So it’s nearly the end of summer 2017 and your golf course’s social media program is still lacking, listless and inconsistent. Instead of settling for more slow play on your course’s social media progress, do you want to get your course’s program on track and more on par with your competition? If so, this post is for you.
If you hired 19th Hole Media, here’s how we’d jump start your social media and get you more followers and ultimately more golfers this year and in 2018. The following is a list of five strategies that will improve your course’s social media today.
More course photos/videos – When it comes to social media, your course is your best friend. Social medium is a visually driven medium, which is great news for golf because we’re the best looking sport out there. You need to leverage that advantage to your advantage as much and often as possible. Golfers simply don’t get tired of looking at your golf course.
This tip might strike you as intuitive, but I see many accounts who seem to miss this most basic of basics. I’ve seen Instagram accounts for resort courses where the course itself is a rumor. I believe this is largely due to marketing departments that don’t know golf (more on this is point No. 2), but whatever the reason, your course can’t gain golfers online it has no presence on your social. It’s like running social media for a restaurant and showing photos of only the parking lot or the bathroom. You wouldn’t do that. So don’t do that to your golf course.
Instead, invoke a Pavlovian response from your golfers and entice them to come play, especially when your course conditions are at their peak.
You can also further following and engagement by …
Talking about golf – A short list of topics golfers like to talk about: golf. What are you doing to encourage this conversation and recruit golfers to your course and deepen loyalty of your members? You can start by asking simple questions about your course such as, “What’s your favorite hole/favorite tee shot/club?” and move on to more advanced topics such as how you’d play a certain hole/shot.
This is where the golf know-how many marketing departments seem to lack comes into play. If you don’t know the game, you’re already behind the ball because it also means you can’t talk the game. Mis-steps in golf terminology/lingo are a major turnoff to your audience and, conversely, being able to speak their language turns them into your golf buddy – and you want as many golf buddies possible.
This is the one of the major things that separates 19th Hole Media from many of the agencies – we know golf. Don’t discount how major that is for interacting with your audience.
Create more content – Most courses simply don’t produce enough content, which is obviously the lifeblood of social. It’s really easy to underdo content, but it’s very hard to overdo it, so you shouldn’t be shy about posting, although the one channel you don’t want to overload is Facebook. By posting more than three times a day, you cannibalize your own content.
There are many sources of content, but, besides your course, the low-hanging fruit is what’s in your golf shop and kitchen. Take photos of what is likely right in front of your face and use it to recruit followers and expand your audience by adding talking points to your social media.
Be active – This follows naturally from the previous point but it doesn’t mean just posting more content; it also means engaging with your audience. The more you put out, the more will eventually come back and you need to have someone dedicated to fostering that engagement to capitalize and convert on your efforts.
Remember this: Your audience will mostly mimic your habits and will only have the expectation you give them. And avoid the start/stop social media that plagues many course accounts and will make you seem like a bad boyfriend to your followers. Consistency is key, which is why you need to …
Have a plan and stick to it – Besides identifying content, the first step to creating a plan is being realistic about setting a posting schedule you can maintain. With a limited staff, that might not be that often, which is a great reason for outsourcing. 19th Hole Media has the time because that’s ALL we do.
Daily posting on Facebook and at least 3-4 times a week for Twitter/Instagram is a schedule has gotten great results for our course clients, but that might be more than your staff can sustain on its own. It all depends on where the social media responsibility on your staff lies. If it’s with someone who has five other jobs, I can tell you from experience that social media is unlikely to be a priority – and it needs to be.
Without someone on staff who has a social media mindset, opportunities will be missed and your social media will continue to underperform. 19th Hole Media can be that person by encouraging social media involvement and fostering goods habits and awareness of social media opportunities. Who’s ready for a conversation that will change your course’s social media game today?
To receive a FREE social media consultation from 19th Hole Media, please contact Zeb (firstname.lastname@example.org) or myself (email@example.com).