2 Rules of Social Media Marketing

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If you read the LinkedIn posts of all the golf course marketing gurus like I do, you’d think that Social Media Marketing is one of two things:

  1. It’s a quantitative game: The more you post, the more you win!
  2. It’s the goose that lays the golden egg: Start posting to Facebook and reap the rewards!

Let’s toss those ideas where they belong… in the ever-filling trash can of digital marketing savvy. The first point might have been true years ago, but it’s a recipe for disaster today. The second point is like one of those golf channel late night infomercials.

The objective of social media marketing for a golf course is a simple as the objective of a good golf swing. As a golf pro friend of mine put it, “The point is to get the ball closer to the hole.” That’s the strategy.

Of course, there are some moving parts. There are tactics that go into the golf swing to help us achieve the strategy of getting the ball closer to the hole. Maybe that’s why golf pros, or anybody that loves golf, finds this video from J.C. Anderson funny.

But the simpler point isn’t lost. What you’re trying to do with the golf swing is get the ball closer to the hole.

The same is true with marketing. To do Social Media Marketing for Golf Courses well, we should step back and simplify things a little.

What’s the point?

The point is to make people see your golf course as a place they want to go and have an enjoyable experience.

You want to present that message on your social streams.

But there are 2 rules and they must be obeyed or success will elude you.

Here they are:

Rule #1: The rules of social media marketing are always changing.

In early 2018, Facebook announced another major change to their mighty algorithm designed to put more relevant content in front of their customers. This change comes at the expense of businesses (like golf courses) that post regularly to their own pages for the sake of organic reach. Basically, if a golf course was posting something and hoping to get into the newsfeed of those who like or follow their page, Facebook made this harder.

Nobody goes to Facebook for the ads or promotional content. They go for the relevant content that they want to see that makes them happy. Facebook is always changing the algorithm because they want their users to be happy with the product.

What about other social networks?

It’s the same with Twitter and Instagram. These networks are constantly trying to improve their algorithm so they can remain relevant for their users.

I focus on Facebook for one main reason. If Facebook were a country, it’s population would eclipse China’s. It’s the biggest of the social networks and it’s one of the easiest to understand in terms of engagement. A solid Facebook strategy is the backbone of any solid social media strategy.

Focus on mastering Facebook then move on to another network.

Rule #2: There is one rule of social media marketing that will never change; Be relevant.

When you post to your Facebook page, post only what will be interesting, engaging, helpful, or relevant to your Facebook audience. Posting great content gets ‘liked’ and that lets Facebook’s algorithm know that you’re putting up great stuff that belongs in the newsfeed.

What is relevant?

Pictures (always post pictures!) of your customers and members using your facility and having a great time. Post text along with those pictures that tell the story of your golf course and how it serves your community of golfers and members.

Relevant is how people enjoy what you offer.

Relevant is not what you sell; that’s promotional.

Facebook prioritizes relevant content and suppresses promotional content.

So… What Should and Shouldn’t You Do?

A few Don’t’s…

First of all, don’t make the mistake of believing good social media is really hard work. You’re basically just telling your club’s unique story online. Be authentic, be helpful, be giving, and be social. Respond to comments and questions and always promote the positivity of your property.

Don’t be “spammy.” The experience of time well spent at your golf course is what you want to promote. Don’t use stock photos or stock videos in your posts. Facebook suppresses this kind of content and it’s less likely to be shown to your target audience.

Don’t post more than once per day.

Don’t be “salesy.” Don’t post green fee prices and pro shop sales. Facebook recognizes posts with a promotional bent and suppresses them. They want you to buy ads for this sort of thing. The good news is, Facebook ads are some of the best ROI you can get right now and are well worth investing in, particularly because so few golf courses use them.

Some simple Do’s…

Do post once per day, but not more than 5 times per week, about your club.

Do post pictures.

Do post original videos of your golf course.

Do post stuff that conveys the message you want your ideal customer to receive that is consistent with the service your club provides.

Do ask for interaction, comments, likes, and shares from your followers.

Above all… BE RELEVANT!

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About Offcourse Golf

We're Josh & Roger. We started Offcourse Golf to combine our expertise in custom app & web development and digital marketing with our passion for golf. If you're looking to grow your golf business and earn more money, we have the tools and expertise to help.

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