Likes vs Leads: Will Social Media Dependency Kill Your Hunting Business?
We’ve all witnessed it on social media. Typically observed in the middle of the year once Spring hunting and trade show seasons have come to an end, and outfitters have had time to begin filling out their schedules for the upcoming Fall & Winter hunting seasons. If you're still unclear with where we are going with this, please reference the screen shot image that is featured with this introduction.
With an active, extensive social media outreach and hundreds of photos featuring clients placed alongside successful harvests, one might ask, “Why is a hunting outfitter claiming to provide a premium service resorting to last minute solicitation of social media followers in order to operate their first-class operation?” Is it the exclusivity of the type of hunts being offered or the remote location of the outfitter, or is it the questionable legitimacy of the outfitter who posted this “Hunt of a Lifetime” opportunity on Facebook or Instagram? Besides, anyone can claim to be anything they want to be on social media, right?
This first question that always pops into our minds whenever we see one of these posts is, “Why does this outfitter still have so many available openings with only a few months left to book vacancies?” Does this business have a series of bad reviews sporadically scattered across the internet, or is the outfitter’s social media content presented in a manner that does not reflect a premium service? Other than recycled social media vacancy posts, does this “Deal of a Lifetime World Class Hunting” service provider supplement promoting their business with a piss-poor DIY website that's not mobile friendly and hasn’t been updated since 2015, costly elaborate trade show displays, or even worse, do they not have any web presence at all other than their social media pages?
Return on Investment
The reality in this digital universe that we all continue to spend more time within is that legitimate prospects who are ultimately converted into long-term clients willing to outbid and pay more for a premium service are smart shoppers, and always do their homework when it comes to selecting their next outfitting destination. We run our entire business on this philosophy, and this proclamation is especially true for prospective leads who are researching outfitters that cater to groups.
Are your social media posts helping you secure more repeat annual clients that are willing to pay a premium, or causing you nothing but headaches and grief by forcing you to continuously respond to inquiries from low-balling tire kickers and window shoppers? Is your organization following up with potential customers by capturing all of their relevant contact information through a centralized, easy-to-use multi-faceted system that is custom built for lead generation, or are you sorting through months of random private messages and old post likes? Have you taken the time to break down an hourly rate for the amount of effort invested in attempting to land clients via Facebook and Instagram posts?
Digital Trends for Hunting Outfitters
Factor in the trends with social media & tech companies continuously restricting the type of content and advertising tools that hunting outfitters are able utilize in order to promote their services, and ask yourself if it’s worth the risk to solely rely on social media as the primary digital platform for marketing your business. Other than social media, what is the overall marketing strategy of your outfitting business to attract non-referral leads via the internet? Is your business prepared to have its social media presence and extensive outreach wiped off of the internet with minimal notice due to a simple content guidelines change?