The Social Guide

Explaining How To Use Social Media Platforms Efficiently

The Social Guide

For most of the country this is the “off-season” for golf. This is the time to evaluate, plan and put into action all the ideas from the previous season and make this year the best yet.

Part of the planning processes probably includes ways to get information out to members, students, guests and customers in an effort to make more money. Whether you’re an instructor or a golf course, using the social platforms that your students are using can make the difference between a good year and a great one!

We encourage our clients and fellow PGA Professionals to use these platforms as opportunities to engage with your audience. View these programs as ways to stay in front and relevant to your customers, instead of passive and obsolete. One of the many issues that we hear (and see) are that people just don’t know what to “say” and what they “should be doing” on all these different platforms.

We have set out to answer this question and provide the golf community with examples of what we think makes good social posts. What is fascinating about each social platform is that each one is unique and requires slightly different social engagement practices. It is very important to understand what each platform does and to interact with your customers using that specific platform. For example, the content and interactions on Facebook will be completely different from the way you post content and interact on Instagram. We encourage you to use each platform and share your content in each native platform respectfully.

We have heard many times, “It would be great to have a program that I can just upload one thing and it goes out to all these different sites” — that is completely the wrong way to view the social landscape.

There is a great quote from Peter Thomson in which he says, “Social Media isn’t something that you ‘do’, instead you have to ‘be’ social.”

As business people we need to educate ourselves and rethink how we communicate with our customers. The way the consumer demands information and interaction is 180° from 3 years ago – as an industry we need to start embracing this shift. Ultimately we are talking about shifting from the ‘push marketing’ mindset to a ‘pull marketing’ strategy. This is a huge deal and one that can bring people back to the game and make the industry a bunch of money.

Now what? This seems like a bunch of work, and very time consuming – well, it can be, but it doesn’t have to. Once you come to terms with the fact that this is where your customer is spending their time and you can actually interact with them in real-time you will start to look at these platforms as opportunities and business tools, instead of confusing trends. Using these tools now becomes fun and allows you to creatively tell your story to your customer base the way that they want to consume it. We want everyone to take the time and signup for these social accounts, spend a few hours researching and learning best practices.

We have put together a bunch of Case Studies for that we think will help you get started and to learn what makes a good Facebook post compared to what makes a good Instagram post. Being able to compare and understand these different nuances will help put you on the right path.

*We are not singling any particular course out and attempting to mock them — we are giving tips as to how and improve the overall material that these clubs are putting out. We credit all these courses with the work they are trying to do and have do so far. We encourage more courses to follow in these facilities shoes and start using the social platforms more.

social-case-study

Facebook (Original Post)

We know that Desert Canyon was trying to be engaging while congratulating Archie for making a Hole-In-One but this post come up a little shy of the hole, here’s why:

  • Content too vanilla
  • Needs a better picture
  • Humor wouldn’t hurt

There is way too much content on Facebook for a bland post to make an impact. Checkout what we did to enhance the quality of this post below.

social-case-study-v2

Facebook (Our Revised Post)

By taking a picture that will make people stop and look you’ll automatically get their interest. The humor of saying that he’s buying at the bar is something that everyone in golf understands and will make for a great conversation piece. This is sure to generate more views and more engagement.

Archie’s friends will be sharing this all over Facebook, it’s a great opportunity to not only congratulate Archie, but make an impact with his friends that Desert Canyon is a fun place to hangout for the day, because stuff like this can happen.

social-kohler-v1

Facebook

We love Kohler. Whistling Straits is one of our favorite courses in the world so we wanted to offer a few tips on how they could of made this really neat event just that much more engaging. Kohler has over 42,000 likes for their page – meaning they have a huge reach and need to take advantage of it.

Overall this post needed to deliver more. Aside from the picture, which is GREAT, the rest just falls flat. Here’s why:

  • Too many words
  • Too many links (The Shops at Woodlake and Kohler Website)
  • No Call to Action
  • Bottom link takes you to a website with almost no information (post event)

We would have used that same image with this text:

Tomorrow is Winterfest at Kohler – are you ready for some Winter golf fun? Can’t wait to see you, learn more here – http://khlr.co/n97j

There is a need to say too much, or to link to another Facebook page. The goal is to inform the reader and have them easily find out more information. When you add other links you confuse them as to what you actually want them to do. We wish Kohler did a better job with their website, the link that takes you to event didn’t make it seem like it was a fun event, or if anyone even showed up.

You need to complete the full picture. When you ask your reader to leave the page and do something, you better have all you “t’s” crossed. This is suppose to be engaging and informative.


social-twitter-mess

Twitter

This was the results from a random Twitter Search. What a mess. There are so many bad things here, which is a great learning opportunity.

  • All “push marketing” – too much “me, me, me”
  • Linking your Facebook page up to automatically post on Twitter. The ultimate way to say “I don’t get it and don’t care”
  • No pictures? No Videos? Why?

Twitter is the platform for listening and engaging. It’s probably why most businesses don’t like it. They are too interested in doing all the talking and little listening. Golf courses & PGA Professionals should be looking for opportunities to join conversations and contribute – not cram their product down the consumers throat. When businesses let go, and realize that consumers use Twitter to stay informed and engaged with friends / brands not to buy your product. Buying your product will be a result of them having a great relationship with you and looking for those opportunities to spend, not being told when they must spend.