Wake up and tweet

Wake up and tweet

Columns - Notes from the Republic

Exploring four effective social media platforms.

June 3, 2014

  Bill Brown, CGCS

The 2014 growing season is in full swing, which means you have less time to fiddle with your practices. It’s much like the golf swing. You’re not going to fix it while you’re playing. That is what range time is for. So with growing turf your top priority, I’d like to take you through a few of the better known social media platforms that require little effort, but pack a punch and can be used to communicate with your members and golfing public.

I think we all know by now that social media is a very powerful tool to communicate with your peers, get help and advice or just have casual conversation. Waking up and checking social streams has become as routine as waking up and getting dressed. In fact, some people are so connected that dressing may be the last thing on their minds. With a captive audience thirsting for the latest tweet, Like or +1, turf managers should harness these powerful tools to efficiently and effectively reach the golfing audience.


Instagram is a great way to share quick, 15-second videos with your members of things that you and the crew do or projects you may be working on. In addition to short videos, you can also post photos for your membership to see. One of the great things about Instagram is that you can post to multiple social media platforms at once, including Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Flickr. One click of the camera can reach a huge audience.


Flickr is another great way to showcase your efforts with your audience. All mobile devices now have Flickr integration, so much like Instagram, it is a one-step process. A big bonus of Flickr is the ability to embed photo galleries into websites. After completing a project, embed a Flickr album on your blog or company’s website. Once your album is embedded, Flickr will auto upload in real time any photo you take with your mobile device. No need for syncing or heading back to the office to upload photos.


Twitter is great for a quick course update such as “We will be syringing the greens at 2 p.m. today” or to communicate progress on a project. While Twitter seems to be the most popular social media platform in the turf industry, it needs to be used with some caution. If you are tweeting from an account for the course, watch what you say. If it’s not something you would say to a member’s face, you should probably keep it off the club’s Twitter account. I would recommend having one account for personal and one account for professional use.


If your club has a Facebook page, make sure you’re an administrator on it so you can use it to communicate information. Another great way to communicate via Facebook is to create a Facebook page for the grounds department and the only information shared there will be about your department. When using a Facebook page to communicate, it is important to be as consistent as possible so your message continues to reach your audience. If you have a course blog, be sure to share your posts on your club’s Facebook page and the grounds department page to be sure that those blog updates make it to as many members as possible.

As you implement social media to communicate to your membership, start small and be consistent. It may be difficult to keep up with multiple social media platforms if you are new to social media, so start with one, be consistent and then add to it as you feel more comfortable. Inconsistent posting will not help you to get your message out.

Looking for more assistance with social integration, send us a message on our Tech 911 (http://iturfapps.com/tech-911) board.

Happy tweeting.


Bill Brown, CGCS, is CEO of Turf Republic and founder of iTurf Apps. Bill has spent 20 years on golf courses, including the last 5 years at Hartefeld National Golf Club. He’s served as an officer and board of director for the Philadelphia Association of Golf Course Superintendents, as well as served on national committees. Contact him at billbrown@turfrepublic.com.