Three Lessons I’ve Learned From My Short Experience as a Social Media Manager

I had just waved goodbye to my clients and watched them disappear down the washboard gravel road. As their maroon Jeep bounced along the slush in the thawing snow, I turned to the west and searched for the sun behind the clouds to determine how much daylight I had left.

Looks like I’ve got an hour. Perfect.

I grabbed my camera and trudged back down to the water to capture some photos in the low light. I wanted to generate some more content for the Ellensburg Angler blog and social media. Every time I am on the water, I want to take pictures, video and mental notes on what I experience so that I can share it with others online. Being a social media manager has completely changed my perspective on how I share my passion for fly fishing.

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Taking photographs on every outing helps to document some of the great memories made with great friends

An eye-opening start

I took over as social media manager at the beginning of 2019. I knew how to post pictures, use relevant hashtags and interact with others online before taking this job. I’d used my personal social media for several years and I thought I knew what I was doing. I’d even written blogs for my own site, Kyle in the Outside, and I thought I was pretty decent at it.

But once I took over for Ellensburg Angler, I had to use all of my resources and information I’d learned from my college courses and experience, to successfully promote the business online. I had to post relevant content on a fairly regular basis to stay prevalent in SEO and expand the company’s reach on social media. My view on social media and content development has completely changed with having the extra pressure to promote a brand.

What follows are three lessons I’ve learned as a social media manager on generating content, staying active online and networking with others.

1. Generating Content

Old content gets stale. Using the same style of pictures is boring. I find that it’s good to mix it up a little bit in what I post. I like to switch between taking videos and taking pictures. A detailed description to go with a nice photo can go a long ways, while a video with little-to-no description can keep viewers engaged until the end. By mixing up the way I provide content, I’m keeping readers and viewers interested. I’m now spending more time with a camera than a fishing rod to get photos to post.

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A Skwala Stonefly recently photographed for the Ellensburg Angler blog and social media

2. Staying Active and Consistent

Followers and subscribers want to see new material on a regular basis. By posting and sharing interesting and related content, I’ve worked to keep our readership engaged and entertained. I want to post at least once a day on Twitter and Facebook. Instagram is a great resource as well, and I like to use it to post photos at least three times a week. YouTube is also an important source for fly fishermen due to the visual nature of the sport. I try to post at least one YouTube video each week to help our subscribers stay updated on our local waters.

I’ve witnessed growth in our social media following and interaction, especially on Facebook. I think a lot of this is due to the fact that we are posting so often. This is has been an added stress for me, as I’ve had to find times in the day to put the necessary effort into generating meaningful and informative posts.

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A variety of pictures keeps content from getting stale (Erikk Machowek)

3. Networking with others

I can’t be on the water all the time. I go to school, I work and I have a wedding to plan! When I’m not fishing or guiding, I’m asking other guides and anglers for information on the water. They send me pictures to post and details on what fly patterns and techniques they were using to catch fish. It is important for me to keep a steady pulse on our fisheries if I want to give readers relevant information they can actually use.

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Networking with other guides keeps everyone up-to-date on changes to the river and is crucial when you can’t be on the water yourself (Colton Honey)

Sunset on Rocky Ford

I stayed on the water until almost dark. The sun emerged from behind the clouds just before sinking over the ridge. It cast an orange glow over the cattails and made the rocks glow in the fading light. I snapped a few more pictures before making my way back to the truck in the crusty snow. I had successfully captured more content to get me through until next week, when I would be on the water again.

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The last few minutes of light over Rocky Ford Creek

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