The Social 9 with - Corey Holloway
The Social 9 is an up-close look into the lives and careers of the golf industry’s social voices and influencers. Each Wednesday will feature a new guest answering nine (or more!) questions about their careers, brands, and personal lives.
These are the voices that drive the industry further every single day.
Corey Holloway — Wilson Golf
Job Title: Global Social Media Manager — Golf
How did you get started in social media?
In my first full-time role out of undergrad, I worked for an experiential sports-focused hospitality company on a number of marketing projects. One of my initial responsibilities was managing the brand’s social channels. After working for 2+ years, I decided to go back to graduate school at my alma mater, NC State University. Part of the degree requirement in my Master's program was to obtain an internship. I was fortunate enough to land a role with adidas in Portland, Oregon, working specifically on social media. That role ultimately led me to my initial, full-time gig with Wilson, beginning in the Fall of 2015, running Golf’s social channels.
Do you have a favorite social media outlet right now?
From a personal perspective, my favorite social media outlet is Twitter. The connections I’ve made on that platform have been incredible. I think Twitter allows its users to showcase their personality more than any other social media channel. From a professional perspective, my favorite social media outlet is Instagram. We (Wilson Golf) have seen strong growth there, especially over the last six months. It is the best way for us to showcase our products, obtain immediate feedback, and highlight consumers who are excited about the brand through the use of user generated content.
Does your favorite outlet match up with golf demographics?
Yes! I think #GolfTwitter is one of the most unique niches on the Internet. It is a hilarious, opinionated, and sarcastic audience, that I honestly can’t get enough of.
Is there ever a struggle to put the brand before self, or vise versa?
I can’t speak for our entire group, but for me personally, I don’t struggle to put the brand before myself or vice versa.
How has your content evolved with so much being picture or video centric, rather than just words?
We’ve shifted our focus to photos and videos more so than ever in the last year. Not only with social specific videos and content, but also from an ecommerce perspective. We’ve been creating individual product vignettes, which has been very helpful for golfers who are visiting both Wilson.com and our retailer partner websites. We’ve also relied on user generated content with more regularity, to not only improve our social presence, but also highlight our most passionate fans. UGC provides a unique opportunity to better connect the golfer with Wilson.
How has your role changed as social media as changed?
My role has changed significantly over the last several years. I have gained more insight into all aspects of our business. From product development, to content creation, and working with bloggers and influencers, the evolution has been remarkable. As our audiences across social channels continue to grow, so too, does the need time and resources we spend on these areas. Additionally, my position has become increasingly more global. I now have more visibility with my counterparts overseas. For product releases and major brand moments, like Gary Woodland’s US Open win, our group provides incredibly thorough marketing toolkits, which include all of the digital assets required as we continue to strengthen our brand presence around the world.
What’s the most important thing you want people to know about your brand?
We think of the player first and foremost. It’s our goal to create innovative products that help golfers at ALL levels. While success on TOUR is certainly vital, in reality, that represents a VERY small percentage of players. It’s our goal to develop the best tools possible and ultimately for golfers to play to the best of their ability, which in turn, makes the game more fun. Our team is small and we really do put our all into this brand. The entire group, from R&D, to marketing, to sales, works tirelessly to keep pushing things forward. We believe in our products and trust each other to make decisions that will benefit the entire group.
What’s the biggest misconception people have about your brand?
I think one of the biggest misconceptions is that we are simply a value brand and perhaps not as innovative as others. While we do offer products at lower price points for entry-level players, I would put our premium products up against anyone else in the industry. From golf balls, to irons, to metal woods, and everything in between, I am confident that our products performance is as good or better than any other golf brand in the world.
Is there a style or a voice that you shoot for with your brand’s content?
Yes, absolutely. At times, golf can be viewed as exclusionary or only for the super serious player. I try to present our brand as inviting and inclusive across our social channels. I think of our voice as the leader of your foursome, the player that is passionate about the game, but wants to make sure everyone is having a good time on the course. It’s too easy to lose focus of the fact that this is a GAME and that it’s meant to be enjoyed, so that’s the approach I like to take.
What’s your typical day look like?
As cliché as it sounds, no two days are alike, which is why I love coming to work every day. You can really only plan so much, from a social perspective. You have to be creative and reactive at the same time, which is something that I think is fairly unique to my role.
What’s it like to work so closely with brand ambassadors and pros?
It’s fantastic. We are methodical in our approach to choosing who we work with, both from a brand ambassador and professional perspective. This means that the people we associate ourselves with share common values, are genuinely passionate about the brand, and cognizant of exactly what we are trying to accomplish and, in turn, how we can help them. And on the professional player front, our TOUR pros are among the nicest people I’ve ever met. I think that’s a testament to our leadership team in choosing players with incredible personalities and values, that align perfectly with Wilson.