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Social Media Manager for a Weekend: Learnings from joining the social team for a Pro Golf Tournament

Earlier in April, I had the opportunity to join one of our customers, RBC Heritage, for their 2022 Tournament. For background, I have no true social media experience on a brand level, but as the Customer Growth & Success Coordinator at Slate I have been able to follow our customers and get an idea of the type of content that brands across industries focus on. I was enthusiastic about the chance to learn more about content creation for live events, share those learnings with my broader team, and use them to inform the work that I’m doing on a daily basis.

 

Pre-Arrival

Before arriving, I was able to connect with Mike McGinnis and Erin Sheridan who both work on marketing for RBC Heritage each year via an agency, Dixon Schwabl + Company. We went through what to expect, the tournament’s content calendar, and (most importantly) what to wear throughout the weekend. From there I familiarized myself with the planned content for the weekend and headed to Hilton Head.

 

During the Tournament

On Friday morning I arrived at the course and was able to jump right in! After a quick tour to get my bearings straight, I met with the weekend’s social team, which consisted of myself and two others, to learn more about what I would be helping with during my time.  I was tasked with a few different types of images and videos I would capture throughout the weekend, like attendees wearing the signature RBC Heritage plaid and volunteers holding up the “Quiet” signs when a golfer was in the midst of taking their next shot. Periodically, I was also working on more one off pieces of content that weren’t necessarily a part of any one content series or included in the planned content calendar.

Throughout the weekend, I would go on 4-5 “content runs” a day where I would take a list of media I needed to capture and send those back to the team in the media center to create content with, and then head back to the media center myself to work on content pieces that required more editing.

As with many sporting events, there were media restrictions on what could be posted on the RBC Heritage handles so we really focused on capturing the atmosphere of the tournament. Getting attendees involved in the content was one of my favorite parts of the experience and I got to see the true community that has developed over time because of the families who always include the Heritage in their vacation plans.

 

What I Learned

I learned so much during my time with the RBCH team (including how many steps you get when capturing content at a golf tournament – hint… it’s a lot!) and am so thankful that their team was gracious enough to take on a newbie content creator for the weekend! Read on for my key takeaways:

 

Video Content is King

I know… I know. If you read any social trend report going into 2022, it probably included the importance of video content. This is something that I read about again and again throughout 2021 and moving into 2022, and experience on an almost daily basis as an avid consumer of TikToks and employee of a social content creation tool. BUT activating on a content plan that had a focus on video and seeing the engagement in real-time completely opened up my perspective.

Videos receive viewer engagement that isn’t always achievable with still images. With this event being so heavily influenced by the habitual attendees, the content that did extremely well either captured the emotions and excitement of attendees or paid tribute to the flagship/iconic lighthouse in the Harbour Town (the area around the golf course). Videos carry with them a feeling of connection that is harder to find in still media. 

 

You must be agile with on-the-fly content

With the media restrictions I mentioned earlier, finding interesting content outside of gameplay became that much more important. On our content runs we would always be on the lookout for any hidden gems around the course that would intrigue scrollers on social. This really opened my perspective into the creativity social media managers must have at all times. 

This “always-on-the-lookout” way of capturing content also drives the importance that time is money. Social media teams, especially smaller ones, have to find creative ways to increase efficiencies across their workflows so that they can dedicate more time to ideating, capturing, and creating unique and thumb-stopping content.

Own your content

Creating social content for a brand comes with the hope that your content will be organically reshared and expand your reach and visibility. A key aspect to this that brand social teams must keep in mind is making content that has some sort of brand stamp on it. This could be as simple as a watermark. This ensures that even if your content is reposted without attribution, you can still increase brand awareness and visibility, and establish ownership over what you are posting. 

People who identify with your brand for any given reason will want to broadcast what is happening within your community, you should take advantage of that as much as you can! Slate helps brands own their content at the swipe of a finger. To request a demo, head here.

I hope my time with the RBC Heritage social team proves to be half as insightful to you as it was to me! 

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