Advertising in Newspapers and Magazines is becoming a thing of the past, nowadays people want the information at their fingertips and they want it now. Social media has become a way of life for many people and many businesses, stats show more than 57% of people check their social media accounts and email accounts before even greeting their spouse and loved ones in the morning. So businesses, large or small, have taken to putting as many adverts, posts and pictures on their Social media accounts in order to attract potential clients. But, however strict your privacy settings are, Social media is never private. Even if you delete a post, it can hide in the dark corners of cyberspace, only to come back and bite you later. Therefore, we need to think before we post!
Being in the Hunting Industry we have had to change our entire approach to what we put on Social media. Let’s face it, Hunting is not, and will never be, a spectator sport. No matter how ancient the tradition, or how noble or ethical the hunter is – once people are confronted with photos of hunters with dead animals, they don’t care how much hunting contributes to conservation, the recovery of species, the economy or people’s livelihoods. They become emotional and act on it. And emotional posts have the highest success rate of all posts on Social media! The anti-hunters do not want to the research into the hunting world and see how much Hunters do for conservation. Take Ducks Unlimited for example, they put back 82 cents into ground for every dollar donated to them, they are one of the world’s best Hunting /Conservation groups in the world. PHASA and Hunters Care are another great Hunting/ Conservation group here in SA and they do a huge amount for conservation in South Africa.
Social media platforms are no longer the place for you to post your photos of trophy animals. It is time to sell the experience, and share the more intricate details and photos with your clients via e-mail or an in-house newsletter
Here at Umdende Hunting Safaris we now only post pictures of the scenic view we have from our Duck Blinds, our retrievers, clients at lunch / dinner on our Social media accounts. In the past, we had some back-lash for posting dead animals or birds from the anti-hunting groups. We have an open Facebook page, so anyone can like or follow us. Sometimes they are anti- hunting and can leave nasty comments or a bad review, even though they have not even been to Africa let alone hunted with us. We know our true followers would prefer us to post pictures of our latest Safaris, but unfortunately this opens the doors for uneducated comments from anti-hunters and we do not wish to feed their ignorance. We now have to come up with new ways to share our hunting experiences, combined with educating anti-hunters on the crucial role that hunting plays in sustainability of wildlife and our natural resources.
The public perceives trophy hunting as a wasteful activity that is all about the ‘biggest and best’, and even bigger egos. This is not true!
A trophy is: – a memento of a special time and a special place shared with old or new friends – a reminder of the cultures, sights, sounds, tastes and smells of a country. So as Hunters lets stick together and refrain from posting pictures of dead animals on your social media…. lets rather inform the world that Hunting is conservation and so much more.
Needleless to say, our monthly newsletter will keep you updated on all our latest Safaris and can see what we have been up to. Our Website www.umdende.com is updated regularly with new photos and we are part of many hunting websites which allow trophy pictures that only members can view.
So even though we don’t post any of our Trophy pictures or Bird Hunting pictures, you are welcome to as at the end of the day it’s your Social media account not ours, but here are just a few tips before posting
1) Choose a respectful image: A photo really can speak a thousand words and that’s why, if you’re including an image in your post, it’s so important to choose the right one. When it comes to hunting photos, it can sometimes be hard to describe exactly what is tasteful and what’s not so try to use some common sense. Extreme blood and gore, inappropriate poses, and a general lack of care in how you present a dead animal can all reflect badly and you will get some nasty comments
2) Provide context: When non-hunters see a photo of a dead animal, whether it be a tasteful photo or not, many times they lack the context to understand all that went into the hunt or the reasons for doing it. A common misconception is that hunters target the animals just for the horns and don’t even eat the meat. Try share a bit of the story of this hunt and why it was so special to you. So a good caption comes in handy.
3) Take an extra second: Before posting on social media, especially when it comes to hunting, it’s always good to take one extra second to think before hitting “publish.” Remember what you post with regard to hunting, effects the hunting community, so a bad caption or distasteful photo just gives the anti- hunters more ammunition against the hunting community
4) Have fun: And finally, while all of the above suggestions are important to think about, Social media is also supposed to be fun. Don’t let an online bully make you feel bad for shooting, for hunting, for a trophy, or anything in between. If it makes you happy, and it’s legal, ethical and respectful – go for it and share your joy with the world.
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