According to The Outdoor Foundation’s 2013 Outdoor Participation Report, the profile of the average trout angler is 53.4 years old, homeowner and married. They tend to have the discretionary income that allow them to pursue their sport and purchase the necessary equipment — such as rods, reels, fly line, flies and fly typing kits, as well as apparel. In addition, these individuals tend to travel and enjoy other outdoors sports as well as appreciate wildlife and the environment.
The Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation states that forty-seven million Americans participated in fishing in 2012, a disproportionately high number of new participants in 2012 were female. Fly fishing participation grew in 2012 to 6.0 million participants from 5.7 million participants the year before. Much of the participation growth was driven by first-time participants who made up 20.5 percent of all fly fishing participants, up from 14.4 percent in 2011.
Women are one of the fastest growing demographics in the world of fly fishing and the companies that fuel the industry have noticed. Females represent more than 46 percent of those interested in trying fishing. The market may still be male-dominated, but watch these numbers change in the coming years; more ladies will be hitting the water as they are introduced to the sport.
According to Social Media Today, 71 percent of women are active on social media and responsible for 62 percent of shares on Facebook. They are more prone to seek out the social page of a brand and 70 percent of referrals are generated from pins on Pinterest. Sixty percent of consumers say the integration of social media is a motivating factor in doing business with and sharing the brand. The key to growing fly fishing followers is to introduce more people to the sport. This is where TU could lead the charge.
Almost all marketers find that social media helps them stand out in an increasingly noisy marketplace. In fact, 88% of all marketers found social media helps get them increased exposure. Additionally, 72% of those surveyed saw increased traffic as a result of social media.
Social Media Analytics Used
Simply Measured indicates fluctuating engagement with sporadic posts on the TU Facebook page with the most engaged fans being male and very little reference to female anglers or encouragement of their participation. Of the posts, videos are the most popular form of engagement. It would behoove TU to encourage national and local chapters to distribute more videos featuring female anglers as supporters of TU activities.
Figure 1 Simply Measured
Facebook is one of the more popular social media platforms available to organizations, especially when it comes to reaching the female audience. The number of Facebook users over the age of 45 has increased by 45 percent since 2012. A majority of these users are female. Posting content regularly is an important part of using this platform to develop and maintain a presence for TU.
By contrast, Twitter users are primarily male and especially loyal. RivalIQ indicates over 17,000 followers with an average Tweet per Day of 3.86. As with Facebook posts, tweets from TU are sporadic. RivalIQ validates the same data on Facebook activity gleaned from Simply Measured.
Figure 2 RivalIQ
Google Trends and LikeAlyzer both indicate that social media activities need to be greater to be measured effectively. LikeAlyzer specifically recommends responding to fan questions and comments quicker and publishing more photos. Trackur provides good data but with no gender segmentation available. Sprout Social does provide gender segmentation but, again, without direct access to TU’s account no further research is available. This is important to the research proposal to determine the reach and effectiveness of the message from TU. The social media metrics researched could provide useful insight into deeper data for the social engagement of TU but without direct access to the TU account for Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn it was not possible to investigate further.
Women are the routers and amplifiers of the social web. Women are thought to be more social, more interested in relationships and connections, better at multi-tasking, and able to maintain more relationships within every ring of closeness than men. Women represent the majority of the online market and are more likely to pass along information about deals or finds to others. Knowing that is important to build and encourage social network effects. More female users will likely help the brand awareness of TU mature faster.
Providing regular content to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, TU blog, and the TU website ensures that anglers, particularly female, can find TU wherever they want to look. These followers should then be added to a dedicated female angler database. A consistent communication strategy will make certain that female followers of TU will keep returning to its social media platforms to read updates, view photos and videos, and stay engaged.
Fly fishing takes people to beautiful places, in clean water, and they connect with the natural world in a way that is magical. Angling Trade reports an explosion of interest among women that has taken off in the last few years. There is a tremendous opportunity for TU to capture huge market share with the female fly fishing audience through the use of social media. These advocates can help promote TU through these collaborative social media conversations.