The term “social media” is bantered around so much nowadays and most of Clubland is scared “you-know-what” about joining in on the cultural swing we have been experiencing throughout the world.
Consumers are just simply tired of hearing the same ole sales pitch and why you are “so good”. Up to recent times this has been done solely through regular marketing mediums such as newspaper adverts, flyers and websites.
Instead consumers are now discussing service standards and overall quality of experience online in forums such as iseekgolf.com and posting feedback in a variety of trip, course and Google reviews along with a myriad of social media sites. They are sharing experiences and providing feedback – good and bad – with people they know and trust.
Businesses are now checked out ahead of time prior to a purchase or booking being made. The feedback they receive from “trusted” third parties carries so much more credibility than the above mentioned “regular” mediums. Social media is an interesting and very important part of marketing now which most clubs are really unsure about how to manage.
We all have heard about social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. The list of these types of sites is enormous and growing or is being done directly on the business website and new site feeds.
Most businesses, clubs included, are now looking to get involved with social media for their respective audiences. A good understanding of your target market is important here when deciding which medium to use.
Social media has become very popular as society has changed and we, as consumers, are tired of the one-sided relationships. It’s because of the engagement factor that’s created by using these new mediums. We want our voice heard, to provide feedback on our experiences, and also to be part of the decision making process.
We now easily get to know people and companies, interact with each other and build relationships. A strong relationship is hard to break and much more valuable to you in the long term.
Clubs are starting to understand the importance and value of this approach and are now budgeting for a greater focus on this part of their overall marketing. In many cases, the cost of social media is very minor, if anything at all, so return on investment is great.
Prior to social media, an unhappy guest would tell 9-10 others.
Today with social media, an unhappy guest can easily notify 90, 900, or even 9,000 others about their perception of bad service while they are still experiencing it!
However, you can turn that bad experience into a positive by utilising the same social mediums to your advantage. Create positive PR online by other readers seeing that you “did the right thing”.
“On Facebook, content is king and engagement is queen and she rules the house.” – Mari Smith A leading expert in Social Media
If you want to connect people with your brand or business on any social medium such as Facebook, you have to post great content that engages your audience. If you don’t have information that your readers want to see, they will not come to visit you very often or at all. Let them get to know you and start creating a real relationship with them.
One of the main things to know about Facebook is only about 16 per cent of your content is actually being seen by your fans, thanks to Facebook’s Edgerank formula. This is largely determined by how often someone interacts with your page, by liking or sharing a post, or leaving a comment.
To work out your page’s engagement rate, look at the two figures under your page name on your timeline. Take the ‘number of people talking about this’ and divide it into the total number of likes for your page. ‘Talking about this’ is the number of people who have interacted with your page as a rolling seven day total that changes daily. Check your engagement rate at the same time each week to see how effectively you have engaged with your fan base.
With improved engagement you will get to know your audience much better and you should see increased satisfaction with your members and visitors, ultimately improving growth in your business.
Social media is only one part of your overall marketing strategy. Come on join in social media and have some fun!
Need Help With a Social Media Strategy?
How are you communicating with your various target markets – including the local market of potential customers and your existing customers? We can help by suggesting ways to improve your communication methods and materials for your golf marketing campaign. Click here to contact Mike Orloff
Mike Orloff is a marketing strategist for the golf industry, as well a US and Australian PGA Member with more than 25 years of industry-wide experience, including 18 years working in senior roles for two of the biggest international golf management companies in Australia and the USA – American Golf Corporation and Clubcorp.
Originally published Inside Golf March 2013