Social media is an ever-emerging medium that affects almost everyone in one way or another. Essentially, it all started with website forums, then MySpace and now Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube and countless others have emerged as powerful leaders in the space.
These dynamic media have completely changed the way we receive information and, as hunters, the more info we can gather to improve our game, the better. On top of that, the speed at which modern social media is transmitted allows us to quickly sort through the info we’re not interested in or isn’t relevant at the time.
Here’s a quick rundown of the four most prominent social media spaces for hunters, along with tips for using them to your advantage:
Facebook: A great way to share a recent hunt with your friends and family. Upload a photo from the field, thumb in a sentence or two and there it sits for everyone to see. It goes both ways. You can keep up with your friends and get valuable insight that you can immediately apply in the field. Facebook is also a great tool for keeping up to date on all of the latest gear from your favorite manufacturers, as they often tease new products on their Facebook pages first.
Twitter: Super for killing time when you're on stand. You can have quick conversations with friends and ask others for advice in 140 charters or less. The best part is, you will more than likely receive a response within mere seconds, and if you don’t, just move on to the next question or comment. Twitter can also be useful for bragging to friends about a successful hunt, or for gaining encouragement after a missed shot or failed hunt.
Google+: It’s similar to Facebook in the fact that you can easily discover timely, in-the-field info from others and share tidbits from your hunts. One of the coolest things about Google+ is that you can selectively share messages with certain people by choosing particular "circles" (groups of friends, relatives, coworkers, etc.).
YouTube: Awesome way to share your videos with the world. If you think you have a great tip that could help other hunters, make a video and explain it to others. You could become a star overnight if your video goes viral. YouTube is also a great way to find informaion, say you're going out turkey hunting for the first time and you don't know how to field dress a bird. Check YouTube and more than likely you'll be able to find something about it.
I know there are quite a few other social media spaces such as Foursquare, Flickr and Pinterest, but I feel Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and YouTube provide the most value for hunters. You definitetly don’t have to participate in social media, but it sure can make information gathering easier and hunting even more fun.
What are your thoughts on social media? Do you use any of the aforementioned sites?