By Tom Kennedy
I have used online promotional tools and in particular social media for at least past 6 years, especially in the golf industry and I would highly recommend if not insist that any reputable golf club or company must use this to further their business. Here are just a few examples of how you can help develop your golf business through social media.
This is currently the place to be – instant posts, real-time replies and a huge reach to a worldwide audience makes this a fantastic promotional tool. Many golfers and the majority of the golf industry chat takes place here so it is a great networking facility as well. I have booked a lot of groups through Twitter down the years actually and have also received enquiries through this medium.
Research shows that your Twitter followers are a valuable and engaged audience, so treat them with respect and don’t always be selling – cool photos of your golf course or company or a funny story every now and then goes a long way to keeping them interested. 70% of your followers tend to broadcast your content through Quoting or Retweeting while 43% of your followers plan to make multiple purchases from the businesses they follow.
It takes a bit of time to get the most out of Twitter, at least 30 minutes a day to keep it up to date and increase followers. The worst thing I have seen is golf clubs that have created accounts only to see them with a few tweets and very few followers. It is a free resource, although time is involved but this should now be part of any golf club manager’s promotional campaign.
The key to getting seen/heard on Twitter is to include links, hashtags and photos on each post while being relevant, informative and sometimes controversial to increase exposure.
While Twitter might be the trendy cousin, Facebook is the photo album for the planet really (not everybody is on Instagram yet!). Some people say that those who don’t understand Twitter stay on Facebook but it is still an excellent resource. Photos of your course are best received here and it is the best place I’ve seen to run competitions especially, helping increase followers and also driving traffic to your website if utilised properly.
Like Twitter, you need to be relevant, informative and controversial at times to spark debate. Ensure you are not always trying to sell stuff with every post or status update though……that way people will get bored and think you are only after one thing when probably you are but there are ways around this – golf tour updates, congrats to local winners of golf tournaments and Majors and photos from your golf course. Start to build the Likes on your page by Inviting Friends followed by Running those dreaded “Like & Share” competitions and Promote your posts (if you have the budget!).
This is the best professional networking site on the web, most people that do any sort of business are available here. I have managed to develop many contacts here and this has resulted in bookings along with creating viable partnerships and sourcing better suppliers as well. Build up your contacts, join the groups relevant to you – Irish Golf, Linked Golfers and Irish Golf Societies are musts here for Irish golf clubs for example. Ensure you contribute to debates which will help those following your updates and of course start some of your own while also posting promotions on your own events and special offers from time to time. Again, overkill or overuse with constant promotion of offers will soon turn people off so it is essential to take a balanced approach here.
This is a fantastic outlet to promote your golf club or resort with videos of your course and facilities that you can roll our across your other social media platforms as well. The recent drone golf course flyovers are a superb selling tool and really add that little bit extra to your promotional tools. Make sure to keep your YouTube Channel up to date to keep your followers engaged and interested!
Maintaining a Blog
Setting up a blog and keeping it updated can be a valuable resource for potential members and visitors while also being informative for current members as well, it would also save on the time to email each member with the weekly/monthly newsletter when you could just update the blog with current golf club results, golf club news and other relevant topics such as news from the PGA & European Tours while also maintaining a local angle. The blog topics can be wide ranging but ensure that when one is setup that it is kept up to date, at least weekly, with whatever news items you can think of. I would recommend WordPress.com or Blogger for setting up a potential blog.
Other social media websites to consider would be Instagram (I’m still figuring this out myself!), Google+, About.me and Pinterest. There are more but it is tough to be on them all, my advice would be to get setup on the most popular ones and go from there! Whatever you do on Social Media I would recommend setting up profiles and keeping them updated daily but at the very least weekly if at all possible. If you would like Tom Kennedy Golf Consultancy to take a look at your Social Media setup don’t hesitate to Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call +353-61-525182 with any enquiries.