I keep tabs on the golf blogsphere, golf industry and golf economy. What I look for are people, places and things helping GOLF while they are helping themselves thru the use of effective methods of social media. Thee are the people who become part of my ‘A List’ and who I interact with daily. Many have made their use of social media a form of art. They paint a clear picture of who they are first and what they do second.
Overall what I am seeing in GOLF out here in La-La-Land is good, but like all industries there are those who just do not get it and feel they are not doing themselves any good unless they are making a lot of noise that draw attention to what they offer first and feel showing the market who they are is not needed. These are the golf business and bloggers who are muddying the waters of a very small market the rest of golf has to be in to survive. This is not good for golf.
I’ll not waste time dealing with the misguided but rather outline how using social media as an art form can really make a difference. It also will show how social media has changed how marketing is done out here in La-La-Land.
Your Mission Tells You Where You Belong
To start with, anyone out here, golfer or non-golfer, should have a goal or a mission. Once the mission is set then evaluate it to see if being on the internet makes sense for you are your business. .
For example, my mission is to offer my experience and expertise in helping primarily the golf industry survive. I evaluate my mission by rationalizing from the data that I have gathered that in order for golf to survive the industry as a whole needs to make a wholesale move to the internet and get comfortable with using the internet correctly. So, in this case it makes sense that I and my businesses are online.
Where Online Makes a Difference
With all the buzz from nearly everyone that you have to be on Twitter or you have to be on Facebook it sometimes becomes confusing why you should be on these social networking sites. It probably would help to have a presence on all social networking sites. However, what is more important is how you use the sites that makes the determination on how effective they are to your mission.
For the most part the golf industry thrives offline..that makes sense since golf cannot (no matter how hard the simulators try to perfect it) be played online. For many golf businesses having a presence online is more to validate who they are and that they are a real live people. The amount of activity and content posted should show more of who they are instead of what they do.
Interneters are a smart crew. Most do not trust what is being said until they know who is saying it. So they will go beyond the cute Twitter post to see who you are. This makes golf internet near nuclear physicist of social intelligence since over 90% of them trust nothing and NOBODY which means before they even go on Twitter they will attempt to know all about it and who is on it.
That makes what is behind your content, your posts and your blogs is what golfers will check before relaxing to listen to the noise you are making.
It is important that everyone have a personal blog separate from their business website. Sometimes, in the case of the professional golfers, they are the business so having the personal blog within the business portion of the write makes sense. Even the golf bloggers who blog for sports sites or golf sites should have a personal blog so golfers can find out who the blogger is as a person. Sounds like a lot of work, but remember your mission. There are tools created to make it easier to blog on different sites…plus there are people you can hire to help get you set up so it is fun.
What You Say Comes Second
One of the most artful forms of social media comes about from listening. Yes, reading who someone is and then what they say before saying anything sets the stage for an intelligent conversation. Yes, I said conversation. The most effective use of social media is creating an environment for holding a conversation. Just remember, the conversation comes from first listening.
If you are not comfortable with being involved with having a conversation with someone then it could be there was something you missed during the evaluation of your mission or purpose of being on the internet. If you are one of the many who feel posting a web-site, a self centered blog and then cranking out nothing but links to gibberish articles on Twitter and Facebook is going to sustain your existence online then you may want to revaluate your mission because eventually you will be talking in a closet. (And you know who hangs out in closets?)The new movement towards more effective social media will isolate those who are not interested in being part of a global community of business people. That community is built around conversation.
Keep Your Sanity: Establish a Manifesto
Finally, the most gratifying part of social media is having fun. Isn’t that why you took all that time to learn how to play golf? If your existence online is not fun or you are not creating fun in your conversations then that quickly will show thru to everyone. Remember, the first thing REAL people online are looking for is WHO is it that is talking. If it is not fun then most of them are going to pass you by to listen to something more entertaining as well as informative.
I highly recommend everyone establish a Manifesto that outlines why they are online. This is a very invigorating exercise I have all my clients go thru before they step foot anywhere on the internet. Even if they are veterans or early users of cyberspace this exercise of outlining what you will and will not do online and how you will use the internet makes for a more focused use of your time online.
Sure, everyone is out to make a million dollars and even some of you are on that quest to make $4000 a minute that many of the misguided want you to believe you can make. That should be part of your Manifesto, but be real and realize that the money will be made once people find out WHO you are..not what you are selling.
Then post your manifesto for all to see..and believe me, they will see it so make it real and revisit it often.
This are the basics of the more effective methods of social media I found are working. Everyone has their own style which makes social media for golf a very interesting art form. Let me know how I can help.