Facebook is an integral part of the world we live in. It has allowed us to interact with people and businesses all over the world in a way that was previously impossible. For golf clubs, it has created a platform to promote themselves and share their news instantly and for free. However, some golf clubs have fallen into the trap of using their public Facebook page to share both external and internal communications. Not only does this cause that page to look messy, it also means that any internal issues or negative feedback is displayed to anyone who views this page, including potential new members or visiting golfers.
A simple solution to this problem is to create a Private Facebook Group. Below we will explain what they are and how to properly manage them.
What are Private Facebook Groups?
Facebook Groups are pages on Facebook where people can connect and communicate about a shared interest, for example being a member of your golf club. As most people now have their own personal Facebook account, it is the best platform to house such a group. You can set up a group for the membership as a whole or create individual pages for different membership groups (female members, junior members, new members etc).These groups can be “Public” meaning anyone on Facebook can join and post on them, or “Private” meaning only selected people can join and post. We strongly advise that you set your golf club’s group as Private. This way you can ensure that it is only your club’s members who can see and post on the page.
Creating a Private Facebook Groups can have numerous benefits for the club including:
- Create a safe space to communicate any relevant internal communications directly with your membership (dates and results of medals, updates from club council meetings, daily course updates etc)
- Gives your members a direct line with the club to voice their opinions and concerns
- Can help with membership retention as members feel they are being listened to and more valued
- Allows you to use the public Facebook page exclusively for external communications (high quality photography/video of course and facilities, dates of open competitions, relevant club news such as course closures and cancelled events)
- Allows you to better control the public image of the club on Facebook
Below is a link to Facebook’s step by step guide to setting a group:
How to Properly Manage a Private Facebook Group
As we mentioned above, Private Facebook Groups can be an excellent communication tool and help you stay better connected with your membership. However, if they aren’t used correctly they can be hijacked by vocal members and end up becoming more of an issue than a benefit. We have put together a few ideas about how to properly manage your club’s Private Facebook Group:
Select the right type of person to act as Group Admin
The Group Admin is the person who is primarily responsible for posting content on the group page, accepting requests to join the group and monitoring what is being posted by others on the page. Selecting the right person to act as Group Admin will have a major impact on effectiveness of the group as a communication tool between the membership and the club. It is therefore essential that this person has certain skills including the following:
- Good understanding of and passion for the golf club
- Good understanding of using Facebook (posting content, managing Facebook groups)
- Ability to communicate in a professional and appropriate manner
- Ability to deal with negative comments and issues in a professional and appropriate manner
Being a Group Admin can be a very time consuming job, especially as the group becomes more popular. Often the responsibility for this role is given to the general manager, captain or head greenkeeper. However, these are already extremely busy roles. It therefore may be worth finding someone within your membership who is suitable to take on the role. You could offer to waive their membership fees in return for their services. Whoever you choose as Group Admin, keep in mind that this person will be representing and communicating as the club. Pick the right person!
Establish Group Guidelines
It’s important to give your group some sort of direction on what types of conversation are encouraged or discouraged in order to maintain a thriving community. Creating some sort of behavior expectation is essential for creating a safe space in your community, but having a list of do’s and don’ts can feel intimidating and aggressive to new members. Establishing guidelines not only puts “rules” in a more positive light, but it allows members to take ownership of how they can influence and encourage great community behavior. An example of a guideline could be:
“We believe debate and disagreement are constructive, but personal attacks, trolling and abuse will not be tolerated”
It may be worth working with the group members when the group is first created to come up with a universally agreed upon list of these guidelines. These guidelines can then be pinned to the top of the group’s feed so they are visible for all members of the group to see.
Moderate Your Group
Moderating your group is vital to maintaining a healthy community. If you don’t offer some sort of control over the conversation, others will control it for you. Here are the basics of how to handle if someone breaks the rules or has an issue with another member of the group:
- Delete any post that breaks the rules – Regardless of the reason it breaks the rules, remove the post as soon as you are aware of it. This will ensure that you maintain a safe environment for your members to enjoy.
- Handle sensitive issues using a private message – If you delete someone’s post, follow up by sending them a private message to explain your reason for doing so. It may be the case that they didn’t realise they were breaking a rule. Be polite but firm. Make sure that they understand you are not trying to be mean or unreasonable, you are simply ensuring the proper use of the group.
Private messages are also an excellent way to resolve issues between members of the groups. It is definitely better to only deal with those involved than get into a public argument that anyone can get involved in.
How Caddie Marketing can help you
Interested in learning more about using Private Facebook Groups? We would love to hear from you!
At Caddie Marketing, not only are we experts in digital marketing, we also have a deep understanding of the golf industry and the challenges it faces. We have brought these two sectors together seamlessly to provide excellent results for our clients.
Terms such as ‘lead generation’, ‘conversions’, ‘Ads Manager’ and ‘target audience’ might seem to you like a whole new language. You are not alone. Our experience shows that the golf industry is only just beginning to get acquainted with the benefits of digital marketing.
As part of the service we offer, we will take over the whole process of marketing your promotions from beginning to end. Our team will use their expertise to ensure that your promotion reaches and appeals to your target market of golfers. All that will be left for you to do is work through the list of genuinely interested leads and convert them into revenue for your club. We’ll even show you how to do that!
We pride ourselves on providing the best results and excellent ROI for our clients. Using the expertise we have built up, we have taken relatively small amounts of ad spend and turned them into significant revenue. We are confident in our ability to do the same for you.
Head here to find out more: caddiemarketing.co.uk/contact/