Golf & Social Media

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.

Twitter

twitter golf ball

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.

Facebook

facebook golf ball

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!).

LinkedIn

golf linkedin

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.

YouTube

youtube-golf-ball

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

Blog screenshot

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 Us or call +353-61-525182 with any enquiries.

Inaugural Social Media Links Challenge

The Inaugural Social Media Links Challenge took place from Tuesday 29th – Thursday 31st July 2014 at Carne Golf Links, County Sligo Golf Club & Enniscrone Golf Club. Fighting the interest in the Galway Races the same week, numbers were a little lower than hoped for but a decent crowd of enthusiastic golfers made their way west for a true test of golf on some of the finest links courses on the Emerald Isle.

SMLC_1

Day 1 took us to one of the westernmost points in Ireland (and probably one of the westernmost golf courses in the country), the amazing Carne Golf Links. This course is set in one of the most beautiful spots in the world, Belmullet, which some of the most awe-inspiring golf holes to be seen anywhere. A decent links day with some wind but not a gale as can blow in off the Atlantic from what we were told! The leaders on Day 1 were the Deasy brothers, Liam and John, who shot a great 47 points to lead by 3 from Conor Sheehan & Niall Lenihan and Irene & Damian Bolger on 44 points. Other notable scores were Conor Galvin & Gary Cormican on 42 points and Fintan Ward & Brian McMahon on 40. For most of the teams it was back to Ballina and to the Auld Shebeen for the latter part of the evening, with a bit of help from Muldooney Whiskey Liqueur!

2014-07-29 15.29.11 2014-07-29 16.19.25 2014-07-29 18.08.27 2014-07-29 11.54.27

There were some groggy heads the next morning at breakfast in the Downhill Inn hotel in Ballina, but everybody was ready for the test that would be provided by County Sligo Golf Club. The rain dominated much of the round but when the clouds cleared on the back 9 it was a complete joy to be out on the links. Best score of the day again with to the Deasy brothers, shooting 42 points in trying conditions, while the next best was Fintan & Brian on 41 which catapulted them into a tie for 3rd place with the Bolgers. Conor & Niall shot 38 points to hang onto 2nd place but now 7 shots behind Liam and John.

2014-07-30 10.29.21 2014-07-30 14.23.22

2014-07-30 13.38.27 2014-07-30 21.28.18

Another good night in Ballina was had with the Auld Shebeen becoming our official 19th Hole! The final round was held at the excellent Enniscrone GC and we were given a very warm welcome on arrival on Thursday 31st July, by the staff, members and the weather too! The wind was light but the sand dunes alone would provide a stern test anyway. A thoroughly enjoyable day was had by all and we were delighted that Honourary Secretary, Albie O’Connor, could attend the Prize Giving after golf. The Deasy brothers again shot the best score on the day, 39 points, for a 13 shot victory over Tony Regazzoli & Tom Kennedy, who managed to climb the leaderboard with 38 points on the final day. Third place went to Fintan & Brian while Conor & Niall took 4th and the Bolgers claimed 5th place.

2014-07-31 11.39.14 2014-07-31 13.19.29

Three tremendous days of links golf were over and each and every had enjoyed themselves immensely – Carne Golf Links, County Sligo GC & Enniscrone GC had provided three fantastic tests and from the feedback we received a lot of the players will be returning to play golf in the West very soon! The overall winner’s prize included the SM Links Challenge Trophy, a Golf Holiday to Portugal for 4 people courtesy of Tournament Partner Golf Voyager, 2 bottles of Muldoon Whiskey and Free Golf to Defend the Title in 2015! Many thanks must go to all Tournament Partners & Sponsors – Golf Voyager, Muldoon Irish Whiskey, PGE Golf, Just Treats Golf, Robinson Squash’d and our 3 venues, Carne Golf Links, Co Sligo & Enniscrone!

2014-07-31 18.10.53 Golf Voyager Logo

Plans are already being put together for the 2015 Social Media Links Challenge, if you would like to enter drop us a line on smlinkschallenge@gmail.com, give us a follow on Twitter or like our Facebook page for updates! Hope to see you on the links next year!!