Social Media Images Analysis: Cabela’s Sets The Mood With Social Images

If you talk to my wife she might tell you that I spend a little too much time on the Cabela’s website.

I love the outdoors.

In the spring and summer you can find me on the golf course. I try to spend time outdoors each day walking. In the fall I love getting out in the woods of Wisconsin for the annual whitetail deer archery season.

And it’s not just the autumn season that’s required for hunting. There is scouting in late winter, spring and even into the summer when you put out trail cameras.

If I’m not getting something on Amazon I’m probably getting it at Cabela’s. Those are really the only two places I get things as far as my hobbies are concerned.

So today I thought I would look at the Cabela’s social channels and examine what they’re doing with the images on those channels. I’ve always been fond of how the company does business so I’m sure they’re doing good things with social media images.

Quick side note – the image above is from their internal content on deer hunting.

1. Twitter: Great Outdoor Photo For The Cover Image

Cabelas Twitter

The image Cabela’s is using for their cover image on Twitter seems a little out of focus; at least for the moment. It’s a really cool photo and it fits well with the time of year. It’s the middle of summer here in the US and getting out on the big water for some fishing would be wonderful.

A quick note on cover images for just about every social channel is that you want the images to be large enough in resolution size so that they don’t appear out of focus. You want them to look as crisp and clear as possible.

The logo on the Twitter channel is the classic Cabela’s logo. It’s instantly recognizable.

Looking through their feed you’ll also see quite a few images. Cabela’s obviously understands the importance of visuals on the web and that includes social media. They use great photos throughout the Twitter feed and they modify those photos with text and enhancements when it makes sense.

I particularly like the posts that have only a saying with a great image like this one:

2. Facebook: You Want To Be In The Photo

Cabelas Facebook

Or at least I want to be. But I am the target customer after all.

Fly fishing on an amazing river where it appears to be maybe in the mountains or in some crazy terrain. It looks like heaven for an outdoor enthusiast.

For their Facebook channel, Cabela’s once again used one of their amazing internal photos. It seems like they invest a lot in photography. That’s obvious if you’ve ever picked up one of their catalogs.

And that’s a good point. If you have internal photos used for something else you can certainly use those photos on social media.

Again, you’ll notice the same logo as on Twitter. That’s good consistency.

Scroll through the feed and you’ll see all kinds of photos and images. It’s a really visual page.

That’s important for a brand like this. You want to present an experience. People like me want to buy that experience.

3. YouTube: Another Great (And Unique) Cover Photo

Cabelas YouTube

I’m slow, but I’m picking up on a theme here..

Cabela’s knows how to use their collection of photos for social media. And they’ve done a great job here again on their YouTube page.

What I notice though now after looking at three of their pages is that all the cover images have been different.

I think that’s a good strategy. Someone that loves Cabela’s (raises hand…) will check out all these pages and it’s fresh to see new images on all the pages instead of the same images all the time.

But the images are also relevant to what Cabela’s is doing. They’re all involving the outdoors like hunting, fishing, hiking and more. They seem to follow the seasons fairly well, which shows that they update the images pretty often.

This one shows a snowy setting so that’s a little out of season. Actually it’s way out of season, but in the hunting world you look ahead sometimes.

By the way, what a cool idea is Disconnect Day?

4. Pinterest: The Setting Photos Stand Out Most

Cabelas Pinterest

Cabela’s promotes the three channels above along with Pinterest on their website. If the channel is deemed worthy of including on the main website it means the company cares about it.

On the Cabela’s Pinterest page you’ll find about 20 or so boards with lots of products included That’s pretty much how Pinterest works. And it’s a great strategy. That’s what people want to see especially from ecommerce companies.

But one thing that stands out to me on this page is that the “setting” photos stand out the most. I’m talking about the ones that are more than just a product on a white background. You’ll see a photo of a father and son fishing or a celebrity (Luke Bryan) fishing.

They are probably using Cabela’s gear and that’s the point. But these images with the gear being used in an actual setting really stand out on social media. And they probably do more to get engagement and to sell the item.

But I realize that it’s more expensive to get setting photography. But maybe Cabela’s (and you) could create boards with a featured setting image and then the gear with product images within the board.

Follow Cabela’s’s board Outdoorsman Man Cave on Pinterest.

5. Instagram: The Perfect Channel For Cabela’s

Cabelas Instagram

I realize now that I’m not following Cabela’s on Instagram. Done.

Now I’m following them.

Just a quick look at their feed and you’ll see all the great photos they’re sharing on that channel. It’s the perfect channel for a company like Cabela’s. They invest a lot in photography and it really pays off well in many ways including social media and Instagram.

I mean, their latest photos get 10,000+ likes. That’s pretty crazy. You know people like what they’re doing.

And it goes back again to what I mentioned about the experience. People that love the outdoors want to be in the photos on their own experiences.

When you make that connection with people on social media they become more connected to your brand.

And it’s done with social media images.


Cabela’s has been around for several decades. I’ve always admired the way they do business. I think they started out with two brothers making ties for fly fishing and look what it’s become.

They have their systems and ways of doing things and it works even as times change. One thing the company obviously realizes is that unique and great photography and images are important. They were important in printed catalogs and they’re important on social media.