Social media tips for golf course superintendents

By |  November 12, 2015 0 Comments

Social media is a blessing to the golf industry.

Many golf course superintendents and general managers use social media to keep up with maintenance best practices, give each other virtual pats on the back, share research and solve problems. If you have an agronomic issue with no solution, chances are someone in the Twittersphere has the answer.

“Social media was once thought of as a mere pastime for teenage procrastinators,” writes Sports Marketing Surveys in a blog post. “It then developed into a dubious marketing scheme whereby businesses barely considered it viable and worthy of considerable time and resource. Today it is a huge promotional machine that no real business can do without. And that includes the golf industry.”

With the amount of people in the golf business on Twitter, I don’t think I need to stress the importance of being active on social media (You’re a tech-savvy crowd!), but there are some please-dos and don’t-dos you should be aware of. There’s no clear strategy, but there is a way to avoid social media disasters.

Keeping up with best practices and techniques for effective social media can be a challenge, but it’s very rewarding.  Social media is indispensable. You can view social media as a free tool for you or you or your course to gain awareness, respect, attention and, most importantly, community.

Below are a few tips to keep in mind when posting to social media.

Dos

  • Post often. Staying active raises your credibility and allows you to share your passion with like-minded peers.
  • Use photos. I’m not talking about your average selfie. We love seeing your course, we love seeing your dog on the cart and we love seeing what you did after work. Yes, we love all of the visuals. Beauty shots are always welcome in this industry — it’s not boasting. (Check out Associate Editor Grant B. Gannon’s list of Twitter accounts to follow for great industry photos.)
  • Share your successes. People do want to see you shine. Sharing successful results may motivate others to improve or could give them the answer they’re looking for.
  • Mix up your content. Try new social media channels. Some superintendents are even trying out Vine!

Don’ts

  • Brag. It’s one thing to show us the result of hard work that’s paid off, but no one cares about your trillion-dollar budget. An easy way to alleviate bragging is to share what others are doing by retweeting or posting a link to a cool blog.
  • Complain. The golf industry has, is and will change, but social media is not a forum for you to complain about the changes. Yes, bring up concerns, but also be open-minded to what others are trying even if you don’t agree with them. (If you need a refresher on that, check out a recent column by Steven Wright, CGCS, on embracing change in the golf industry, or Matt Neff’s latest column on accepting change in the industry.)
  • Be obnoxious. Liking and sharing others’ posts shows you’re interested, but don’t go on a “liking” spree on Instagram to make it seem like you’re interested. Liking a photo or tweet from 63 weeks ago is a red flag. It’s generally easy to tell if someone genuinely likes your post or if they’re just one of those “likers” who “like” everything.
  • Show us your wild (and I mean wild) side. It’s nice to get a glimpse into your personal life, but some things are not meant to be posted to social media. If you have to think twice about whether it’s appropriate, it’s probably OK to post, but if you have to think three times about it… I’d steer clear. Keep it a bit professional. (Like raising your pinky finger while taking a photo of you sipping a brew.)

If you have any questions about social media best practices or how to make your accounts shine, I’m here to help. I wrote a 35-page white paper about social media that I won’t bore you with, but email me at jharms@northcoastmedia.net for more tips and ideas.

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