Tag Archives: social media

landscape

19th Hole Media: 10 Prime Sources Of Golf Course Social Media Content

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For decades, if not longer now, the indispensable and universal marketing tool of golf has been the flyer. Holding a tournament? Make a flyer? A membership special? Make a flyer? Pro shop holiday sale? Make a flyer.

I now see that mentality transferred into the social media accounts of many golf courses, particularly country clubs. Frankly, 10 years or so now into the rise of smart phones and social media, that strategy is as dated as hickory sticks. Flyers are black and white television in an HDTV world.

The information these materials convey is still essential, but you need to re-consider your presentation. What matters most in social media is visual appeal – and flyers are a triple bogey on that front. And they are flagged as advertising on Facebook, which makes those posts unboostable – and boosting is increasingly critical to social media reach.

So where else would we get visual content, you ask. Well, it’s actually all around you. Here are 10 sources of content at your course that you should be incorporating into your social media.

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The Course – This one might seem obvious, but you’d be surprised at how many accounts I see where the course seems to be a rumor. Your course is your best friend when it comes to social media. It’s the visual cue that evokes the emotional response you want from your golfers, which is to come play golf. You should be showcasing it weekly, if not daily, to drive rounds and branding of your course.

If you don’t have a marketing budget that provides for professional photos, here’s the good news: Smart phone photos will totally suffice. Point your phone at your course often, including the wildlife and landscape (flowers, waterfalls, etc.). You’re looking to paint a visual picture that captures the ENTIRE experience at your course. And recruit your staff. Who knows? There may be a budding nature photographer amongst them.

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The Driving Range – Whether your range is beautiful or bland, it’s still where practice and teaching take place. Social media is a GREAT place to teach the game and promote instruction. Lesson videos are the best content, but simple forms will still convey the message, but lesson videos are worth the time and effort. And if they’re not great at first? Practice!!! It’s the range! Your golfers will reward your attempts to educate.

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The Golf Shop –
This is where the low-hanging fruit of social media lives. Courses are constantly swapping out their golf shop inventory. Are you sharing your changes with your audience and enticing them with sales and visuals of new merchandise? If not, why not? You have no excuse not to, especially when professional promotional images by vendors are readily available. FYI: Promoting your rental clubs, which I rarely see anyone do, also falls under this category.

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The Kitchen – Food has a HUGE audience on social media, far larger than golf. Let what comes out of your kitchen entice diners AND golfers to your facility by taking food photos. This is the best way to get non-golfers to your property and foster a loyal dining following. And this is the department most prone to the flyer. But instead of that bunch flyer, how about this? Show the food! There’s a reason food photos complement restaurant menus – diners want to see the food!

The next time you cook or dine at your club, take a second and snap a pic! When you share, you’re encouraging your diners to come join you do the same!

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Wedding Photographers – This could go much higher on this list, considering that weddings are the second biggest source of revenue for many courses, but this is secondary source of content so we’ll leave it here. Wedding photogs create some of the most beautiful, and often most progressive, content in the business. If you’re not gathering galleries taken at your course, you’re hugely missing out on a valuable trove of content.

One reason is the look, but the second is the cost: Free. The couple has paid for the service. Simply acknowledging the source usually satisfies most photographers and double as branding for them for additional business.

Wedding photos taken on the course are the best of both worlds because the course and couple always look great. Capture this content and spin it forward to recruit future brides.

Your Golfers – Social media is a two-way street. If you’ve got a healthy relationship with your followers, they are sharing at a rate equal to or exceeding what you’re sending. And sometimes what they create and share is really good. Never before have I shared so much user-generated content as in 2017 (Facebook, Instagram, etc.).

By re-posting this content you are doing two things: You are celebrating your golfers and encouraging other golfers to do the same. That’s called a social media win-win. Be active and your golfers likely will be too.

Your Web Site – Just like the course photos this is another obvious one that isn’t so obvious. At a bare minimum, you should be promoting your online booking engine, but anything you’ve deemed worthy of your web site is worthy of your social media. You’ve already declared your marketing intentions by creating one. Capitalize on that investment by promoting it on social media.

Outside Reviews – Be it by an outside professional reviewer or one of your patrons, positive reviews are fodder for promotion. You especially want to seize on any unique critiques of your course. Share them or partially quote them to encourage and promote future play.

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The Tour – The PGA Tour is the No. 1 promotional vehicle for golf. Share photos and encourage talk about the Tour, especially during the majors, to engage that sector of your audience. Since the Tour never stops, this can be an especially valuable source to courses who don’t have a year-round golf season. Use the tour to talk about equipment trends, the game, etc. and remain engage with your audience during the off season.

Third-Party Content – You could probably make a case that the prior two categories could go under this tab, but I’m going to break it out on its own to expand on the point. There’s a wealth of golf content on the Internet that you can re-purpose for your purpose, such as lesson pieces if you don’t have the capacity to produce them on your own. The ultimate goal of social media is provide value and value is where you find it. How valuable are you being to your audience?

So those are 10 types of content readily available to your course. How many are you using? Let 19th Hole Media help you discover your content possibilities by contacting me (corey.ross@yahoo.com) or Zeb (Zeb@zebwelbornmedia.com) for a free consultation.

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19th Hole Media: 5 Ways To Make Your Golf Course’s Social Media Better Today

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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.

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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 …

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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.

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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 …

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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 (zeb@welbornmedia.com) or myself (corey.ross@yahoo.com).

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19th Hole Media: Five Reasons Why Spring Of 2017 Is Prime Time For Your Golf Course’s Social Media

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The start to the 2017 golf season in California has been – pardon the pun – a water hazard.

A deluge unlike any seen in decades has washed away the drought but also plenty of tee times along with it. The windfall of a wet winter, however, will be paid forward in the spring when courses can boast impeccable course conditions and can look forward to significant savings on water costs.

Are you ready to capitalize and make a quick recovery from your lost rounds? Then look toward your social media.
Here are five reasons why spring of 2017 is prime time to leverage your social media and reap the benefits.

Green Equals Green –
A tour of courses in February showed course conditions the likes of which haven’t been seen in years in California due to the drought. It’s a perfect time to be updating your course photos and videos and let them work for you on social media.

Don’t tell golfers you have great course conditions – show them! Between Facebook, Instagram and your web site, you’ve got the tools to impress golfers and lure them to your course. You might even want to consider a drone shoot. Drone video footage is gold and plays very nicely with the changes to Facebook’s algorithm to help golfers discover your course.

If you rarely or infrequently post photos of your course, you’ll want to up your game this spring and help golfers visualize playing at your course under the best of conditions.

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Tourism Traffic – We’re not out of the winter tourism window, especially when an otherwise mild winter is just starting to play the back nine in most of the country. And usually a winter reprieve means a prolonged ending that drags into spring.

If that pattern repeats, there’s still a chance for you to coax golfers to the coast … but they have to be able to find you! Your web site will do some of that work for you, but social media is the BEST way to reach to the golf world and show them what you have to offer.

Much of the rest of country’s courses don’t become truly playable until around May, thus giving you March and April to still re-capture some of that lost tourism traffic from the winter.

If you get active on social there’s still time to catch the eye of that buddy’s trip or other groups that might be looking to escape the winter doldrums for a few rounds under the California sun. There’s still time, partly because …

The Time’s A Changin’ – The time change kicks in on March 12, giving courses back those lost precious hours. If you want sure to keep your course stays busy til sundown, social is your ticket, especially if you plan to lean on discounted rounds, specials, etc. You’ll want to be aggressively communicating those to your golf audience, and social is the ideal way to do it.

Pent-up demand – After a few months of California cabin fever, your golfers are itching to get back to golf as usual, which means making up for lost rounds. You want to make sure that’s happening at your course.

Again, put your course out there to coax them – and it’s also a perfect time to dangle membership specials, lessons offers, etc. to help them get back in the swing of things. Help your golfers get back in the game by convincing them your course is the place to do it – and then engage them with online interactions that make it more likely to happen.

Every time you create a post, you create an opportunity for a conversation and an increased awareness of your course and the potential to book a tee time. But you’ve got be willing to invest the time and resources. That’s where 19th Hole Media is here to help. We specialize in engaging golfers and driving interest in your course.

If you don’t have time for your social media, guess what? We do! Because that’s all we do! Let us do it for you!

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The Masters – The first major will be here before you know it, and in a way it already is. The TV commercial blitz has been going for some time now, stirring the hibernating hearts of golfers who live for April and Augusta, which ushers in the new golf season for much of the country.

Interest, enthusiasm and exposure for golf piques up to and during The Masters. You can play off that sentiment by talking about the Tour on your social channels, promoting The Masters countdown and maybe even by planning a Masters contest or promotion for your course.

Social media is the perfect platform for all of it. If your course is behind on its social media, it’s a prime time to catch up – and there’s still time, but you have to start now! Followers and engagement don’t happen overnight, but they can happen more quickly when you’re putting out the right messages and images.

I’ll close by saying, Congratulations! Your course has likely never looked better! Now you need to make sure golfers know about it. 19th Hole Media is here to help. Are you ready for a conversation and free consultation?

Contact me at corey.ross@yahoo.com to set an appointment and put your course on a path to spring social media success.

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19th Hole Media: 12 Questions To Determine Whether Your Golf Course’s Social Media Strategy Is A Birdie Or A Bogey

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Does your golf course have a social media plan for 2017, or could your current plan use a review?

Before you answer, here are some questions to ask yourself:

– Is your course posting regularly (daily/weekly) and consistently to Facebook?

– Is your course utilizing Instagram to promote your course and reach new golfers?

– Does your course have an adequate supply of high-quality images to promote your facility?

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– Is your course working with video?

– Is your club’s social media plan comprehensive, meaning does it account for and promote ALL of your business entities (golf, instruction, weddings, tournaments, golf shop, dining, events, tourism, lodging, etc.)?

– If your course posts regularly to social media, are they prompt (24/48 hours) in replying to responses and queries?

– Does your course have a blog to drive traffic to your web site and create rich content of value to your clientele beyond it just being a calendar of events?

– Do you value social media as a marketing AND a customer service tool?

– Do you have someone dedicated to your social media who enjoys it and makes it a priority and isn’t overburdened with other course duties?

– Do you promote and sell golf rounds through your social media?

– Are you properly leveraging the investment you’ve made in your web site through social media promotion?

– Do you realize how fast social media is changing and how challenging it is to stay educated?

More than ever, social media needs to be priority for golf courses to relevant and successful in communicating with their clientele. It has to be prioritized as more than hobby. If don’t take your social media seriously, neither with your audience – and quality content counts.

Before the new year, I encourage you to let 19th Hole Media give you an honest and experienced assessment of your current social media efforts. It’s likely we can identify many errors for improvement and tailor a custom plan exclusively for your course that will work and take into account your current resources (staff, social media familiarity, marketing budget, etc.).

If your course is behind in migrating its marketing to social media, this is your chance to catch up. If you let another year go by without making it a priority, it will on deny your course and club the impressive results that social media can provide in this era of new media. And if you’re course is taking out print advertising to promote itself, we definitely need to talk because those are marketing resources you should be taking control of and converting into storytelling and social media channels that work and will inform and entertain your audience and gain you fans, followers and loyal customers.

You can contact either Zeb Welborn (zeb@welbornmedia.com) or Corey Ross (corey.ross@yahoo.com) to schedule a consultation. We’d be happy to share the strategies that are working for our growing list of clients and make sure you have a happy new year on social media in 2017. You can find more information about 19th Hole Media www.19thholemedia.com.

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July 2014 Southland Golf

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www.southlandgolfmagazine.com

Eagle Crest course review, Page 16

Front Nine Golf Leaders Profiles

Harry Arnett cover story and profile, Page 28

Mike Flanagan profile, Page 31

Susan Roll profile, Page 35

Note to Readers: Southern California Golf Blog Is Now on Facebook

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        Six months after its creation, the blog has its own Facebook page, so you can now find us on both Facebook and Twitter. On Facebook, you have to search Southern California Golf Blog.

        We were doing a little experiment with Twitter since that was a somewhat unknown social media entity to us, but it’s time to utilize all of the social media sphere and see if we can get word out about the blog to a few more interested golfers. The times the blog has been linked, the hits have soared. You can’t hate us for wanting to be popular.

         So please find us, like us and continue to follow us. I’m thankful for all the support and encouragement the blog has received, especially recently.

         See you on FB.