Golf Professionals and Social Media

September 14th, 2010 by John Graham Leave a reply »

Social Media IconsHopefully, there isn’t anything here to the left that you don’t recognize.  That might just be the first test. Can you name these social media sites and the one that isn’t a social media site?

So, what should the relationship be with Golf Professionals and Social Media?  This will also be a start of a series of blog posts to teach the Golf Professional how to get started with this whole Social Media thing. I thought it might be a good idea to share my story and let you decide if this is something that could be worthwhile.

Almost exactly a year ago, I began my involvement with social media primarily using a service called Twitter.  Twitter is a widely misunderstood platform.  When I ask people if they are on Twitter, I usually get “Why would I use that? What’s the point of telling people I’m going to the store?”  This attitude has been a continuing problem for Twitter.  Most people think of Twitter as an update only platform.  It can do that for you if you like but it can be so much more if you use it correctly.  Like all social media, the key to getting the most out of it is the social element.  You have to engage in conversation. You have to start conversations. You have to have something to say and be willing to listen.

Twitter TimeOk, so what should I do to get the most out of this medium?  The key is engaging in conversation on a regular basis.  You have to be willing to put in a little time to foster and grow relationships.  My situation allows me more time than most to apply to social media.  That may be one reason why my rewards have been so extensive.  I think many Golf Professionals have a certain time of year that is slower than others.  This is when you need to use some of that time to grow your social presence.   Admittedly, more golf pro’s have that slower time in the winter months but use whatever time you can.

Ok, so what can I expect to reap from all this time I am putting in?  There’s the million dollar question.  Can I convert time spent with social media into revenue?  I know the answer is yes and a big yes at that.  Is it as easy as walking the line looking for new students? Surely not. Are their other ways I could make more money sooner with the same time commitment?  Probably. However, the value in networking and information gathering is far more valuable than most think.  For me, I have begun scheduling work all over the world due to the great Golf Professionals I’ve met and the relationships I’ve made.  This summer, I spent a week in England teaching AimPoint Green Reading with Jamie Donaldson (@golfdonaldson).  I had never met this man before and my wife and I flew across the pond and stayed in his house just from the trust and companionship built from Twitter.  Clearly, this was work that I would never have been able to schedule except for my time spent working on Twitter.

My start with Twitter came from @golfswingrebel. He is a golf  professional from England that I used to interact with on multiple swing instruction forums.  One day I saw that he was on Twitter so I thought I would check it out.  From that single relationship, I have met and learned great information from so many golf professionals spread throughout the world.  James was another person I had never met but had the pleasure of meeting when my wife and I flew to England this past summer.  He also allowed us to spend a night at his house and we did a little AimPoint Green Reading with a couple European Tour Caddies and European Ladies Tour players.

All this from one social media site.  This post talks nothing about the power of Facebook and YouTube which are at least as powerful, if not more, than Twitter.  There are some major differences between Facebook and Twitter. The main one being that Twitter tends to be a little more real time.  The conversations happen like talking to another person. Facebook tends to be a post it and see what happens later.  However, people tend to be much more comfortable with Facebook because it starts with people you know.  Twitter tends to start empty. You have to go out and search for topics of interest and people to interact with.  I think seeking people out is the part that scares most people away. In my next post, I will go into how to find people and topics of interest for the Golf Professional.

Answers:

Top Row from left to right: LinkedIn, Twitter, RSS Feed

Middle Row from left to right: Facebook, Delicious, Flickr

Bottom Row from left to right: Digg, Friend Feed, Stumble Upon

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4 comments

  1. Jeffery Passage says:

    John, sell the “hope” of better golf. I have heard it said that 95 is the magic number in golf. If you can get a high handicapper (“duffer” in my day) down to a scoring average 95 or less, he or she will be hooked for life. For many, regardless of their swing habits, that’s saving 10-12 strokes per round and mostly on or near the green. Most golfers are not looking to become professionals; they just don’t want to embarass themselves on the course with their buddies or cohorts. Sell the hope and they will come.

  2. John Graham says:

    Jeff,

    Breaking 95 or 90 is certainly a point where golfers feel like they are golfers. They will hit enough good shots, chips and putts to see how the game can be played. Doing it over and over again is still the hardest part. This post was designed more for the golf pro and helping them break into another way of displaying their unique talents.

    JG

  3. David McMurray says:

    John,

    When will we have AimPoint golf app for Droid phones?

    Thanks

    David McMurray

  4. John Graham says:

    David,

    Last I heard was sometime this year. When it comes out, I will be sure to post about it.

    JG

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