How to Become an Invaluable Part of Your Golf Course and Industry

Preparing to build authority

As a new employee of a golf course, one of your first goals as a new professional is to create value both inside and out of your company. With the right attitude and work ethic, you can gain authority both throughout your industry and in current company.

Determining your area of authority

It is important to determine what area of work you will be most successful in when determining your area of authority. First, determine your current talents that you’re gifted in and love to do. It is also important to identify your most valuable activities that would cost the most for others to do. For a golf professional the simple answer to this would be golf instruction. Once these two steps are completed, the next step is to ask yourself “inside of the company I work for, I would most like to be known as an authority on”(Crenshaw, 2013, para. 4). After completing this, then ask yourself “in the public, I would most like to be known as an authority on” (Crenshaw, 2013, para. 4).

Scheduling time to build authority

When building authority you must set time aside to share your knowledge to gain authority. A good rule of thumb is to open your calendar and try to find at least one hour per week and dedicate it to building your authority. As you become more of an authority you will want to dedicate more time to further develop yourself. By setting time aside each week you will see the hours accumulate and your authority grow.

Selecting a mentor

One of the fastest and most efficient ways to build authority is by finding a mentor and learning how they have built their authority. By following your mentor’s advice you will be heading in the right direction on building your authority. The three most common areas to find a mentor are inside your company, through friends and acquaintances, and long distance mentorship. These mentors should be masters in their field of work and should have already found success in their industry. Becoming a master in your field doesn’t come easy, however, it will be much easier after you have found a master to learn from and communicate with when needed.

The PGA of Alberta mentorship program is a great resource to help CFM professionals learn from a Class A individual and help them throughout the process of achieving Class A status. I have spoken with my mentor Kevin Chow on several occasions to help with my development. I most recently utilized his insight when developing the name of this very website you are reading.

Building authority within a company

Becoming a systems expert

One of the easiest paths to becoming an authority in your company is by becoming a systems expert. It is important to find something you have some knowledge on, to begin with, and learn as much as you can to become an expert in that particular system.

As a golf professional this is a great tactic to build authority at your golf course and in your industry. Some systems that would be useful as a golf professional to become an expert in would be: golf fitness, club fitting, retail merchandising, and social media marketing. If you become enough of an expert with a particular system, you will quickly find yourself training others at your golf course and will begin to build authority.

Getting company buy-in

In a rapidly moving golf season, it can be extremely difficult to spend the time to document systems. If you can take the lead in your organization to spend the time to help become a systems expert while documenting it for others to learn, you will quickly gain your golf course’s support. It is important to gain permission and buy-in from upper management first before spending the time to document.

In a larger organization that already has spent the time on documented systems, you will have to work a little harder. With these types of companies, it can be beneficial to find ways to become more efficient in their already established systems and present these as recommended improvements to upper management.

Documenting the “what” and “how” in systems

In Dave Crenshaw’s video on Thought Leadership, he shares a useful diagram to help identify the key parts that make up the what and how of your system you have chosen. This diagram should be completed by first filling out the left side of the page to identify the what of your system. After this is complete you should then complete the right side of the page where you will list all steps on the system.

THought Leader

Formalizing systems

After you have developed your system, the next step is to submit your system to your manager for review. It is here that your system will be fine-tuned to fit the golf course’s needs and brand image. After they make their edits, look back and learn from each one to help you improve your skills in becoming a systems expert.

Building authority in public

Finding your path to authority

By publishing your systems publically through a blog, website, book, or editorial you can instantly build authority in your industry and the public. Show your knowledge and let those in your industry know of your expertise.

Climbing the authority ladder

In Dave Crenshaw’s video on Thought Leadership he shares a useful diagram to help break down some examples of moving up the authority ladder. This diagram should be utilized as a tool, however, you don’t have to follow each and every step.

Authority Ladder

Building a library

At this step, you will start to collect all of the publications and videos you have created for others to read and watch. The bigger this library gets the more insight you can share with your audience. By having a large library of valuable content you will showcase your expertise and potentially profit from this expertise.

Building an online network

A great way to develop your perceived authority is to showcase yourself being a leader for other leaders. The easiest way to do this is through social media, for example, if a golf professional is an expert in custom shaft fitting they may create a social media group or account dedicated to sharing that expertise among other leaders. The steps to effectively doing this are:

  1. Create your group about a topic that already has a following
  2. Get people to follow the group
  3. Establish leadership in the group
  4. Share items from your library with the group over time

Building an offline network

After building your online network the next step is to start to establish an offline network of like-minded individuals. By creating a local association in a field of your expertise you can invite others within the same field to get together and discuss ways to make improvements on the selected topic. A great resource for your offline group can be through your established online group and vice-versa for driving traffic to your online network.

Gaining personal publicity

Recognition in the press can be a great way for you to gain exposure to those interested in your knowledge and also can act as a great addition to a resume. Reach out to local experts in media and volunteer as a guest expert to share your expertise.

How I have become a thought leader in my organization

When I joined the golf shop team at the Edmonton Petroleum Golf & Country Club in 2015, I made the effort immediately to find an area I could have the greatest impact in to build authority. I made it my goal to become an expert in golf club technology and fittings and quickly found myself doing the majority of club fitting at our course, and later mentoring other coworkers on club fitting techniques. As I further developed my skills as an authority I sought the assistance of mentors to help develop other skills like retail buying and golf instruction. I found my first mentor in my current workplace – I utilized my head professional Kyle Boyd in the development of my retail buying skills. In the development of my golf instructing abilities, I looked to multiple resources like Master Professionals Bill McDougall and Alan Riley on ways to further develop my teaching methodologies. I believe that by utilizing these mentors I have developed my skills as golf professional very rapidly and will continue to use mentors to further the development of my authority.

Works Cited

Crenshaw, D. (2013, January 3). Thought Leadership [Video File]. Retrieved from https://www.lynda.com/Business-Skills-tutorials/Final-thoughts/88535/105359-4.html  

 

 

How to Utilize Instagram to Boost Your Business

Instagram basics

First of all, what is Instagram and why is it so popular? Instagram is a social media app that was built with the purpose of sharing photo and video content with other users and followers. If your business or brand has any visual content that showcases you, Instagram is a must do for your business.

The photo and video rich media aspect of Instagram is what gives it fantastic marketing capabilities if done properly. Instagram also provides users the ability to edit their content before uploading with filters and other editing tools that can give your content a professional look. If your looking to showcase and get feedback on the visual aspects of your business “Instagram has 500 million monthly active users [and] there are 95 million photos uploaded to Instagram every single day” (Alexander, 2016, para. 2). Instagram users are also very engaging on the platform, of the 95 million photos uploaded “4.2 billion photo likes per day” (Alexander, 2016, para. 2) are sent out. 

Instagram allows for personal user accounts but also allows you to create a business branded account. When setting up your account for your business keep in mind that in order to switch your existing page or a new page to a business account you will have to access your settings found on your profile page. Due to Instagram being owned by social media giant Facebook, it is best to already have a business Facebook page built to link to your account. With an Instagram account set up for business purposes, it allows you to access Instagram Insights. With Insights it lets you analyze your posts and reach to see things you are doing well and things that can be done better.

Building your business strategy for Instagram

One of the best ways to get started with your business strategy for Instagram is to look at other successful business on Instagram to see the types of posts they are making. Looking at golf company Callaway’s Instagram page it shows some of their staffers using their product for successful tournament finishes, along with captivating product photos. Callaway also features “Insta Golf Tips” on their page like the one below to provide valuable content for their followers.

Another good way of getting some ideas for your business Instagram page is by brainstorming content ideas. When doing this list all of the products and services you offer. For a golf professional, all the forms of lessons you can provide, coaching programs, and clinics are all services you can provide. Next, list all of the benefits that your product or service can provide to your consumers. Now think of how people use your product or service, the more creative you are at this point, the more content ideas you will have. Lastly, think of the situations when people are the happiest with your service. This is where you can get peoples attention with content that reminds of the good feelings they may have from your service. This may be as simple as hitting that bunker shot perfectly that you’ve been struggling with, or possibly the feeling of shooting your lowest score yet.

Looking at your competitors content is also a great way to understand ways that you can improve your Instagram content. It also allows you to see who is following them and figure out what you can do to reach some of their followers. You also can find ways to separate yourself from your competitors by looking at the competition to find things that you can do better than they currently are doing.

Creating a posting schedule can be very effective for growing your Instagram following. By scheduling posts, it makes it easier to plan content while increasing user engagement. Third party applications allow for scheduling posts made simpler, look for applications such as ScheduGram and HootSuite.

Using the Instagram app

When setting up your Instagram business page it is important to fill out as much of the profile section on Instagram as you can. The more information provided here will allow for your customers to reach you easier, one of the most effective tools is adding your website landing page in the URL section of the profile. Also, keep your bio and other text sections of your profile concise, people generally use Instagram to stay away from long blocks of text like the ones you see on other platforms. If they want to learn more about you they can have a redirect to your website from your Instagram page.

After your profile is complete the next step is to start posting content, this can be done from the middle camera icon on the mobile app. You can choose to pick content from your camera roll on your device or to take a photo or video from within the app. After you select a photo or video to post the next step is to use Instagrams filter and edit tools to enhance your photo to increase the visual appeal of your content. After the content is edited accordingly you will hit the next button found on the top right of the screen to move on to the post’s caption and share section. In this section, it is important to provide a caption for your content along with relevant hashtags to improve your reach. After this is completed you can select your linked social media accounts to post your content to.

The best way to gain visibility through Instagram is to interact with the Instagram community. You can follow others in your industry, and like and comment on their posts accordingly. The more times your businesses page appears on Instagram the bigger your reach on the platform gets. The same way you interact with other Instagram pages on the platform will be the same thing others are doing with your own page. It is important to review your likes and comments on your content to gain feedback on what users are liking and saying about your business.

Using Instagram stories is a great tool to post content from a live event for a 24-hour window after posting. This tool is great for showing a particular event without cramming your Instagram feed. I recently used this tool for my @wardogolf Instagram page over the past weekend at the Edmonton Golf Show to show some of the different guest speakers and other golf lesson content. I plan to use the stories tool to share live content from other events throughout the golf season to show community involvement and other things my followers may find valuable. Instagrams recent update of stories allows users to pin stories they have created to their profile in icons to be displayed above their main content.

Fine-tuning your content to increase reach

In order for your Instagram account to be most effective, there are a few easy tricks to stretch the reach of your content.

Use the following five points to get the most of out of your posts:

  1. Link your other social media platforms to Instagram to reach out to other established platforms with your visual appealing content from Instagram.
  2. Use filters to enhance your photos, in some cases #NoFilter is best. Look to match your filters to the message your brand is trying to promote with the photo.
  3. Use relevant hashtags to connect with more users that are not following you. For golfers in Edmonton try #GolfYEG, #Golf, #AlbertaGolf.
  4. Add a location to your posts to show your followers where to find you. The easier your brand is to find, the more customers can connect with you.
  5. Use a Repost app to add content to your page from your other users. This is a great way to interact with the community while having to do little to no extra work.

Using Instagram for business tools

Look for the bar graph icon found on your Instagram profile page to access Instagram Insights. Insight allows you to see top posts for your current page and new followers. Instagram Insights gives us the ability to see how many times our posts and page have been seen in a given time period. This is a great way to measure the success of your posts and give your Instagram measurability.

Instagram also has a blog dedicated to it business users and provides tips and tricks for business owners to improve their Instagram presence. The Instagram for Business Blog allows you to stay up to date with best practices, announcements, and updates.

How to integrate Instagram with other platforms you have.

A great way to add visually rich media to your websites is by linking your Instagram with your website. Most web design companies will have the ability to add an Instagram widget to your website similar to mine found on my homepage.

How Instagram can boost your business as a golf professional

The best way to increase awareness of your golf instruction or golf course is to feature photos and videos of exactly what you do. Try posting a live look at what one of your lessons looks like and this will give an insight of your teaching style and can lead to more lessons. A golf instructor who has done this very well is George Gankas, George uses Instagram to showcase his teaching methods and how an actual lesson would go. By posting videos of lessons he has increased awareness of the services he provides and also shows his unique personality that has gained him the respect of many tour players and golf professional alike. This post below shows one of the great drills he uses with students, it also shows his laidback approachable style that has got him to over 92,000 followers on Instagram.

Instagram is also great for running contests and giveaways to grow your brand, by running contests that are engaging and has other users post creative photos of your product and service it will allow others to do marketing for you. Giving away a golf lesson or a dozen golf balls goes a long way for increasing your reach if the contest is engaging.

 

Works Cited

Alexander, A. (2016, December 3). Instagram for Business [Video File]. Retrieved from https://www.lynda.com/Instagram-tutorials/Welcome/533221/552957-4.html

 

How To Improve Your LinkedIn Profile For Success In Your Industry

How to get started on LinkedIn

Why you need it!

One of the first steps of setting up your LinkedIn is realizing why you need it. In this day of social selling and social networks, employers do a search online to find out more about you before contacting you. “In fact, about 57% of the decision to do business with you has already been made before prospects get in touch with you” (Verdonck, 2017, para. 2). LinkedIn can provide potential employers a way to find you online and learn more about you. With an established profile that connects with other LinkedIn users and contributes content, it showcases that you have a presence and are willing to participate in the community. With an engaging LinkedIn page that provides valuable content to your network, it shows credibility and provides employers with more assurance based on your position in your industry.

Name Mistakes

If you have a name that is commonly misspelled it is an excellent tool to include variations and alternatives of your name so search engines can still find you. This doesn’t have to be front page and center but should be included somewhere on your page.

This may look like this for example:

Common mistakes regarding my name Chris Ward: Kris, Kriss, Cris, & Christopher (Given Name), Christie, Christofel, Christoffer, Wardo, Wards, Award, Wart, Warde, War,

By having all of these listed it will still allow those who have misspelled my name to find me on LinkedIn and search engines.

Choosing your profile picture

  1. Make it professional, avoid photos including drinks and vacation photos.
  2. Use a headshot, make your face the main subject of your profile picture.
  3. Relax and smile, the more engaging the better.
  4. Consider using a solid or slightly branded background.
  5. Keep your photo up to date.
  6. Add a background photo that reinforces the brand you represent.

“LinkedIn’s blog claims that a profile with a photo is 11 times more likely to be viewed” (Verdonck, 2017, para. 8).

Upgrading your LinkedIn professional headline

Your professional headline shouldn’t just be the same title that is on your business card.  By simplifying your headline it groups you into a much larger pool of candidates and makes it a lot harder to get noticed. It is important to be unique in your headline, this is how you get noticed. Adding something personal that other people can relate to is a great conversation starter. By searching golf professionals on LinkedIn it showed more than 40,000 results with the majority of headlines reading “Assistant Golf Professional” and “Head Golf Professional” by adding “retail manager” to the same search it immediately narrowed the results to just over 400. Just by simply adding one more role to your headline it immediately narrowed down the search by nearly 100%.

Adding your location and industry

For those looking for jobs and to connect with people near their current employer, it is best to enter the postal code of your current work location. If you are looking for a position elsewhere or closer to home, for example, you should use that postal code. LinkedIn generally uses a 50km radius from your provided address to find connections. When setting your industry it is important to select the correct one, if you have any doubts about a current selection talk to other coworkers to help determine this.

How do you want to be contacted?

It is important for those looking at your profile to have the opportunity of taking the next step and contacting you. The four methods that LinkedIn users have for contacting you are your phone, email, instant messenger, and address (usually your business address). When determining what numbers and address to include it is important to look at who your target audience is and know where they would most likely want to contact you. Also, make sure your email connected to LinkedIn is a professional one and avoid using your Hotmail accounts from grade school in this section.

Another great tool for your profile is adding external websites and other account links for your connections. This is a fantastic spot to add your business website and business twitter account. It is best to avoid adding your personal twitter if you share anything that you want to be kept disassociated from your business profile.

Writing your summary

To increase the readability of this section it is important to entice the reader to read on by starting with a short lead-in. After this, align the next section with corporate branding and have some information about the current organization you are apart of, the goal of this section is to give a summary of what your organization does. After this section add some more specific information of what your responsibilities are in your current role. By sharing this information it provides the reader with insight on some of your successful roles within your organization.

If your organization has video content that can help summarize themselves in a more visual format it is a great thing to link to your summary.  Other relevant PDF or image files can be useful in this section to help increase the appearance of your page.

Presenting Your Experience

When completing the experience section of your LinkedIn page you must focus more on your results from previous jobs rather than simply presenting your resume. Similar to the personal summary section of your profile it is effective to begin your job summary with some corporate branding summarizing the organization. After this is presented the reader can further understand your responsibilities and roles within that organization because of the background information provided. After all of this presented it is important to provide a call to action for the reader, this will let them know what to do next, even for previous roles it is good to share a call to action so your previous employers can utilize your page as a tool. Adding rich visual media can also further engage the reader and utilizing LinkedIn’s SlideShare to help summarize a past project or job role is a fantastic way of boosting the visual appeal of your page.

Creating Your Brand

Make the most out of awards and professional honors relevant to your industry by adding them to your LinkedIn page. By doing this it showcases “the level of competency you bring” (Verdonck, 2017, para. 2). If you commonly find yourself heading projects for work and are proud of your current and past project successes, adding projects is a great way to share some specific details about your responsibilities.

LinkedIn is one of the least utilized platforms for publishing content. By publishing industry-relevant topics in your area of expertise it can be a great way to get your name and ideas out to your network and your connections networks. When writing on LinkedIn it is best to use your normal speaking voice because it will increase authenticity and readability. Your title and cover photo for your content should grab the readers attention immediately. Your published content should include examples and figures to reinforce your points and should fall between 300-500 words in total. The best days to publish content are on Thursdays and Sundays due to most peoples work schedules and the more consistent you are on posting regularly, the more of following you can gain.

Showcasing your skills & getting recommendations

The first step in adding skills to your page is finding what is relevant for your target audience. Try to include as many that you believe that your target audience will find valuable, plan to exclude the remainder that doesn’t have a relevance to your target audience. Your skills section should be a quick way for a reader to see what you can do and to help establish a great first impression of you.

The more believable skills that you share in this section the more likely your connections will endorse you for these skills. It doesn’t look good to have an overwhelming number of skills without a single endorsement to back your claims up.

LinkedIn also has an area on your page for posting recommendations, think of this section as a consumer review like the ones you would find on Amazon for a product. You are way more likely to purchase or in this case hire someone who has great reviews and recommendations. Shoot for getting 5-7 recommendations, with these recommendations make sure they include detail and are not simply “Chris is a nice guy and a good golfer” look for recommendations that give insight to how great you are at your job.

Sharing your educational background

Some of the key things to remember when sharing your educational background are that the more detail the better, look to share information about activities and societies you participated in and give a brief description of the program or why you decided to take this program. Sharing your grade in the given section is a great way to show your dedication to the school. If your grade is worth sharing share it, if it isn’t worth sharing just leave the section blank. It is also very important to share the years you attended so you can connect with others from the same graduation class.

When sharing certifications and courses to your page it shows your continued desire to learn and willingness to further your knowledge in your industry. It is best to keep these certifications as relevant to your industry as possible, there is no need to share your Game of Thrones History course on your profile if you work in the golf industry for example.

Show off your personality

Too many LinkedIn profiles are dry and just too professional, leaving no room for your personal touch” (Verdonck, 2017, para. 3). On LinkedIn trainer Bert Verdonck’s page, you will find in his main headline “Happy Chocoholic” this is an excellent example of showing off his personality and should be included in more LinkedIn profiles. Happy Chocoholic resembles Bert being human and works as a great conversation starter for those reaching out to Bert for the first time.

Choose to share other things you’re passionate about further down your page, possibly at the end of the summary section of your page by including a “Get to know me?” section. 

Other skills to help you stand out

  • Add volunteer work to boost engagement
  • Maximize keywords on your profile to perform better in search engines
  • Engage with others using LinkedIn groups
    • Only do this once you have updated your page with the tips provided earlier in this post.
  • Follow the leaders most influential to your career
    • Share articles from leaders in your industry to show that you’re staying up to date and trying adding a post above the shared article like “Great Article! I cannot agree more with..”
  • Control your visibility using privacy settings
    • Enable your profile name and photo to appear after viewing other pages because it will usually lead to them going back to yours
    • Notify connections when you’re in the news because it will only lead to more of the right kind of visitors seeing your page
  • Use the LinkedIn mobile app for on the go networking and searching

(Verdonck, 2017, sec. 9)

My LinkedIn page transformation and how it can benefit you!

Before completing Bert Verdonck’s course “LinkedIn Profiles for Social Business Success” my LinkedIn Page was more of a resume than results from my work in the golf industry. My page included a headshot profile picture, an extremely general professional headline,  and a summary of schooling and work experience that lacked personality and readability. It listed work and educational experience without explanation and was missing key information on how I can be contacted. Below are a few photos of my profile before completing the course.

 

After finishing the course I have added some key things to my LinkedIn page like a background picture and a more detailed and unique professional headline. I have completely redone my summary portion of my LinkedIn to include corporate branding from the PGA of Alberta, professional branding For The Edmonton Petroleum Golf & Country Club, and personal branding for my role there including a call to action to learn more about me on my website. I have added more information to my educational and work experience backgrounds and have reached out for help with my endorsements and recommendations to further develop my page and credibility.

 

Key Changes:

  • By adding a background image and rich media to my experiences it has instantly improved the visual appeal of my LinkedIn page.
  • My updated professional headline has narrowed the search results for me by over 100% so it will be much easier to be noticed.
  • Adding descriptions to my past experiences has added credibility and insight to my past and current experiences.
  • By adding past activities and societies that I was apart of it showcases my leadership qualities.
  • Updating contact info to provide more ways to contact me and find out more about me.
  • Updated summary increases the readability for readers to get a quick summary of what I’m about.
  • Updating my LinkedIn URL to a vanity URL that is much easier to remember and find in search engines.

 

Works Cited

Verdonck, B. (2017, January 30th). LinkedIn Profiles for Social Business Success [Video File]. Retrieved from https://www.lynda.com/LinkedIn-tutorials/Create-action-plan-update-your-profile/512777/581611-4.html 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why Social Media Marketing is Worth it for Golf Professionals

Why You Need Social Media Marketing To Grow Your Brand

As a golf professional and full-time student through the winter,  it can be difficult to find the time needed to invest in a social media profile. However, in today’s connected world social media marketing can be extremely effective for growing your brand with limited resources.

“Social media is word of mouth on steroids” (Waxman, 2016, Paragraph 2).  It is the quickest way for you to connect and build relationships with your customers and prospects. Social media is all about your customers; with creating content that they find valuable and helpful it is a fantastic way to have your brand and content shared.

Understanding Social Media Marketing

In order to further understand social media marketing, it is important to understand some of the key social media terms and why they’re important.  Content is everything you produce to promote your brand and connect with your customers. This can be a golf camp brochure, a blog post, or even an email to your members sharing information about corporate offerings. SEO stands for search engine optimization which is used to make your content more findable by websites like Google. Keywords, tags, and hashtags are all used to make your content easier to find; hashtags use a # before all text and unlike keywords and tags, they have no spaces between words. Examples of this would be #golfinstruction which currently has a reach of 79,874 Twitter users and #golftips which currently reaches 212,742 Twitter users according to hashtag tracker website Keyhole.  Another key term that is currently being utilized by some of today’s top golf instructors is Livestream Video. Instructors George Gankas and Dana Dahlquist both utilize Livestream Video to showcase their teaching methods and student progress by streaming video through Instagram in real-time. George Gankas has gained extreme popularity with this method and now has a following of 89,900+ followers on Instagram.

The next step is understanding and determining which social media platforms your audience uses. A key message shared by Martin Waxman in his video “Social Media Marketing for Small Business” is “go where your customers are, don’t make them come to you” (Waxman, 2016, Paragraph 5).

After you determine where to connect with customers, you must create content that they can’t find elsewhere. With over 1.6 billion users, Facebook is one of the most obvious answers to connect with customers; I have recently created the Wardo Golf Facebook page that I plan to expand on throughout the golf season. Instagram is a great platform for sharing visual content, which is fantastic for golf professionals due to the visual aspect of the golf industry. Something as simple as sharing a clean green driving range in the dog days of winter can remind customers of indoor golf lessons offered throughout the winter. This is a great post that features a dedicated player who found a small mat of green in a sea of white snow; this post was used to promote a golf training aid that golfers can utilize in their offseason practice to get them ready for the season’s start. Twitter acts as a great platform for customer interaction and can act as a real-time news feed. Twitter can be used to share openings in your lesson schedule or even to share information like the rescheduling of an instruction clinic due to weather. LinkedIn is great for sharing professional accomplishments and certifications such as completion of Titleist Performance Institute Course or Trackman Golf Certification. YouTube is an effective tool when sharing visual video content; this would be a great place to post an instructional drill like Phil Mickelson’s go-to putting drill.

Social Media Strategy For Growing Your Brand

In Martin Waxman’s video “Social Media Marketing for Small Business” he gives a 7 step strategy for developing a social media strategy:

Step 1: Set your social media goals

Make your social media goals specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. The key to social media development is being able to measure whether you are reaching your goals. Remember that likes don’t equal success, likes are a passive gesture “similar to the nod two acquaintances might share when they pass on the street” (Waxman, 2016, Paragraph 3).

Step 2: Understand your customers’ social media habits

Find the most frequented social media platforms that your customers use and times that they use them in order to connect with customers most effectively. Golfers are known as early birds and might use social media as part of their morning routine, consistently posting content late in the evening would put content towards the bottom of your customer’s news feeds. An effective way to determine this information would be through an online survey, online forum, or even face to face.

Another effective rule to follow is the rule of thirds; your page’s content should feature a third of the posts about self-promotion, a third of the posts should be shared content from other users, and the last third should focus on building relationships with customers and prospects.

Step 3: Craft a social media policy

This will offer a code of conduct for all users including yourself on all forms of social media. It should be easy to understand and be in line with your brand’s values.

Step 4: Create a social media plan

At this step, it is important to develop all aspects of the social media plan. The first step of the social media plan is setting your goal. Next look at what the aspects of the business environment are to determine what may hold you back from your goal. After this, it is important to set a measurable objective to determine success. Following that step, it is important to develop a strategy on how you will reach that measurable objective. Lastly are the specific marketing tactics used to reach our goal; a tactic GG Swing Tips uses is posting live lesson videos to Instagram and Youtube to showcase what prospected customers could expect from his instruction.

Notice his laid-back tone which makes George extremely approachable as an instructor.

Step 4: Building your social media team

At this step, it is important to determine who will be allowed to share content for your brand; for most golf professionals, content will be managed solely by themselves due to a lack of budget.

Step 5: How to make time for social media

Pick the social media channels with the biggest positive impact for your brand; you can’t be everywhere due to time constraints and budget limitations. Another effective tool is using a social media planning calendar, using a planning calendar will help organize content and when you need it posted.

Publishing Shareable Content

When posting content, focus on what your customers really need. Your content should have value for years after you post it and if the customer finds it valuable they will be more likely to share it, which widens your customer reach. Customers value authenticity and good quality; a swing drill video doesn’t have to be on a golf channel production level but should be authentic to your brand. When producing content use the three P’s approach. Think like a publisher and create the best story and provide the best information possible. Act like a producer by adding multimedia to increase visual appeal and retain customers’ attention. Lastly, be a publicist and get the word out about your content; utilize keywords, tags, and hashtags to reach the biggest audience possible.

Make your social media presence a two-way conversation; the more you interact with your customers, the more trust you build with them. Take the time to watch their social media activity, listen to their concerns or praises, then start a conversation. 

When starting up a social media brand it is important to conduct regular A/B tests in order to determine what type of content will be the most effective. If trying to determine whether using video swing tips or a blog post swing tips to promote your brand, post both and track which content gets the most traffic and response.

Benefits For Your Brand

All golf professionals can benefit from social media marketing if done effectively. It is extremely effective to connect with your customers, grow your brand, and reach your goals. Success story George Gankas utilized social media to gain a massive following across multiple social media platforms; he has gained a following of golfers dedicated to the brand he has created, he has his own apparel & accessories that he sells through his social media platform and is currently developing his own website to sell online coaching and instruction. This is the success route that all golf professionals can find themselves on if they invest time in themselves and their social media marketing brand.

Works Cited

Waxman, M. (2016, August 28). Social Media Marketing for Small Business [Video File]. Retrieved from https://www.lynda.com/Facebook-tutorials/Social-Media-Marketing-Small-Business/471976-2.html