If you are part of the growing number of golfers who are coming online for whatever reason, then you have more than likely seen..or been hit up by..one of the thousands of golf instructors roaming the social networks. I know many of these guys and gals and have coached a few to how to use the social networks. Still, there are many, many golf instructors online who seemingly have lost touch with the realities of how social media works, or, do not understand how to use social media…or worse..not care to learn.
When it comes time to find a golf instructor what factors do you take into consideration in choosing the right one?
During my offline networking I am approached frequently by people wanting to report to me some of the abnormalities they see online of golf professionals attempting to self their services online. I assume they offer me this information in hopes I can find a way to help golf instructors improve their image. As reported in my last blog on golf’s direction, things in golf have to change.
What’s In It For Me?
Many golf instructors apparently assume everyone in the world needs their services. True, many probably do, but is relentless posting of ‘blah-blah’ on their golf swing and a link to a swing analysis video going to win them over..I doubt it.
Studies are showing..not just in the golf community… over exposure, marketing or promotions in the social spaces is rapidly reaching the ‘Shamm-Wow’ level of consumer irritation. The results for golf instructors who use these type of self promotions are not favorable. Actually, their efforts are reflecting badly on Golf. For golf instructors who post…
- only updates of golf swing,
- meditation techniques
- Golf Equipment deals
- Logos in their Avatar
- or other blah-blah about golf products
…they are losing more traction to what they offer than what they are gaining.
Social Media is Social
The golf instructors who are gaining the most traction are the ones who use the social spaces as a place to be…yes, that is right…more social. The more effective golf professionals develop the natural center of their social media, their blog, to pass on information about their services. They then use the social networking groups to show people they are as a person and work on the most important part of self promotions..Trust building. The golf instructor who is going to be successful in the social spaces is going to be the one who masters the art of socializing.
Golf consumers who come online for any reason are not initially coming online to find a golf instructor. However, their reaction to a golf instructor, or anyone in the golf industry, who immediately connects with them with a promotional greeting is to run for the hills which equates to them leaving the internet. Yet, most golf instructors take this exact approach to connecting with golfers online.
What I have found to cause golf instructors to take an aggressive approach online is lack of understanding social media or how internet marketing works today. Most have an instinct to marketing their services which is developed from years of offline marketing in a golf only environment. They bring this mentality to the internet thinking since it worked offline it would work online. Unfortunately, logic has yet to prevail with anything online. They have to realize unlike offline efforts that can be targeted effectively, online promotions can be seen by all on the internet which, since golf is not very popular online, makes a golf instructor’s promotions look spammy.
Number Game Does Not Work
One of the major misunderstandings golf instructors have with using social media is in their efforts to fabricate a market by gathering a community of people they DO Not Know. It is easy to see the ones who are attempting to build markets. They are the ones Friending everyone on Facebook and Following everyone on Twitter.
This game of corralling thousands of fans to spoon feed promotions has never worked for the non-golf business person so why is it expected to work for the golf industry? This technique of harboring a false market in the online golf community will eventually work against the golf instructor who relentlessly goes through their social spaces delving out unsolicited promotions to people they do not know.
What golf instructors have to realize is social means social and in order to promote something in a social environment it has to be done socially. Sure, it takes time to be social and that lack of interest or willingness by many golf instructors to take that time is why they resort to spammy type of promotions.
Social Media was developed from the aftermath of the 2008 crash of the world’s economy. Social Media’s core concept is in developing trust through socializing. This one aspect of social media makes it over 60% more productive than many of the very expensive marketing campaigns people produce in the offline arena.
Social marketing is how business is done today online. Golf instructors are going to need to learn how to use it if they intend on being productive online.
Let me know how I can help.