The Great Golf Course March Bracket

Conference Championships are here and March Madness is next. There’s always a ton of buzz around the tournament and people are thinking about their brackets.

Let your golfers embrace bracketology to choose their favorite hole at your course via an exclusive contest through 19th Hole Media.

We’ll set up and run a contest using your 18 hole handicaps as “seeds” to slot your golf holes into a bracket. Your golfers will choose their favorite hole at your course after five weeks of voting!

What better way to get in the spirit of March and stir golf sentiment at your course leading up to the Masters!

Contact us for details and pricing and then look forward to stirring sentiment and buzz at your course with us!

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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.

Sign up for the 19th Hole Media newsletter for tips and tactics on social media marketing for golf courses.

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Zeb Welborn in Southland Golf Magazine

Zeb Welborn was chosen as a Game Changer in Southland Golf Magazine

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Source: Southland Golf – July 2015

Southland Golf takes an annual look at a few people in the Southland who are Game Changers. People who help, inspire, influence or positively impact the game. It’s this year’s Front Nine.

Click the link above to read the article or check out some of our favorite parts below.


ZEB WELBORN

The former school teacher now instructs course operators how to connect with golfers online.

“The marketing model has changed dramatically over the past decade. Marketing used to be static. With social media, it demands to be dynamic,” Welborn said recently while sipping lemonade at Anaheim Hills Golf Course. “The algorithm of social media is engagement. People connect with golf courses through their emotions. You have to touch those emotions.”

The use of photos and videos on social media are other keys to making an impression, Welborn said, but even those are evolving from just a few years ago.

“It’s not photos or videos of the golf course. It’s photos and videos of people’s experience on the golf course,” he said. “That’s what makes the connection. We’re in an age where people want to share the fun they’re having in their lives, and that’s what we market to other golfers.” SG

Read the full article >>

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Zeb Welborn Featured on Golf Life

Immediately after releasing my book, The Social Golf Course, I connected with Golf Life a website devoted to anything and everything golf.

Golf Life is a national television program that started in the late 90s, Golf Life is seen by 600,000 viewers each month who are watching in some of the 90 million homes we reach across the US.

Zeb Welborn author of The Social Golf Course interviewed by Golf Life

Golf Life

The article is pretty straight forward with questions about me and The Social Golf Course and my responses to those questions.  Thanks to the people at Golf Life for the post on their website.

“Golf Life got the chance to talk with author Zeb Welborn of 19th Hole Media about his new book The Social Golf Course: Increasing Rounds with Social Media that he co-wrote with John Hakim from Greenskeeper.org. The book is a basic introduction to golf course marketing with social media. Let’s learn more from Zeb Welborn.”

Please check out the article from Golf Life on Zeb Welborn, 19th Hole Media and The Social Golf Course.

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