Mike Allton
March 31, 2017

How To Use Social Media To Attract Followers And Business

Attract followers fishing analogy

In this article, Mike Allton uses the analogy of fishing to show how to attract followers (and business) from social media. It makes for a light yet insightful read, and is another in our “Great Articles You may have missed” series…..

Cast Your Net And Reel In The Fish

Ancient fishermen would take their boats out onto the water, sprinkle bits of chopped fish over the side to entice larger fish to the surface, then cast out their nets to gather up catch.

Modern fisherman trolling the north seas aren’t much different, actually.

So how does that analogy apply to businesses and social media?

Well, if the water is whatever social network or networks you want to be active on, that means that the fish represent your target audience, and of course you’re the fisherman.

There’s actually a lot to this analogy, and lessons to be learned, so let’s break it down.

The Social Media Waters

Experienced fishermen will tell you that there’s a vast difference between fishing in ponds, lakes, rivers, streams and the ocean. From incredible differences in depth to a huge variety of fish species, each presents its own unique challenges and opportunities. That’s why different fishermen obtain experience in and usually specialize in a particular type of fishing.

Similarly, there are huge differences between the various social networks, and savvy entrepreneurs understand which ones are best suited for their business and style, and learn to leverage them.

Taking the time to consider each of the networks, prioritizing them, and then learning how to be proficient with your social activity on your most important tier of networks is critical.

Social Media Fish To Catch

Then there’s the fish.

Just like there are differences between lakes and rivers… no two lakes are the same. Local fisherman will have learned which lakes and which spots within the lake tend to be good for fishing. While it may be relaxing to calmly throw cast after cast into the water… eventually you want to catch some fish, right?

Same with the social networks. You have to make sure that you’re spending your time and business resources on the network, and network activities, that are most likely to reach your target audience.

Check the prominent demographics of each network and facets within the network. Are there Groups or Chats or other features that you can use to better reach the people you need to reach? Do they tend to prefer a particular kind of content? Do they tend to be active during particular days or times?

Knowing your audience’s habits and preferences is akin to knowing that trout are easiest to catch during or just after a light rainfall that’s peppered the water with raindrops. Your success rate goes up dramatically.

Social Media Bait

Finally, there’s the age-old debate of whether to use live bait or not – fishermen all over the world will tell you what has worked best for them in past. And they may all be right. As we’ve seen, there are so many variables to consider that what works for a fly fisherman in Tennessee is just as valid as what works for a Gloucesterman netting swordfish.

But here’s the thing. When it comes to social media, it’s actually quite a bit less complicated.

You’ve picked your one or two top networks, and identified who your target audience is. Now it’s time to deliver, and that means creating content, both on-network and off, that caters to and helps that audience.

To put it another way: the best way to catch fish is to offer the fish something they want.

On social networks, that means sharing great, interesting, targeted content that your audience will appreciate. And you do that over and over and over.

Mix in articles from other sources, content from your own blog or website, and special offers that your social followers will appreciate (i.e. discounts, digital downloads), and you’ll create a thriving, successful social presence.

Over To You!

As always, we’d love to hear your comments, below!


This post was originally titled “Cast Your Net And Reel In The Fish – How To Use Social Media To Attract Followers And Business” and published on LinkedIn.  It is republished here with permission.

MikeAlltonMike Allton is a Social Media Consultant and Blog Coach in St. Louis, and the Chief Marketing Officer at SiteSell. He has been working with websites and the Internet since the early ’90’s, and is active on all of the major social networks. Mike teaches a holistic approach to content marketing that leverages blog content, social media and SEO to drive traffic, generate leads, and convert those leads into sales.

Mike is the author of, “The Unofficial Book On HootSuite: The #1 Tool for Social Media Management” and “The Ultimate Guide to the Perfect LinkedIn Profile.

Featured Image: https://pixabay.com/en/fishing-boat-fisherman-164977/

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