With the onset of colder season temps, I was reminded of an audit that many golf courses need to perform on their Facebook and Google Listing.
Why, you ask?
Did you know that Google Maps will mention that your business is closed if your business hours aren’t set? Yep. When someone asks for directions using Google Maps, then Google will say, “Are you sure you want to go here? It looks like it’s closed.”
To you, this might seem like a minor thing, but let me tell you about the younger generation. I have two children who drive in my family and they don’t know how to get anywhere without the assistance of Google Maps. From experience, I can tell you that they believe Google Maps whole-heartedly when it says a business is closed. Don’t let this happen to you!
Golf courses can often have some pretty strange business hours. It is confusing to your golfer as well as people who are doing holiday shopping.
Take a minute to update your Google & Facebook hours.
If you haven’t already done so, you’ll want to verify that you’re the owner of your golf course on Google. To do that, you need to follow the directions found here. Sorry, Charlie, you’re going to need a Gmail account to do this. The good news is that Gmail is far superior from any other email service out there. I’m looking at you Mr. Aol.com. My love of all things Google is a post for another day, though. (In case you’re wondering, I use Google Drive & Calendar to communicate with my entire staff and it has changed my life.)
Once you have your course signed up for a Google Business page, you can fix your hours that are posted when someone searches for your golf course. Plus, Google Business will email you when someone leaves a review! This is a great service because it’s important to respond to every review left for your business. Yes. You even need to put on your nice voice and answer those negative reviews, too.
I digress. Back to the all important audit. . .
- Profile Image:
Does your profile image resonate with your golfer? Does it speak to them in a manner that gives the personality of your course? It is properly visible in the new circle format? Make sure the image you have selected fits within the size parameters.
- Page Name in URL:
In this section, you want to make sure that you have changed the URL that Facebook automatically provides. The automated one is a series of numbers and letters. In other words, it’s not memorable. You need to change this in the settings.The URL can be found on the top of your browser. You just need to look at it to see if it’s been branded. If it’s just a series of numbers, then take a few steps to change that.
HOW TO ADJUST YOUR URL
From your Business Fan Page, you’ll want to scroll down until you see the heading of About on the right side. When you get to that section, click on the blue SEE ALL words.
Once you click on SEE ALL, you’ll go to a page where you can Edit information about your business. It’s important to keep this accurate, so that Facebook users are viewing current content. You will want to change your USERNAME to be something that is memorable for your site. Your username is what becomes the end of your Facebook URL. For example, if my username is demo_golf, then the URL that Facebook will now provide is facebook.com/demo_golf
Now you have a URL that is easy for you to remember when you’re linking to your Business Page and your URL is memorable for your users.
3. Business Hours:
It is EXTREMELY important for you to adjust your Business Hours. Golf courses tend to have very strange business hours that make perfect sense when you’re a golfer, but make no sense at all if you’re not. Basically, golf courses are open from sun up to sun down. This means that you’re going to want to adjust these times throughout the year. I, personally, put a reminder in my (Google) calendar to adjust my business hours on the first of every month, plus a reminder for the Sundays when daylight savings time ends and starts.
The reason it’s important to change your hours is because Facebook tries to be good to its users, so it says, “This business will open in 20 minutes” to the user when they visit your Facebook page. Think of Facebook as being the Yellow Pages of the modern era. People go online to find information, so it’s up to you to provide accurate info.
To change your Business Hours, you’ll go to the same area where you changed your Username. When you scroll over into the white area next to your business hours, a blue EDIT button will appear. You need to click that EDIT button to change your hours for each day.
4. Get Verified:
If you’re not sure that you’re verified, then you just need to look for the checkmark that is visible right after your Business Name. If you don’t have a checkmark, then your business hasn’t been verified.
Here are the steps to get your business verified:
- Click Settings at the top of your Business Fan Page
- From General, click Page Verification
- Click Verify this Page, then click Get Started
- Enter a publicly listed phone number for your business, your country and language
- Click Call Me Now to allow Facebook to call you with a verification code
- Enter the 4-digit verification code and click Continue
From experience, this took me several tries in order to get accomplished. Just keep at it, though, if it doesn’t work the first time. Remember that you’ll need to use a publicly displayed phone number in order to get verified.
It’s important to get verified because now Facebook users know that you’re legitimate. You’re a real business and your page is authentic to that business. Since anyone could make a Facebook Page using your golf course’s name, it’s important for Facebook and its users to know that you are the legitimate owner. That’s why they use a publicly displayed phone number in order to verify you.
5. Update Your Cover Image:
You should update your cover image several times a year. It is a great way to let people know what’s going on at your golf course. You could update with the seasons or use it as a way to let your customers know about upcoming promotions or important pages to visit on your site. It’s very easy to create good cover images by using a website called canva.com. They have templates of cover images already made for you. You just need to put in your business information and images.
If you lack design skills, then read this great blog post that Canva wrote to help inspire you to create some interesting cover images.
Yes. I know I sound like I make money every time I mention Canva, but I sadly don’t. I just love it so much and it has helped me to brand my business by allowing me to create images for all events that take place at my course as well as flyers, social media posts and more. It’s even better than sliced bread in my book.
There you have it. Your To Do List. These five steps to audit your page are incredibly important. This whole audit should take less than an hour to complete, so put it on your calendar and get it DONE!
Don’t neglect it. Trust me. My kids would turn right around and go somewhere else if their phones told them you were closed. Don’t miss out on Holiday revenue simply because you didn’t take the time to audit your business.