Global Edition

Golf businesses are ‘twittering’ for profit

7.06am 13th March 2009 - Media

Leading industry PR & marketing agency Hiseman Partners has formed a ‘Golf Social Media’ team, which claims to help golf businesses worldwide make profit from the very latest ways of using the web.

“It’s moving pretty fast out there,” said agency head Andy Hiseman, “and I’ve learnt a huge amount in this area from helping to develop PowerPlay Golf worldwide, so I wanted to throw a lifeline to everyone in the golf industry who feels a bit challenged by all the talk about Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and blogging.
“But they are all becoming very effective PR vehicles, and aren’t time-consuming or costly if you know how to use them properly. They are also proven revenue-drivers.”

The new Golf Social Media entry-level service charges a flat fee of £395 + VAT for a simple four-step process. The team will create your company Facebook page, and show you how to build it up yourself; show how to integrate a free WordPress blog into your company’s website (or create a standalone company blog), and how to keep it up to date; upload one of your company’s videos to YouTube, and show you how to do it yourself; and show you how to use Twitter to get people talking about your business.

“The golf industry needs to get up and running rapidly with social media,” said PowerPlay Golf’s Andy Wool. “Most golf clubs or golf businesses now have a website and a search engine strategy – these new web tools go beyond that, are cheap to use, and quick, and can build your customer base and create new revenue. We’ve used this technology extensively to roll PowerPlay Golf out in 20 countries, and counting.”

Customers can also take advantage of longer term services. “Our new Golf Social Media team has the capacity to work on bigger digital projects for clients of all sizes,” said Hiseman. “We‘ve found ourselves spending more and more time helping our core clients develop their business in this way, so we decided to take things a step further and form a dedicated team.”

Golf Social Media also advises golf businesses on:
• how to engage with your online audience as a company, or as an individual, or as an employee working for the company, or even under an alias;
• how a well-used blog can gain incredible search engine rankings;
• how to deal with negative comments about your golf business on the web;
• how to monitor what is being said about your company on the web;
• who are the golf industry’s most influential bloggers, and how to get them writing for you.

Among the golf industry’s ‘Twitterers‘ is Mike Harris, editor of Golf Monthly. “We are always looking for new ways in which to communicate with golfers and introduce them to the Golf Monthly brand,” said Mike. “So when Andy Hiseman sent me an email in early February about using micro-blogging on Twitter to get the word around I was interested. Within a week Golf Monthly had a Twitter page and our following has grown day by day. The staff really enjoy ‘Tweeting‘ via its simple interface, and we have used the site to not only run an office blog but also drive traffic to with teaser stories on our best content.

“In the digital environment you have to be open to new ideas and way to connect with both existing and potential new users. I see Twitter and other social media as key tools in delivering that strategy.”

Nick Moran, sales & marketing director at Europe’s biggest golf club owner/operator Crown Golf, is another who is sold on the marketing benefits of social media. “Twitter is the quickest PR platform known to man. We now ‘tweet’ press releases from our all of our 33 golf courses, and they all go on our recently- launched WordPress blog too.”

Laurie O’Toole, managing director of Dizzy Heights agrees. “We‘ve integrated Facebook into so that golfers can engage with our brand, watch our golf videos and share golf tips with their friends,” he said. “Getting your audience to spread your marketing message for you is online PR at its best. If social media is not part of your online marketing strategy, you may be missing a golden opportunity to cost-effectively grow your business online.”

“We‘re using Facebook to sell golf lessons, promote our special offers on the range and generally build a loyal customer base,” said Craig Whitfield, general manager of Playgolf Manchester. “It’s free to do, and doesn‘t take much work. The skill is in maintaining it, which is where Hiseman Partners comes in.”

‘Social media‘ websites such as Twitter – which has almost quadrupled its traffic already in 2009 – YouTube, Facebook and MySpace now account for more than 1 in 10 of all web visits in the UK.

Hiseman Partners is a full-service agency which promotes golf businesses and brands, and provides creative and copywriting services to golf firms. It is a leading exponent of digital media in golf, including emails, websites, social media strategy, digital brochures and text marketing. It also provides a media planning & buying service through Hiseman Limited.
Contact: +44 (0)1780 757461 / / Twitter: andyhise

Golf Social Media

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