Topgolf, the golf and entertainment venue "for all ages, all skill levels, all year round," has built its brand by integrating social media into the live experience.
"We're very lucky that our brand has such a natively social element to it," says Director of Communications Adrienne Chance. "We see a lot of social media activity without having to push for that."
The rapidly expanding company - it currently lists 26 locations on its website but Chance says 10 more are being added per year - promises a fun and challenging game for amateurs and pros alike. "You don't have to be a good golfer to be good at Topgolf," says Chance. The setup involves golf balls with microchips that track accuracy and distance, and special targets throughout the course that award points.
Unique to the experience is that social media is built in at Topgolf. Each venue has a "social wall" on which live tweets are streamed, encouraging patrons to tweet and see their post on a big TV screen. In-house DJ's seek song requests by tweet, social contests can allow lucky patrons to skip the line, and the company has seen successful engagement with Snapchat filters even though it doesn't currently have a corporate Snapchat account. Topgolf's goal, says Chance, is to "merge the online and offline audiences".
Of course, the company also practices traditional social customer care, "constantly responding to guest questions" and proactively engaging with Topgolf references that are not aimed directly at the brand. Interestingly, posts are answered at the local level by "marketing managers" who are responsible for all marketing of the venue - social and non-social - plus customer service.
Another refreshing difference is that Topgolf almost exclusively looks at qualitative measures of success on social media. "We've measured our success by the type of engagements we're getting per post, what's the number of engagements per post, [and] the quality of interactions that we're having," says Chance.
Highlights of the episode and where to find them are below:
0:38 What is Topgolf?
3:00 How Topgolf merges the offline and online experience
7:07 Which social media channels are most important to Topgolf?
8:50 Exploring Topgolf's decentralized social model, in which each location has its own accounts
11:35 The role of the "marketing manager" as both multi-channel marketer and customer service agent
13:25 Answering social media questions about Topgolf's expansion plans
14:48 Topgolf's focus on qualitative social media metrics
17:38 Adrienne shares a particularly memorable interaction with a customer
If you've seen other brands successfully integrate the offline and online experience, or if you've experienced great customer service from a brand on social media, we want to hear about it! Please tweet using hashtag #FOCS and we will invite that brand to a future podcast episode.