A Social Media Spotlight of Cleveland Golf/Srixon with Alex DePallo

Tell me a little about yourself?

  • Graduated from the University of Arizona with a degree in Marketing and Sports Management in 2011
  • He did two internships before his job at Cleveland Golf/Srixon. One of them was with Golfsmith and the other was the P.J. Boatwright internship at the Southern California Golf Association.
  • His current position is the Online Editor for Cleveland Golf/Srixon. He is responsible for the social media content on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and the company’s blog

How has social media affected Cleveland Golf and what are the main objectives of your social media strategy?

In the past year Cleveland Golf has put major emphasis on social media. Their goal is to humanize the brand and increase engagement with their fans. They felt that if they could increase engagement they could get people more invested in the brand and turn the fans into customers. Increasing engagement will also increase the brand loyalty. Through social media, Cleveland creates loyal fans and these fans turn into advocates for the brand.

                         cleveland tweet 1

The Cleveland Golf blog provides a way for fans to gain insight to what the company is currently doing. There are interviews with the professional club fitters about the new fitting carts and there are interviews with the R&D department about new clubs for 2013.

The golf industry as a whole is very active in social media so when I asked Alex, “What makes you different from the other equipment manufacturers?” He simply said, “We consider ourselves leaders, not followers.” This profound quote really sets the tone for Cleveland’s social media efforts.

What tools are you using to measure effectiveness?

Since humanizing the brand is the most important aspect of their social media strategy, they use Twitter primarily for engaging, interacting, and conversing with their fans. He said Facebook has better tools for measuring page activity such as likes, friends, and overall reach of the brand.

Describe the impact the tour pros have in both social media marketing and traditional marketing?

“We have these fun, interesting players like Keegan Bradley, Charlie Beljan, and Graeme McDowell and we like to spotlight them since they can relate to the younger demographic.” These players are great with fans on the course and great off the course through social media. The tour professionals are another extension of the humanizing effort for the brand. They feel that if younger people are exposed to the Cleveland brand through social media, they will turn into Cleveland customers.

A common marketing phrase in the golf industry is “Play what the pros play.” Cleveland has embraced this phrase and taken it to another level with their custom fitting carts. These carts offer the same club options and custom fitting expertise that the tour professionals are currently using.

How does Cleveland use 3rd party blogs?

The information, specifically equipment reviews, found in 3rd party blogs is extremely valuable to the company. If Cleveland were to write equipment reviews about their own products, they would be considered biased and therefore not useful to the reader. Online communities such as The Hackers Paradise, GolfWRX, and Bunkers Paradise write unbiased reviews for their members. Alex said many times someone from the online community will contact Cleveland Golf about a review they had written. Cleveland will then post a link on Twitter or Facebook and promote their products with this 3rd party information.

Do you have any advice for people interested in working in the golf industry?

“The golf industry is a who you know industry”

“Go to events, make connections, keep connections”

“If you’re truly passionate about it, keep trying”

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