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.
Ok, 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.
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