How Social Media Marketing is Like Bass Fishing (Part 1)

Bass Fishing
Sammy really knew how to make his line dance. But playing the part is one thing; actually catching something is another.

Back in 2012, I made the decision to write a book about social media marketing—one that fills in some of the blanks. In it, I focused on the personal behavioral traits that can affect your marketing initiatives, and the book details what I consider to be the eight social media marketing mandates that must be mastered in order to, simply put, get results.

What makes the book different, and also infinitely credible, is the manner in which the content was gathered. Some of the most innovative marketing practitioners, authors, and professors—154 of them from around the world—have provided their take on the eight mandates in the book. You can be sure that every comment by every one of those professionals comes with a big dose of “been there, done that” and “we know what works.”

One other approach that makes the book unique is the manner in which the success stories have been researched, written, and organized. At the end of each chapter are two B2C and two B2B success stories featuring “big fish” (large organizations) and “little fish” (small/medium organizations).

Speaking of fish, shortly after completing the first draft of the book, I rewarded myself by going bass fishing at my weekend getaway on Lake Fork in East Texas—a favorite pastime that I don’t get to pursue as much as I would like. I suppose I can blame my responsibilities as a fractional CMO as having something to do with that.

Nevertheless, I found myself fishing off my boat dock early that Saturday morning in really unforgiving Texas summer heat—not the best of conditions. After a couple of hours, the only bites I had gotten were nibbles, which told me that the fish in the immediate area were so small they couldn’t get their mouths around the lure (or that I was just rusty).

At first, I didn’t pay a whole lot of attention to Sammy, whose name I would learn later. As he and his boat grew closer to my dock, I became intrigued by how Sammy moved about on the water in “stealth mode,” using a foot control connected to the trolling motor on the bow of his boat. I noticed he had several fishing rods laid out behind him, with what appeared to be a different lure attached to each one. They guy sure looked prepared, I’d give him that!

I watched Sammy’s effortless cast—a flick of the wrist that placed his lure just where he wanted it almost every time. He really knew how to make his line dance. But playing the part is one thing; actually catching something is another.

As Sammy moved closer to the dock, I decided it was time to leave. He could have that empty hole I’d been fishing. With my rod in one hand and tackle box in the other, I was just stepping off the dock when I heard Sammy’s voice. “Gotcha!” I stopped and looked back over my shoulder to see his rod tip jiggling as he quickly reeled in a nice bluegill sunfish.

Cast after cast brought in more bluegills. At this point, Sammy had my full attention, even though the little voice in the back of my mind was saying, “What a piece of luck!”

When Sammy finally reeled in an empty line, he had moved close enough to the dock that I heard him mutter to himself, “So that’s how it’s gonna be, eh? The big guy runs off the little guys.” Curious, I watched as Sammy switched to another rod with a different lure.

(Continued in part 2…)