Social media does not have to be dedicated entirely to Online endeavors. As a matter of fact, in Golf, dedicated methods of online social media are ineffective. Here are three things to remember about using social media for Golf.
#1: Understand Golf
First of all, in order to develop any sure method of promoting a brand, business, service or product work in the Golf market, online or offline, you have to understand Golf. There is no way around it and there is no use trying to do any marketing to golfers until how you understand how Golf is played, and the people who play golf. The only way to gain this understanding is to have played Golf passionately. It doesn’t mean you have to be Real Good at playing golf,but it is more than hitting a bucket of golf balls at the driving range to understand golf. Whoever is marketing to golfers needs to played enough to know what golfers think and do in order to know how to market to them.
Lack of understanding Golf and golfers is one of the biggest stumbling blocks many ad firms and PR companies have when they go to market a company’s product targeted for golfers. The traditional internet marketing methods used in other arenas will not necessarily work in the golf market..why?..the nature of the game and golfers is why. Golfers do not have to come online to find what they need or want.
The main thing to remember about the golf market is Golf is not an Online experience. Golf cannot be played online thus making any marketing effort used exclusively online will never reach the total golfer audience.
Something else to remember, make sure what is being marketed fits in golf. Just because the market or the economy for another target market has failed does not mean hitting on the golf market with an irrelevant product will work. The demographic for the golfing population will show them to have deeper pockets. However, the demographic many studies choose to ignore about golfers is they are the smartest of consumers.
Once golf is understood then social media methods of marketing can be more effective.
#2: Join Golf Groups
The best and most effective way to improve the visibility of a product or services amongst golfers online is to join and get involved with an online golf only group that offers both online and offline endeavors. Promoting only online in groups like Facebook and LinkedIn are not going to fully impact the golf market.
Opening up the flood gates with millions of posts to Twitter about a golf product does not cut it either. Not only are you upsetting the few golfers who see the post on Twitter, the non-golfing community of Twitter will develop a less than desirable opinion of Golf with those tweets filling up the already flooded stream of information from other markets.
Joining a group or clubs that gather offline and also have an online presence opens up social media marketing opportunities that will get to the golfer’s online. However, the building of trust amongst the membership has to preclude any blatant marketing endeavor. The Trust Factor plays a huge part in Golf and will be evident in how golfers socialize online.
Being a member in good standing of a group will help tie online promotions to offline activities that are associated with the golf group. All of the words and fancy video info commercials are a waste if the product or service can not be physically touched or felt. A business has to get involved in a golf online group to effectively target the Golf market.
#3: Full Disclosure
Show the face(s) of who is representing the business. Make sure the owner or top executives of the business show their face to the market. Do not hide behind a logo in an attempt to brand the product. Golfers are not like the rest of the market and blindly follow publicity stunts or promotional campaign…that is why they play golf.
Make sure the anchor web presence for the business shows the face of all who are involved in the decisions made for a company. This is not to say to list every employee of the company. List the individuals who will be talking online and the people who make the business decisions. Their photo and credentials offer comfort to the golfing consumer and shows there is a REAL person in charge. Trust may not be exclusive to the golfer’s mentality, but it plays a much larger part to golfers than most. Trust building is key in today’s economy,
If you keep in mind these three approaches to using social media in the golf arena you should come out ahead of those who use the old shotgun style of social media.
Let me know how I can help.