Facebook Doesn’t Want Your Blood Thirsty Dollars
By: Brad Luttrell, Co-Founder & CEO of GoWild
Mark Zuckerberg doesn’t give a rip about you.
Facebook wants you gone.
Instagram doesn’t care about your #conservation posts.
Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram, doesn’t even want our industry’s dollars.
I’ve said it since we founded GoWild—the good ol’ days of mainstream social media are behind us. That stance has been met with eyerolls and shrugged shoulders from industry insiders. For years, shooting and hunting Industry organizations have taught work arounds on how to get traction on Facebook and Instagram.
It’s like attempting to save a burning building with nothing but a shot glass to port water.
That fire has reached a point of no return. With Facebook’s most recent moves, there is no doubt the heat is too much for any hopes of combating these flames.
In fact, Facebook just put the hunting industry on notice:
“We don’t want you here.”
My friend Glen Reich has an incredible background in product development, marketing and sales within the hunting industry. He’s the guy who walks into a room at a conference, and knows everyone’s backstory. He’s a good guy to know.
Beyond Glen’s ability as a networker, he’s a very sharp marketer. Glen recently pointed out to me that Facebook has completely removed its audience options for hunters. You can see the screenshots here.
Or in layman’s terms, they’ve stopped brands from targeting hunters. They’d rather not have the money than to work with the hunting industry.
Now, this may at first not strike you as a big deal, let alone a death blow. Let me explain, though.
Facebook has in fact thrown a hammerfist that, if not the final blow, is the first of a one-two punch that leads to the TKO. They’ve long stood on the grounds of “we don’t allow weapons sales,” which while, yes, blackballed an entire legal industry, it got a shrug from most hunting industry professionals. For a long time, hunting was even allowed in content, per their terms of service.
However, now, the gloves are off. Meta (Facebook and Instagram) made it clear they don’t want the dollars of blood thirsty hunters, or the brands who sell to us. This, of course, is in addition to years of deleting our Facebook Groups, censoring our content and putting us in Facebook jail.
I have no doubt we’re living in the tipping point moment we saw coming in 2016 when we founded GoWild.
I spoke at SHOT Show recently, and this was central to my position as I pleaded with industry leaders to think through where they spend their money. On October 31, 2021, GoWild cut all budget previously designated for Meta platforms.
Instead, we’re putting as much of our marketing budget into companies and platforms that support hunting and fishing as possible.
When I talk about diversifying your marketing efforts, building your own leads, and, quite frankly, not being milk drunk at the teat of Facebook Czar, Mark Zuckerberg, people tend to say, "well yeah, you would say that. You're the guy who founded GoWild."
But to that I say, if not us, then who?
Your big box hunting and shooting stores are still flooding Facebook with millions of dollars, building entirely separate websites or, even crazier, technology that hides their hunting content from Meta (Facebook or Instagram) when potential customers click on their Facebook ads.
They would rather hide who they are to make a buck. Let that simmer for a minute.
They’re bending over backwards to fund a company that’s against everything they sell and stand for.
I don’t think any company should only post on GoWild—that’s silly. But I feel strongly that most brands are building glass houses on sand.
I said that at SHOT.
I said it on most of the hundreds of podcasts I’ve done.
I’ve said it on our blog.
But I guess I can stop saying it. Because it’s all happening. It’s all here. You’re either saving yourself, or you’re consumed at the aw of the power of the sparks like a moth to the flame.
About the Author
Brad Luttrell is the Cofounder, CEO of GoWild, a social commerce platform for hunting, shooting and fishing enthusiasts. The award-winning writer, photographer and creative director quit his advertising career to become an entrepreneur after being disenchanted with Silicon Valley’s treatment of hunters. Since 2016, he and three cofounders have built and scaled GoWild, a platform GearJunkie called the best social media app for hunters of 2021. Luttrell has made his fight against Silicon Valley public, having boycotted and deleted his personal social profiles and pulled his company’s budget from Facebook and Instagram. Despite all of this, Luttrell’s friends mostly just know him for his Double Smoked Venison Chili.