Two Midwest Courses Commit to Landscapes Golf Management
HD: Social Media Sidebars: Need Another Platform?
DK: Of course Facebook is a global juggernaut and Twitter dominates the golf course maintenance industry. But it’s not the only social media app used by turf pros.
By Matt LaWell
Facebook remains the most popular social media application in the world. No surprise there. But believe it or not, Twitter isn’t second on the list. No, despite #TurfTwitter’s best efforts, the app that long ago featured the Fail Whale whenever servers ran out of servers is 15th globally and 10th among those headquartered in the US and in North America – behind Facebook, YouTube, WhatsApp, Instagram, TikTok, Facebook Messenger, Snapchat, Telegram and Pinterest. With around 436 million monthly active users, it barely tops Reddit.
Are any of these other rigs ideal for the turf community?
Reno Aces head groundskeeper Leah Withrow took to TikTok during the 2020-21 offseason, when “we were bored, we still couldn’t go out and the winter weather in Nevada was crap.” Since then, she’s jumped to the top of an admittedly select group of #TurfTok regulars. Withrow uses the app more as a video editing tool, a place to consolidate days or weeks of progress videos and share his and his team’s work.
“All I do is take videos I already have on my camera roll — time-lapse mowing patterns or edging jobs — then find a sound or music to glue it all together,” she says. . “It’s 70 percent of it. The other 30% just browse TikTok, hear a sound, and think, “I could probably dub it and make it relevant.”
Withrow (@leahlou2 on Twitter, @leahlou775 on TikTok) seems to be discovering “little life hacks” every time she logs into the app, but her social media efforts have also paid off in more measurable ways. : a pair of students from the University of Nevada, Reno discovered her TikTok videos, contacted her, interviewed for positions and are now part-time staff at Gameday.
“I know so many kids would be interested in turf management,” Withrow says. “Putting it on a platform for high school and college kids figuring out what they want to do for the rest of their lives, I just hope it brings more curiosity and more excitement towards the turf industry .”
Donovan Maguigan opts for an even more popular application, at least on a global scale. Superintendent of Springdale Golf Club in Princeton, New Jersey, since December 2018, the photography enthusiast signed up for Instagram in 2013. It’s been a big part of his social media schedule ever since.
Maguigan (@McBuckeyeAT on Twitter and Instagram) owns a decade-old Nikon, but normally snaps with his iPhone and incorporates more drone shots. A club committee even asked him for some of his favorite shots to redecorate the clubhouse.
Why hasn’t a visual industry embraced a more visual social media platform?
“There’s less transparency on Instagram,” Maguigan says. “Instagram really has this (feeling): it’s your best life, your perfect version of everything. Instagram could use a lot of more transparent people. You can neatly organize photos while showing the struggles and challenges we’re in faced in this industry. Your members and players need to understand that it’s not just about shearing lasers and creating perfect dew patterns. There are things that challenge every day, and Instagram is a good way to show it.
For the turf community, Maguigan says, “I think Instagram will have more resistance than TikTok, but as far as the way the world is going, I think TikTok will surpass Instagram.”
And what will it take for TurfTok to rise to the top of the social media hierarchy?
“It’ll just have to be the younger generation doing it,” Withrow says. “Until the (older) guys filter out and the younger guys who have grown up with social media and are more comfortable with social media replace them, I don’t think you’re going to see a lot of ( people on TikTok).”
Matt LaWell is editor of Golf Course Industry.
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