7 Quick Tips to Add Followers for Your Golf Courses Social Media Accounts

Gaining followers on your social media accounts is no easy task.

You need to set up your account, post regularly and follow along with comments. Most importantly, you need to have a strategy to add followers to your page.

Here are some quick tips on ways your golf course can add more followers to your social media channels:

On-Course Social Media Promotions

The easiest way to get followers to your social media accounts is to tell your golfers to follow you with on-course promotions. Some ways you can create on-course promotions to get golfers to follow you on social media are:

  • Clear Signage – include signs on your course, in the clubhouse and in the golf shop that tell your golfers you’re using social media.
  • Selfie Spot – Identify a popular picture taking spot on your golf course and include signage letting your golfers know this is a great spot to take a photo to share on social media. They will likely follow and share their experience at your course with their friends too.
    How to Gain Followers for Your Golf Courses Social Media Accounts

    Photo by Tom Prince

  • At the Point of Sale – Train your staff to let your golfers know to follow you on your social media channels for special offers, updates and course conditions.
  • Include a Scrolling Feed: Use a scrolling feed to show your golfers what you’re posting and what your golfers are posting on social media in your golf shop or clubhouse.

Engage on Other Social Media Pages

With more than 1.1 billion users, it’s possible to reach and connect with people from all walks of life, especially golfers. Local community pages, local golf-related pages, and local business pages are a great way to reach out and connect with your community and get more people following you on social media.

  • Local Community Pages: Regardless of where you live, there are social media accounts set up to engage your local community. In my town, Chino Hills Connections is a go-to resource for members of our community. Be sure to engage in local discussion to raise the profile of your social media pages.
  • Local Golf-Related Pages: You may have seen golf trick shot videos, golf equipment review sites, and golf course aficionado social media posts all over the internet. Connect with these influencers to raise the profile of your golf course and add to your follower count.
  • Local Business Pages: Local businesses are a great resource for golf courses to reach out to. Not only are they great prospects for events and tournaments at your golf course, but the people that visit those pages are likely people in your community.

Social Media Advertising to Target Golfers

An easy way to add followers to your social media channel is to use Facebook Advertising. With Facebook Ads, we recommend targeting golfers who live within 30 miles of your golf course.

  • Ads for Likes: You can run ad campaigns to target people who would be most likely to like your page. This will help increase your follower count.
  • Ads for Sales: We typically don’t recommend using ads for likes unless you’re just starting your social media account. What we suggest instead is using Facebook Ads to drive potential customers to a sale. While doing this they will be aware of your social channels and be more likely to follow.
  • Ads to Your Prime Market: With Facebook Ads, you can target golfers who are on your email list, who have visited your website in the past 90 days, or are the most engaged on your Facebook page. This high level of targeting insures that you’re reaching the right customers at the right price.

Use Hashtagging

Most social media sites use hashtags to help identify topics of conversation or categories of posts. Using hashtags in your posts will help add followers, specifically on sites like Instagram and Twitter.

  • Straight-Up Hashtagging: Example = #Golf – Using a hashtag like this makes your content usable on the various social media search engines. #Golf in Instagram as an example has more than 10,717,779 posts.
  • Local Hashtagging: Example = #SoCalGolf – Want to be searchable for a higher target market. Use local hashtags to be found by golfers who are more likely to play your course. #SoCalGolf in Instagram as an example has 7,304 posts.
  • Golf-Related Hashtags: Example = #GolfLife – There are tons of golf-related hashtags that can help your golf course get found by golfers all over the world. #GolfLife in Instagram as an example has 476,967 posts.

Run Social Media Contests

Run contests through your page to help spread word of mouth. They can get golfers to share your posts which can drive new golfers to your social media accounts. Some examples of contests you could run to gain followers are:

  • Photo Contest – Have your golfers submit a photo to your social media channel. The photo with the most likes wins. This will encourage your golfers to take a picture at your course, share it with their friends and invite them to your page to see it.
  • Share This Post with Your Friends Contest – Ask your followers to share a post. Randomly choosing a winner from the participants.
  • Majors Contest – Host a social contest during the major golf tournaments. Give your golfers a contest they’re happy to share with their friends.

Use Emails and Website to Promote Social Media Channels

Include your social media accounts in your emails and on your website. You can do this by:

  • Including your social media accounts in all employees’ email signatures
  • Sending an auto-responder email when they complete a round to ask them to follow your social media accounts
  • Having social media buttons on your website
  • Including a live social media feed, showing your actual social media posts, on your website.

Post Authentic, Engaging Social Media Content

The more engaging and authentic the content on your golf course is, the more likely you’ll have people want to follow you.

Think of your social media accounts as your own personal newspaper. The more subscribers you have, the more customers you’ll get.

Want more tips on how to get more golfers playing your golf course more often using social media? Sign up for the 19th Hole Media email list.

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The Six Biggest Mistakes Golf Courses are Making on Facebook

The Don’ts of Facebook Marketing for Golf Courses

“Mistakes are part of the game. It’s how well you recover from them, that’s the mark of a great player.” – Alice Cooper

A new General Manager was hired at one of the first golf courses 19th Hole Media signed up to manage their social media pages. In my first conversation with him he told me he saw no value in social media.

“What do I care what people had to eat?”, he said.

In speaking with many golf course owners and general managers, they were of a similar opinion.

That was six years ago.

Through education, competition and the shifting purchasing habits of golfers most golf course owners and general managers realize the importance of social media in increasing rounds and revenue at their golf course.

Many, however, are doing it wrong.

Here is what NOT to do when marketing your golf course on Facebook:

Don’t Be Overly Promotional

People use Facebook to keep tabs on their family, friends and the companies that interest them. Selling on Facebook is acceptable, but not all the time.

How many of you would willingly sign up to watch TV commercials, look at magazines with only advertisements, or read newspaper ads without any news stories?

If all your posts are sales posts, your audience will get tired of your constant ads and stop following your course.
Another reason not to be overly promotional is that Facebook algorithms will show posts that get low engagement to fewer people. From analyzing thousands of Facebook posts, I can tell you that promotional posts get little to no engagement.

If you continually make posts that get little engagement, Facebook will show your posts to fewer and fewer of your followers.

Don’t Post Flyers

Many golf courses treat their Facebook page like an on-site bulletin board. They have their marketing team draft a flyer, blast it out via email and share it on social media.

Just like when you’re being overly promotional, flyers typically get little to no engagement. The less your Facebook followers engage with your posts, the less likely your posts will show up.

You also don’t want to post flyers because flyers usually contain a lot of text. Facebook will not allow you to boost – spend advertising dollars to reach more potential customers – any posts that have close to 20% text in the photo.

Facebook did this to limit an advertising look and feel to their platform. They also recognized that most photos with text had little to no engagement. And Facebook is all about engagement.

Lastly, consumers can spot, and ignore advertisements easily and flyers are easy-to-spot advertisements.

Think about opening your emails. Do you know which emails are promotional and which ones are not?

Most email users can immediately identify and delete any sales/promotional emails while recognizing emails that are important to them.

Think about watching TV. Do you watch commercials when you watch TV?

Most TV viewers now have a DVR to record programs and skip through commercials to watch their shows uninterrupted.

Think about retrieving the mail from your mailbox. Do you open and look at every piece of mail you receive?

Most people immediately discard mass mailings and open the letters that are important to them.

As consumers we’re constantly filtering out sales messages. Try your best to avoid anything that looks like an ad in your social media posting.

Don’t Post Too Infrequently

Another problem golf courses have is posting too infrequently. I can’t tell you how many golf course Facebook pages I’ve seen get started enthusiastically and then go dormant.

Many of your golfers are accustomed to getting information about their world from their social media pages. If your golf course is absent from posting to the people who want to hear from you the most, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity.

There are many reasons why golf courses’ Facebook pages go dormant: perhaps the person in charge of social media moved on, it wasn’t a priority, or there just wasn’t enough time in the day to commit to creating a vibrant social presence. (Which is why golf courses hire 19th Hole Media.)

Every day something worthy of social media is happening at your golf course. Identifying those opportunities and sharing them with the world takes a consistent, committed and focused effort.

Don’t Not Engage

Another big problem we see many golf courses struggle with on social media is responding when followers comment on stuff.

Imagine a customer comes to the counter at your golf shop and says what a wonderful time they had playing your course and the person behind the counter says nothing.

Better yet, imagine your golf shop full of golfers when your customer complains loudly about an experience they had at your golf course and the person behind the counter says nothing.

When golfers comment on your social media pages they are expecting a response, just as they would when they are at your golf course. Ignoring comments by followers not only misses an opportunity to connect further with the golfer who commented, but it also hurts your relationship with other golfers who see that you aren’t responding to your golfers.

The more you comment back, the more you encourage comments in the future. And the more engagement you have on your posts, the more Facebook will show your posts to your followers.

Don’t Post the Same Type of Post Over and Over

Just like you wouldn’t want to continually post advertising messages on your Facebook page, you also wouldn’t want to post the same type of post all the time on your Facebook page.

I see many golf courses who just share links to websites on their page. Facebook posts can be links to webpages, pictures, questions, testimonials, polls, videos and others. The more variety you have on your Facebook posts, the more likely your followers will stay engaged with your course.

Don’t Not Analyze Your Efforts

Facebook has an excellent analytical tool called Facebook Insights which monitors the success, or lack thereof for your Facebook efforts.

In addition to gathering valuable demographic information about your Facebook followers, Facebook Insights will also show you which Facebook posts are delivering results and which ones are not.

Analyzing your efforts will not only provide valuable feedback when it comes to posting on Facebook, but it will also give you valuable insight into other marketable aspects of your business.

The Back Nine for Social Media

As Alice Cooper would tell you, in golf and on social media, mistakes happen. If your golf course is guilty of any of the Facebook don’ts for golf courses, it’s not too late to turn things around.

Don’t be overly promotional, don’t post flyers, don’t post infrequently, don’t not engage your golfers, don’t post the same type of post over and over and don’t not analyze your efforts.

Instead, recover from your mistakes, be great, and do Facebook right.

Coming Soon How to Do Facebook Right at Your Golf Course: The Do’s of Facebook Marketing for Golf Courses

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Social Media for Golf Courses

How Donald Trump Won the Presidency with Social Media

Regardless of how you feel about the election results, you witnessed a drastic shift in the way politics will be handled in the future. Golf courses and businesses should take note of the power and influence Donald Trump was able to yield through social media.

“The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about.” – Oscar Wilde

Our President-Elect, Donald Trump, made controversial statement after controversial statement throughout the campaign and – every time – our political pundits said he was done. He would not recover.

But, he did recover.

Not only did he recover, but he continued to make more and more controversial statements and each time his influence grew.

His campaign is a testament to the new age of marketing – the power of social media.

Donald Trump’s strategy was to make sure eyes, ears and minds were on him and only him.

His strategy worked and it will work for your golf course.

Trump’s campaign relied on one simple premise:

“There is no such thing as bad publicity…” – Brendan Behan

If you’ve ever thought to yourself social media doesn’t work, it’s a waste of time, or it can’t help to get more golfers playing golf, Trump just proved you wrong. Trump used social media to persuade our country.

In a traditional campaign, any number of Trump’s controversial remarks would have doomed his run for the presidency, yet he thrived.

With each tweet, Trump defied conventional thinking and the reason it worked is because his statements dominated the headlines nearly every day of the campaign election cycle. Every late night talk show host, news anchor, newspaper, magazine and media outlet mentioned Trump on an almost daily basis.

The free press Trump received far surpassed the mentions of Hillary Clinton throughout the entire election. Whether good, or bad, Trump was on the minds of the American people and we have social media to thank.

As the results were being read, many pointed to the fact that this election would “rewrite the history books.” Its ramifications will reverberate throughout the future of political campaigns.

Trump was able to activate an untapped voter base. In the same way, golf courses can use social media to tap into golfers who have considered taking up the game, but haven’t yet.

In every debate, Facebook and Twitter were mentioned – they even had a selfie spot at my polling place.

Donald Trump Social Media for Golf Courses

Those engaging in discussions on Facebook and Twitter permeated news feeds and those who proactively supported or endorsed either candidate influenced our election.

If you’re active on social media you’re an influencer. You have the ability to persuade others to your way of thinking in today’s connected age. If your golf course is active on social media, you have the ability to persuade golfers to choose you over another golf course – OR – to choose golf over another recreational activity.

And when they choose you, you have the ability to generate a “base” of followers who will overwhelmingly support you and your brand. So much so, that they’ll take to Twitter, to Facebook and other social channels to tell everyone just how great your golf course is.

Trump demonstrated the power and appeal of reaching the masses. If you’re not using social media you have zero influence on those people using it. If you use social media, you have the potential to tap into thousands of people on a daily basis to convince them to play golf at your golf course.

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Top 5 Reasons Why You Should NOT Set Up Automatic Posting On Your Social Media Accounts – And How To Do It Anyways

Before I tell you how to set up automatic posting for all your golf course social media accounts, let me tell you why you absolutely should NOT do it:

  1. It Screams Inauthenticity: To engage in social media effectively, you need to use each channel as it was intended. Posting the same exact message on your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest will tell your followers that you’re not engaging with anyone, you’re just blasting out a message. Remember, the key word in social media is “SOCIAL.” If you think socially and interact with your followers you’re much more likely to connect with golfers and encourage them to play your golf course more often.
  2. Social Media Channels Will Limit Your Reach: Facebook and other social media channels have become more sophisticated in identifying when a third party tool like HootSuite is posting to your golf courses Facebook page on your behalf. As a result, they will make sure your posts show up less than if you posted them directly inside of Facebook.
  3. Your Message Won’t Look Right: Each social media channel operates differently than the others. Instagram and Twitter are #Hashtag heavy, while Facebook and LinkedIn are not. Twitter can only post 140 characters at a time. When you share blog articles each platform pulls different website data to automatically populate the posts. Each social media channel has its own socially acceptable behavior. When you set up automatic posting for your golf course, you’re failing to reach your audience in the way they’d like to be reached.
  4. You’ll Miss Out: If you only post in third party apps, you’ll miss out on opportunities that come from operating organically in each one of those social media pages. When logging into your accounts directly on your various social media channels you’ll be able to conduct outreach in those channels. If you’re relying solely on getting a message out there, you are missing out on opportunities to build connections and collaborate with other referral sources, golfers, local businesses, and your community.
  5. Neglect Advertising Opportunities: The advertising feature in each social media platform operates differently too. As more and more consumers flock to social media, these social media channels will require more and more advertising to reach target audiences. If you’ve seen your Facebook reach lately you have probably realized that Facebook only shows each post to a small percentage of those who have liked your page. Spending money on social media advertising is an extremely affordable and effective way to reach your target audience. Use of an automatic posting tool will not help you identify advertising opportunities within the various social media channels.

Zeb Welborn, Michael Lautenbach, Cameron Carr, Amy Spittle, CGCOA, California Golf Course Owner's Association, Tustin Ranch Golf Club

Although I recommend not setting up automatic posting, it’s better than nothing. Realistically, posting on social media is time consuming and posting organically inside of each social media platform may not be feasible. For those of you that are interested, I’ll share with you some of the top tools to set up automatic posting for your social media channels.

  1. HootSuite
  2. TweetDeck
  3. Buffer
  4. SproutSocial
  5. HubSpot
  6. Social Oomph
  7. Social Flow

Of the previous tools listed, I’ve only used HootSuite and TweetDeck. Each one operates a little bit differently and has unique features. If you’re looking to automate your social media postings these tools are a great place to start.

If at all possible, avoid automatic posting to your social media channels.




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How to Run a Facebook Contest for Golf Courses: A Case Study

Contests for free stuff are cool.

Not only are they cool, but they are a great way to create word-of-mouth marketing at your golf course.

Earlier this month we ran a Facebook contest for our client and here’s how we did it.

The Contest:

This particular client was in the process of renovating their putting green.  The course invested a lot of money to improve the experience for their golfers and wanted to let as many golfers as possible know about it.

Our Facebook contest announced the upgraded putting green and the copy for the contest went something like this (picture below):

“Contest for Free Golf:  If you could name our NEW putting green . . . What would you name it?

The comment with the Most “Likes” will win a Free twosome of Golf, Monday – Thursday, AND our Favorite Comment will also win a Free twosome Monday – Thursday.

Contest ends at 5pm PST on Friday, November 21.

Good Luck!”

The Anatomy of a Great Facebook Contest for Golf Courses:

  • Contest is Easy to Enter – The contest needs to be easy to enter.  This contest is super easy to enter.  All they need to do is name the putting green.
  • Rules are Simple – The simpler the contest is, the more likely people are going to enter it.
  • Compelling Picture – There needs to be a unique, authentic and compelling picture to make a great Facebook contest for your golf course.
  • Valuable Prize – The prize needs to be something your golfers want, but doesn’t need to be anything over the top.  I’ve seen golf courses give away 10 free rounds of golf to a contest winner or more.  A free twosome is all you need to get massive engagement on your Facebook page.
  • Clear End Date – Make sure you identify the end date of your contest.
  • Promote – Be sure to promote your contest in as many ways as you possibly can.  For this particular contest the golf course announced it via their email newsletter.  Other ideas could be to inform golfers at the point of sale, on the phone, and on your website.
  • Boost It – We knew this Facebook post would be popular so we boosted it.  Boosting a post on Facebook means Facebook will show it to more people.  For this contest we boosted the post by spending $5. A minor investment for a significant increase in exposure.



In the first comment to any contest post you should include the following disclaimer:

“By entering this contest, you agree to a complete release of Facebook from any or all liability in connection with this contest. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.”

Now that you know how to create a killer contest, let’s take a look at the type of results you can expect from running one.

The Results:

At the start of this contest this particular Facebook page had 883 “Likes.”  Just 4 days later, their Facebook grew by 47 Likes to 930.

The contest itself reached 2,976 people, was liked 33 times, commented on 111 times, and shared 15 times.  From all posts, including shares, the post had more than 339 likes, comments, and shares – 78 total likes, 241 total comments, and 20 shares.  The post was also clicked on 409 times.

For a Facebook page with less than a 1,000 followers, those numbers are pretty darn good.  Nearly 3,000 people saw this and better yet, more than 400 people engaged with this one post.

By the Numbers:

  • 47 New Likes – 47 new golfers exposed to golf course content for life.
  • 2,976 People Reached – 2,976 people physically saw this post
  • 1,741 Organic Reach – Post reached 1,741 people for free
  • 1,235 Paid Reach – Paid $5 to boost the post which went to 1,235 more people
  • 33 Likes on the post itself
  • 111 Comments on the post itself
  • 15 Shares on the post itself
  • 339 Total Likes, Comments and Shares after considering shared content
  • 78 Total Likes
  • 241 Total Comments
  • 20 Total Shares
  • 409 Clicks on the post itself

Follow Up:

The benefits of running a Facebook contest for your golf course don’t end there.  A great contest leverages the experience of the golfers who entered and won the contest.

Be sure to announce and recognize the contest winners as soon as you can with a comment on the contest post.  Be sure to ask them to send you a direct message with their contact information.  Don’t forget to get their email address so you can add them to your email list.

Then, use their profile pictures and announce them on your main Facebook page giving them some recognition but also reminding your Facebook following that if they check your posts they can win free golf at your golf course.  This will give you an opportunity to advertise and market to your audience moving forward for free.

Now your contest post gets even more visibility.  In this post we reached an additional 495 people with 143 post clicks, 15 likes, 8 comments and 1 share.

The final thing you want to do is send an email to the winners.  This is the email we sent to the winners of this contest:
Congratulations on Winning A Free Twosome at (Golf Course)!


Congratulations on winning a free twosome of golf at (Golf Course).  Hope you enjoy your experience here.

If you’re interested, please take photos of your round and share them with me so I can post them on our Facebook page.

Thank you for participating!



If you’re open to it.  An even better email to send out would be something like this:

Subject:  Congratulations on Winning A Free Twosome at (Golf Course)!


Congratulations on winning a free twosome of golf at (Golf Course).  Hope you enjoy your experience here.

If you’re up for it, we’d love to play golf with you and use some of the photos from our round on our Facebook page.  May we join you?

Totally understand if you’d like to play golf without us.  Either way, just let us know.

Thank you for participating!


If they do invite you to join them for a free round, it’s a great opportunity to take lots of pictures you can then use to post on your Facebook page for months to come.  It also gives these golfers a chance to become loyal to your golf course.

If you can’t make it to play golf with them, send the first email and hopefully they will send you a picture of them at the golf course and you can use that to promote your free golf giveaway (and your golf course) even more.

Interested in learning more about running a Facebook contest for your golf course? Contact Zeb at (909) 973-9089 or email at Zeb@WelbornMedia.com

Bonus Content – Learn How to Run a Facebook PHOTO Contest!

Exclusively for members of our email list we’re sharing how to run a Facebook Photo Contest, the results we achieved, and teach you how to run your own photo contest.

Sign up now to learn how we ran a Facebook photo contest for another client of ours where we reached 2,972 people, collected multiple golfer-generated photos, and how we used those photos to promote our clients golf course even more!

Click Here to Learn How to Run a Facebook Photo Contest!

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