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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Zeb (Zeb@zebwelbornmedia.com) for a free consultation.