My social media project will consist of an instagram that is dedicated to fly fishing with an emphasis on travel to the world’s premier fishing areas. Most accounts that I encountered are either dedicated to fishing or traveling, but not both. I believe this unique combination of the two is what will make my account successful.
@laferriere.photography is an instagram account run by photographer Kyle La Ferriere. The account’s primary purpose is not fly fishing, but that is precisely why I have chosen it. Rather the account is focused on world travel, and about ⅓ of the posts are fly fishing related. Subsequently, this account records travel and fishing truly around the globe, whereas most fly fishing accounts are run by guides that really only focus on one region. The author of this account is primarily a photographer, with a passion for travel and fishing. His passion for fishing and travel shines through his work and lends the author credibility. Like Sullivan states, this account is reliable because the passion for the hobby is so omnipresent, and his open line of communication with followers holds him accountable to consistent and reliable postings. His medium is almost entirely photography with short captions, such as the following:
The captions often explain the location or the situation, but allow the photos to do most of the story telling. Included in the bio is a link to his professional website which is very similarly organized to his instagram. Kyle’s audience includes 6,000 followers. These followers include other fishing / photography / travel accounts as well as individuals with passions for these things. The audience is broad, which is both an advantage and disadvantage. While the account can appeal to a wider range of people, it also doesn’t truly fascinated an someone passionate about just one of these things. For example, a person with a passion for fly fishing may be put off by the volume of photos that are unrelated to travel. I think keeping this aspect of audience in mind while creating my own account will be essential. I have to find a balance of both travel and fishing. If my account is too vague, it may not interest anyone. To deal with this I will need to make sure that the primary goal of every post is truly fishing, with travel being the secondary aspect.
@christiaanpretorius is a personal instagram account by Christiaan Pretorius, who is a guide that has used his instagram fame to cultivate sponsorships promoting both products and lodges around the world. Like most fishing accounts, this author gains credibility with his photos. While one could attempt to articulate a knowledge of fishing via writing, nothing proves mastey of the skill like countless photos of near record sized fish like these.
The account features both photos and videos of fly fishing around the world, but primarily in South Africa, Florida, and Bolivia. His bio includes a link to each of his sponsors instagram’s which are all outdoor’s companies, such as @makoreels and @cortlandline. Additionally, his bio has a link to his vimeo which includes mini-documentaries of his fly fishing. The audience of this account is primarily people with a general fly fishing interest. This account does not have one common thread of fishing. For example, while some accounts focus on one region, river, or type of fish this account covers a wide variety of each. Again, this can strongly attract a wider audience, but deter people with more specific interests.
The final account that I have analyzed is @theflyfishingjournal. @theflyfishingjournal is most similar to what I plan to do in the sense that it is a collection of photos from a wide range of fisherman, rather than a personal account. The fly fishing journal is a catalog that releases 4 issues per year, but regularly updates their instagram. Their instagram features photos and videos from fisherman from practically every part of the world, again this is a feature which I will be emulating. This account with 41.9k followers has one of the largest audiences as far as fly fishing instagram account go. Their bio includes a link to their website where they sell their catalog as well as merch. In this aspect, the instagam acts almost as a marketing wing to the catalogue rather than a stand alone account. This account truly appeals to emotion, with beautiful photos from all parts of the world that will have any fisherman dreaming of their next big trip. This appeal to emotion will be the main attraction of my account as well. While I plan to provide factual information about various places to fish around the world, the main purpose will be to display beautiful fisheries and inspire fishing adventures. Unlike this account however, I will not be bound to trying to market a product, this will give me more freedom to create an account out of passion which I think will in turn lend credibility.
To conclude, there is a lot that I can draw from existing accounts, but on the other hand feel my account will have a unique perspective which I was unable to find in any currently existing accounts. One common thread I have found is how these accounts have gained credibility, and it is just about as simple as can be: pictures of big fish. Sure, a technical explanation of the equipment used to catch these fish could appeal to logic, but fishing is an inherently emotional thing, and catering to this is essential. These photos capture the emotion that only a fisherman can know, and I have to aim to evoke this feeling with my photos. One common misstep that I feel many of these accounts make is to have too wide of a target audience. When there seems to be no common thread (ie: location, type of fishing, etc) the accounts come off as too vague. After analysis of these accounts I have decided to take one important step to keep my audience narrow and that is my account will focus purely on trout fishing. This niche among the fishing community is certainly large enough to build a strong following, but narrow enough to keep the purpose of the account understandable and simple. Additionally, trout are found in almost every part of the world, so this will not limit me as far as location is concerned. One final aspect that I think will both make my account unique as well as grant credibility is the fact that I am motivated only by the parameters of the class, not by trying to sell something. Almost every fishing centered instagram account I found was in one way or another trying to sell something such as fishing equipment, guiding services, or lodging. My account on the other hand will exist purely to meet the goals of the class and inspire fishers around the world to dream of their next fishing vacation.