Facebook & Google Audit

Are You Open?

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. (more…)

Creating a Holiday Promotion

Follow These Steps to Success!

If you aren’t taking advantage of the holiday season, then you must not like making easy money.  Golf courses are notorious for their lack of marketing skills.  That’s what makes marketing for the holiday season so easy for a golf course.  The media does the marketing for you.  Everyone knows about Black Friday and Cyber Monday.  The public just needs to be told that you’re participating.  You can be pretty successful with very little effort or marketing know how.

This is a huge gift (pun intended) to golf course operators.  Basically, you just have to deliver something that is worthy of gift giving and you’ll be profitable.  The best part about a holiday promotion is that the mentality to spend money in our customers is already created for you.  Your golfers and more importantly, your golfer’s loved ones, are programmed to spend money on these two days.

You just have to do SOMETHING!

(more…)

Five Ideas to Grow Your Email List

Email is Still King

There’s so much pressure to be involved in social media nowadays that it’s easy to forget about the only form of marketing that YOU OWN and CONTROL.

I’m talking about your Email List.

You might have the feeling from all of the hype about social media that email is a dying form of marketing.  I’m here to tell you that it’s time to wipe that feeling away.  Email continues to be a major player in the marketing world and should be an important part of your strategy.

That’s why it’s so important for you to have a solid email list. Then you write regular emails because they matter to your overall marketing scheme and drive business to your golf course.

What strategies do you have in place in order to grow your list?  If you’re depending on your snack bar staff or tee time booking agent to do all of the heavy lifting, you’re going to be sorely disappointed.

For years, I depended on my staff to get the emails from our customers for my list.  This really isn’t a very smart way if you’re wanting a good list.  In my case, some staff members would leave off the .com to the email address while others had a hard time hearing on the phone while typing at the same time and would put in a B for a D in the email.  In addition, there were some staff members who simply felt uncomfortable asking for it.

You know where that got me?  A pretty junky list that didn’t grow much every year.  Until now…

My goal is to add at least 20 new golfers or prospects to my list EVERY DAY.  Here are some of the strategies that I have put in place in order to make that goal happen.

What is Content Marketing?

Today's Buzzword

Sometimes I wonder if I’m old or if I’m just so busy doing golf course stuff that I forget to notice the rest of the world.  I’ve been blogging on my golf course’s website for about three years.  Mostly, I have used it as a way to get to know my golfers better and to help them get to know me.  I give them background information of all the fun jobs we’re doing behind the scenes.

Last year, I kind of hit a brick wall when it came to my blogging.  I just felt like I was doing it all wrong, and I all but stopped blogging entirely.  Yes, we still had funny things happening at the golf course, but I just didn’t take the time to grab my camera and snap a few photos of my superintendent falling into the pond when he was trying to fix the water aerator like I once had.  That may have been because I was too busy laughing, now that I think about it.

I began searching for some ideas on what to blog about at my course to try and help me get my rhythm back.

Then, I fell down a giant rabbit hole known as the internet.

Managing Your Facebook Page

Get The App!

While attending a recent golf conference, I had several people who stopped me to ask questions about how to post on their golf course’s Facebook page.  When I went to go help them, I noticed that none of them had the Facebook Page Manager downloaded onto their phone.

Everyone that I helped was posting and monitoring their business page from the regular Facebook app that is meant for personal use.

Suddenly, a post is born.

Setting Up Your Facebook Page

Time to Get Fancy...

I read a study recently that said people spend an average of 40 minutes per day on Facebook.  If you’ve put your stake in the ground and refuse to participate, you might want to rethink that decision.  The advantages of having a Facebook Page are numerous.

Facebook is easily the best method of advertising on the market.  Unlike radio or tv ads, you can actually track how each ad is preforming and who sees your ad.  You’re no longer wasting money by blanketing your audience with advertising.  If you want to have an ad show up for golfers who are over 50 years of age, make more than $250,000 and live within a 5 mile radius of your golf course, then you can set those parameters.

Once you get started, it’s pretty addicting.

In case you didn’t notice, I like Facebook.  Its ability to assist your business in marketing is really unparalleled.  The best part is that is doesn’t even really matter how many fans you have on your business page in order to take advantage of the marketing efforts.  You just need to have a business page.

It’s pretty easy to get set up, but I’ll go ahead and walk you through it.  If you’re in the 40+ age group, then it’s highly likely you have an aversion to tackling social media marketing.  I’m not trying to pick on you, I fall into that category myself.  That is why I know my peers, husband, brother and my dad prefer to stay as far away from social media as possible.

All you need to do is stand in line at the grocery store to realize that all of the generations younger than 40 spend the five minutes it takes to check out your groceries scrolling on their phone.  Wouldn’t it be great if your golf course was showing its smiling face in that five minute scroll time?

Getting Your Content Organized

A Little Goes a Long Way

In the summer months, I’m rarely in my office.  I’m putting out fires, managing people, executing events, scheduling staff, visiting with golfers and mostly just juggling all the many tasks that make up the life of a General Manager Wizard of Fun.  All of those tasks are driven by my marketing and content calendar.

The marketing and content calendar is what drives my business.  It’s what provides predictable income in a business that is often unpredictable.

I’ve noticed that if I don’t get my content calendar in place by end of January, it simply doesn’t get done.  I get too busy and the planning never gets completed.  It’s not to say that it can’t be done in February or even the first of March.  It just seems like January was meant to be a planning month.

Because of that, I’m going to share my content calendar with you, so you can use it.  (FYI.  I plan to complete my marketing calendar in the next few weeks.  I’ll share it, too.  Both calendars work together.)

Let’s talk about the nuts and bolts of my Content Calendar first.

Facebook’s Tracking Pixel

The Big Brother of Business

That’s right.  Facebook is everyone’s favorite big brother.  Watching our every move.  On a positive note, at least Facebook doesn’t fart in your face every time you walk by as my brother did to me.  

That’s right folks.  My brother is ten years older than I am, so I spent a majority of my childhood being significantly shorter than he was.

For his own pre-teen and teenager humor, he literally farted in my face EVERY SINGLE TIME he passed me.  As I grew, he even mastered the Jump and Aim Fart, so the fun could extend a few more years.

It was always a proud moment for my parents.

The good news is that my brother is now in his 50’s, so he can only get about an inch of air time.  I sure do hope his daughters allow me to pick his nursing home, though.

I Thought It was a Pound Sign #

#oldschool #idontgetit

Let’s take a little time and talk about hashtags and why you need to designate one for your golf course.

Every now and then, I catch myself saying things that sound strikingly like something my grandma would say.  One of the biggest ones being, “I don’t understand the phenomenon of the hashtag.”  I’m sure my grandma would insert sonny somewhere into that sentence, but I think you get what I’m sayin’.

What’s that?  A gray hair??? Am I officially old?

But seriously…

What is a hashtag and why do you need to care about knowing?

The best part about a hashtag is that it serves as a method of searching things that people say about your golf course on social media platforms.  You can search even when you don’t have an account with that platform.

Let’s Talk Facebook

Who's Ready to Be Social?

I have three teenage children.  Their lives are so strange compared to how I grew up.  Social media has completely changed our market place.  It’s highly likely that your golf course hasn’t gotten on board with how to leverage this fantastic marketing tool.

Do you ever find yourself watching an old movie (yeah, movies from the 90’s are considered old) and you watch the plot and think “Why don’t they just look that up on their phone?” or “Why don’t they just make a phone call when they’re in the woods?”  maybe it’s “How could they not know that?  It was all over social media!”?  We walk around with computers in our pockets that are hundreds of times faster and better than the computers that put astronauts on the moon!!

If you’re someone who isn’t a fan of social media, you’re going to have to overcome that aversion or find someone on your staff who is all over social media.  That’s where your golfers are hanging out, so it’s time to be active!

POST IDEAS

Many people find it to be hard to come up with something that might be interesting on Social Media.  You should be posting on your Facebook page at least once a day.  Facebook algorithms like posts that include video and images more than those that are text only.  If you want a larger reach, then you’ll want to have one of those in your post.  Because Facebook likes its Facebook Live more than anything, those videos have an even higher reach.