what you make of it.

Worrall and DeVoe shared what they’ve learned while handling social media for
clients – and their many outdoor-related websites.  They lived through and survived the early stages of the new media.

Social media was the topic of many conversations and other presentations during the NPAA Annual Conference.  Other news, including stories from the recently concluded conference, will be discussed and shared on the NPAA website and in future news releases. 

     The NPAA is a non-profit organization focused on growing the sport of fishing and increasing the professionalism of its members.  Supporting partners include Navionics, Mercury Marine, Evinrude Outboards, Yamaha, Lund Boats, Ranger Boats,  The Next Bite, Oahe Wings and Walleyes Guide Service, Outdoor First Media, Pure Fishing, Fish On Kids Books, Advanced Tex Screen Printing, Worldwide Marine Insurance, FLW Outdoors, AIM, North American Media Group, Frabill, John Butts Outdoors, J.J. Keller Fishing Team, The Reel Shot, U.S. Forest Service, Great Lakes Sea Grant, FPS Financial Planning Services, Off-Shore Tackle, Warrior Boats, Fin-Tech Tackle, Kingfisher Boats, Liddle Marketing, Mutual of Omaha, Northland Fishing Tackle, Optima Batteries, Simms Fishing Products, Pasha Lake Cabins, National Fleet Graphics, Arrowhead Promotion, G2 Gemini, and High Tech Fishing.  More NPAA member and association news can be viewed at www.npaa.net.

Call Pat Neu, executive director, 920-856-6151 with questions.

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