Golf and Social Media: How To Split The Fairway

Universal lessons to help you master your campaigns

My tennis coach taught me golf, as funny as that sounds. Took me out one day after practice, teed it up, and I swang for the fences. I had a blast then, and have had a blast ever since. Well, most of the time. When it’s not driving me insane. Because that’s what golf does. It gets in your head, twists your emotions into an explosive stew, and torments you. Until, of course, you learn it’s valuable life lessons of patience, practice, and perspective. Then it doesn’t torment you quite as much.

Here’s how golf’s universal lessons can help your social media and content campaigns score better:

Fundamentals

You don’t just pick up a club, swing backwards, and expect results. Golf requires learning the fundamentals, not reinventing them. Your social media and content strategy is no different. Stick to the platforms that require immediate tending (see our article about this HERE), learn the patterns of your community, and refine your voice. So contribute to your blog as often as possible, use social media channels to amplify its reach, and in time your understanding of how social media and content applies to your brand will adapt, and your campaign will evolve.

Education

As a kid, when I wanted to learn a new stroke or an effective way to play out of a hazard, I got Golf Magazine and did my research. When you have a challenging social media or content obstacle, or are looking for ways to improve upon what you’re currently doing, you need to stay constantly educated and do your digging. Since social media and content marketing is all community taught, finding the key influencers to follow and learn from are vital. Heard of Jay Baer? His Convince and Convert blog is a great place to start. With education and a refined understanding of how and why social media fits into your brand’s marketing profile, you can make clearer choices and have clearer successes.

Practice

On any given weekend, the driving range of your local golf course is likely packed with players looking to perfect their tempo and refine their swing. They know that with this dedication, their round and time spent on the links will be more rewarding. With social media’s landscape in constant shift, and with new platforms and engagement tools being developed at breakneck speed, your attention to practice-makes-perfect becomes all the more important. A brand’s voice doesn’t simply materialize in several weeks, it can takes months, even years to perfect. So get your content lined up, and begin testing on your platforms until you hit the sweet spot and begin to get traction. Looking for more shares on Facebook? Need more retweets on Twitter? Apply different timing strategies to each, add call-to-actions, and don’t be afraid of taking a few risks. In time all of those swings will pay off.

Knowledge

Knowing the course in golf is half the battle. The nuances of the greens, the places to lay up, and the trouble to avoid are the intricacies that both baffle and reward players. And usually, the more often you play a course, the better your score becomes. Your social media and content marketing campaign is this golf course. So take the time to learn about it’s subtleties by using analytics tools such as Facebook insights, Google analytics, and management platforms like Sprout Social to help you fine tune what’s been working and what’s been falling short. In time, the more refined your understanding of your campaign, and the more you ‘get’ what posts and updates work and why, the more successful your campaign will be.

Strategy

Blindly playing a round of golf at a new course with no map and no yardage markers would end in quick, succinct frustration. So have a game plan with your social campaign, assemble your tools, and look at each platform in the same way you would challenge holes on the course. What are the weaknesses you can exploit? Try posting on the weekends to optimize engagement on Facebook when there isn’t as much competition for attention. What are the challenges and risks? Invest in a viral video for quicker follows, or slowly build engagement with timely updates and photos. Whatever your strategy, use a content calendar to organize your posts and articles and constantly reassess. Because the more refined and systematic your strategy, the easier it will be to post a lower score.

Patience

Ask any golfer what their single greatest takeaway from the game is, and most would agree on patience. Mots of the time your swing doesn’t work right, your putts don’t fall, and your round is never as low as it ‘could have’ been. So don’t get frustrated. Golf is a game for life, and your social media and communication strategy in business should be no different. What works one day may not work the next, and that’s ok. But the more you stay with it, and the more you stick to solid fundamentals and strategy, in time your campaign will evolve, your voice will strengthen, and your ability to split the fairways will improve.

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