Should Your Golf Club Use Social Media?
Throughout history, the human race has found ways to adapt and innovate to survive and thrive. In a changing social and economic climate, golf clubs would do well to acknowledge this general trait of human existence.
Most clubs today view themselves as businesses, and there are few businesses that can afford to ignore the communication channels offered by social media.
A correctly placed and directed post on a social media channel can inform current customers or appeal to new ones. The wider the market a golf club can reach, the more potential customers. It’s fairly simple.
Many golfers, from top professionals to club-level golfers, have a presence on social media – there is a market out there, waiting for your club to reach it.
How to use social media well
Firstly, it’s important to focus on the correct social media avenues. Conduct a survey at the club to find the most-used channels. If 50 per cent of the membership has a Facebook page but only 15 per cent have a Twitter account, Facebook might be the place to start.
Mike Hyde, communications manager at the Golf Club Managers’ Association, regularly advises clubs on social media usage.
“It offers access to key younger demographics that clubs are looking for,” he says. “And the rise of golfers using social media means that even ‘traditional’ golfers are familiar with various platforms.”
But he believes a sound strategy is crucial.
“Clubs should ensure they have the right foundations to build on – a clear, easy-to-navigate website linked to a database that captures the data of visitors and members,” he says.
“Also, social media should be used as part of a wider strategy to deliver a club’s objectives. It’s no use setting up a Twitter account simply because the club down the road has one.”
Consider the sort of content that will do well over social media. The important thing will be to mix up the offering for members and visitors; you don’t want to alienate either group.
Details on club competitions, including entries and results, will be popular, as will updates on the course conditions and upcoming events.
In addition, members can be kept informed of social functions and team events requiring participants. They will also appreciate pictures or videos from the greens staff, as most members are part-time greenkeepers after all! More recent innovations, such as Facebook Live, allow for live interaction between members and club representatives.
All this information adds to the package members receive with their subscription, helping them feel part of things. If used correctly, social media should be fun. Sharing humour, a funny video of a bad shot or a fond memory of a past member draws people in.
“It’s an extension of the club environment,” Hyde says. “It might just be the difference between someone renewing or not.”
If seeking new members, social media could be a useful tool to advertise information on open days, reduced joining fees and flexible membership options.
“Using the simple platform, a club can set up an advert targeting people who have expressed an interest in golf and who live within a certain distance, even down to their postcode. There’s a reason ‘normal’ businesses have been doing this for years!”
Article by http://www.golf-monthly.co.uk/features/the-game/golf-club-use-social-media-126676