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The Value of Social Media

Posted On: February 26, 2016 by ClubProcure in: VGM Club

How should you begin cultivating your personal or company brand on social media?

Social media can be intimidating, but learning its benefits can help you take the leap. An article in business.com, by author Darin Reffitt sparked our interest when we started to dive into the world of social media. We also spent some time with Rick Tegtmeier, Director of Grounds at Des Moines Golf & Country Club and long time VGM Club member. Along with his regular duties as a Director of Grounds, Rick maintains an impressive blog. This past Golf Industry Show, Rick was recognized as being a "Best Overall Social Media User" by Golf Course Industry Magazine. Combined, the two offer some great insights into the benefits of owning a social media account.

Blogs:  "Offering content that is relevant and interesting to your audience demonstrates both wisdom and value. Regular updates of your blog can show high in search rankings as well." –Darin Reffitt

Rick was able to keep members of Des Moines Golf & Country Club informed during the golf course renovation project using Blogspot as his platform. Rick wrote a post every Saturday to keep members updated on the status of the project. "This kept our members informed on what we were doing every week. It surprised me how many people were clicking on my latest post to see what we accomplished," said Tegtmeier, "the members could reach my blog from the Des Moines Golf & Country Club weekly email. We saw that members were interested in what we were doing, and they became much more educated on the process, but most of all, our members were appreciative of what we were doing." Read all about the Des Moines Golf & Country Club renovation project, and more from Rick: HERE

Twitter:  Twitter Filled-50 (1) "Sharing articles we consume [related to our industry] can assist others in finding good articles..  Promoting the content with others is a great first step in building a network of social professionals." – Darin Reffitt

Twitter is helpful because the content you publish is much more concise and less time consuming. Instead of writing an entire blog post, you can keep members in the loop with "tweets." Keep in mind the best way to build a bigger social media presence is by linking the two platforms (Blog and Twitter) in conjunction with each other. One of the many benefits of building this network of social professionals, like the one Darin Reffitt describes, is the education it provides. For example, Superintendents across the nation are constantly in contact via Twitter to answer questions and offer ideas to their professional social network. As a club, a Twitter account offers your members the ability to engage with your "brand." Social media accounts can be a vital resource to nurture connections between your club and members.

Rick also had some great thoughts on the educational benefits of Twitter, "I have learned a tremendous amount from other guys and I never quit learning. Before guys could only get together once a year and talk at a trade show, but now this information is handed out in real time. I can post what we are doing and immediately get feedback. My General Manager, Jim Cutter always tells us we are big on R&D. Not research and development, but rip off and duplicate, and social media allows you to do that right away. Superintendents are always willing to share ideas within our industry, whether we are ‘competitors' or not." Check out Rick's Twitter as well: HERE

What advice does Rick have for someone looking to start a blog or social media account? "Jump in with both feet. Most importantly, don't post anything negative. Use a proactive approach to things going on around the golf course. If you see a member using poor cart position etiquette, or not fixing a ball mark, don't turn to social media to lay into them. Instead, be proactive by offering tips to fix ball marks more effectively. And finally, before you post, reread it, then reread it again. Ask yourself, is this positive or negative?"

Need some blog content ideas?

Here is a few to get you started. Keep in mind, whatever your club decides to do, remember to keep it relevant.

  1. Swing thoughts from your PGA Professional.
  2. Tips from your Head Chef on how to recreate your membership's favorite meal.
  3. Monthly "Superintendent's Corner" where you can praise the membership for good course etiquette.

Signing up for a Twitter account, or need some other accounts to follow? Listed below are a few of our favorite Twitter follows, and blog content producers, within the agronomic industry. If you are just beginning to dive into social media, these seven Twitter users can help you begin growing your social media presence. Follow us on Twitter and tweet us with your favorite follows so we can grow this list!

Name Area of interest Twitter Blog
Chris Tritabaugh   Agronomy @ct_turf http://hazeltinenational.com
Darren J Davis Agronomy @DarrenJDavisGCS http://DarrenJDavisGCS.com
Rick Tegtmeier Agronomy @DMGCCSupt http://dmgcc.blogspot.com/
Matthew Gourlay Agronomy @mattgourlaycgcs http://mattgourlaycgcs.blogspot.com/
Brad Rozzelle Agronomy @turfmanpa  
Scott Schurman Agronomy @KCCGROUNDS http://www.kccturf.blogspot.com/
Joel Kachmarek Agronomy @tacomaturf http://tacomaturf.net

Social media can be a great tool for your club if done properly. We hope you found these tips helpful and you "jump in with both feet!"