Social Media at the Golf Inc. Conference

What a day!

Since the fall of 2010, Ricky Lee Potts of Imavex had been putting together the workings for social media presentations to take place at the Golf Inc. Conference (Innisbrook Resort & Spa, Innisbrook, FL). Today, those panel discussions came to fruition.

On hand along with presentation moderator Ricky Lee Potts were John Graham (Director of Instruction at Webster Golf Club, NY), Jason Sutton (Master Instructor at Dana Rader Golf School, NC), Justin Smith (General Manager at Olde Homestead Golf Club, PA), and myself.  Ricky put together two panel discussions regarding social media. The first was titled “Social Media 101: An Introduction to Online Social Networking Tools”. Here John Graham and I spoke on these topics:

1) With so many tools available, what tools are right for me?
2) How much time must I dedicate to these efforts?
3) How can social media produce an ROI?
4) How to communicate with Generation Y through social media

We used these topics as a way to explain our main point that it’s not IF, it’s WHEN you begin using social media.

I sensed many people had a preconceived notion of what these social media tools such as Facebook and Twitter were like. Many people assumed these tools were used by teenagers for the purpose of status updates like, “I was walking down the street and noticed my shoe was untied.” However, these tools are so much more, as exemplified today. The other speakers and myself had not met one another in person until after the initial panel was put together. However, through our interaction on Twitter, Facebook, and blogs, we learned about and had an understanding of one another in terms of jobs, interests, and personalities.

John Graham talked about his experience travelling to the UK, staying at a person’s house, and conducting a clinic in correlation with this person whom he had only met previously on Twitter. He also picked up an AimPoint Clinic during his trip to Innisbrook because a Twitter follower saw he was going to be in the area. In my own experience, I was able to join Joe Bosco to run a ZENIO Putting Lab at Doral a few weeks ago (simply through meeting once in person and connecting on Facebook afterwards).  Additionally, I shared that my lessons to date this year increased 174% from 126 in 2010 to 346 in 2011.  I do not credit this to myself.  I credit this to another variable: the use of Twitter in the past year.  Using Twitter has increased my information network through links to discussions, blogs, and posts from great people willing to share ideas and knowledge.  What a blessing and opportunity it is to use these tools to continue to do what I love.

These tools are a way to connect with others, increase your information network, and increase your business profitability.  Like anything, using these tools incorrectly will yield unfavorable results – but using these tools correctly will yield beneficial results.

Ricky Lee Potts, Jason Sutton, Sara Dickson, and John Graham at Golf Inc. Conference - Innisbrook

The second session dove further into the results that correct use of social media can produce. Again moderated by Ricky Lee Potts, Jason Sutton and Justin Smith spoke on “Producing Positive Results by Effectively Managing your Brand Online.” These speakers presented on the following topics:

1) What content should I be sharing on these social media sites?
2) Not all social media tools are meant for your brand
3) Case studies producing positive results
4) Steps to developing your social media campaign
5) Who do I contact if I get stuck or have questions

Both Jason and Justin shared their success stories through their use of social media. Jason developed his own tv station on YouTube titled “GuruTV” where he shares teaching tips and instruction in combination with his use of Twitter, Facebook, and his blog. Justin uses social media to promote Olde Homestead Golf Course throughout the community.  Justin provided insight and examples as to how to promote effectively. As Jason concluded, “social media is the new word of mouth.”

Justin Smith, Jason Sutton, and Ricky Lee Potts presenting at Golf Inc. Conference - Innisbrook

Perhaps a few audience members were motivated today as we already have already connected with a brand new member of Twitter, Rick Grayson (RickGraysonGolf) who sat in the sessions.

I did not have much time as I would have liked to spend at Innisbrook but besides the great opportunity to speak with these gentlemen, it was a privilege to be a part of what John Graham called a “mind meld break out” with him and Jason Sutton during some free time before our talks. Here we picked each other’s brains about golf technique and shared some of our various experiences of success using these social media tools. John and I had shared thoughts regarding a video of my golf swing a few months ago via Twitter and he was able to comment on my progress when I showed him an updated swing video. Using our previous networking through social media, we were able to jump right into conversations like we had known each other for years.

At the end of the day, the usefulness of social media tools rang through louder than ever. I have to give a great thank you to Ricky Lee Potts for the opportunity and to John Graham, Jason Sutton, and Justin Smith for their continued support and mentoring. I’m sure I will talk to you all on Twitter soon: the world’s collaborative golf coach – where information is at the speed of the Tweet!

It was a privilege to be part of the Golf Inc. Conference.

Thank you for stopping by to read today.  If you feel this information is valuable, please pass it along to your friends.

Have a great day.


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