The Social 9 with - Lindsay Burkhart
The Social 9 is an up-close look into the lives and careers of the golf industry’s social voices and influencers. Each week 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.
Lindsay Burkhart — UST Mamiya
Title: Social Media Marketing Specialist
How did you get started in social media?
Before UST Mamiya I worked at a local Golf Course where I had actually started that Golf Courses’ first social media profiles. I managed and maintained those profiles along with my other job responsibilities. Then 5 years ago I got started in Social Media at UST Mamiya Golf, I saw the opportunity that was needed at UST Mamiya and ran with it head on.
Do you have a favorite social media outlet right now?
This is hard to say because each outlet offers something different to each user. I would say that Instagram has been the most successful outlet right now for UST Mamiya, and it has provided the best opportunities for the brand as far as true Social Connection. We have connected the brand to golfers who had never heard of UST Mamiya golf shafts, and they are now die hard #TeamUSTM fans. It has been incredible and a lot of fun to watch.
Is there ever a struggle to put brand before self or vice versa?
I have personally never struggled with this. I have played golf since I was the age of 7 and so anything I can do to truly grow the game is my ultimate goal. What I have learned is that golfers and consumers want to feel connected to the people behind the brand and that is definitely one of my goals in this position. I always want to educate and help the consumer to understand what UST Mamiya is all about and how golf shafts can truly help their game. I just make sure to make myself available for any questions that the consumer has.
How has your content evolved with so much being picture and video centric, rather than just words?
Our content has definitely evolved in that we want to have consumers and ambassadors helping us to create this content. There are a lot of talented content creators on Social and so we want to leverage that as much as possible. In doing so, this has also made the consumer feel more connected to our brand versus other golf shaft brands. The world we live in today is a digital and image viewing world, most of us want to actually see the impact of something rather than just reading words. Our goal is to reach more golfers as well as other sports communities and get them connected and educated about golf shafts. The best way we have seen this happen is having our Ambassadors and Elite Athletes posting content with us.
Does your favorite outlet match up with golf demographics?
I would say that it does now more than ever. If you look at the #golf on Instagram, there are over 19.8M posts, which is more than #baseball. To have golf be that popular today is a huge change, we are seeing other athletes of different sports promoting the game and talking about the game of golf more than they ever have in the past. There are also more people joining social media just to talk about their golf game and their golf journey. Two demographics that have joined this conversation more than ever is Women and Junior Golfers. 3 years ago I would have told you that golf demographics is all on Twitter, but not today, today the golf demographic on Instagram is only just beginning.
How has your role changed as social media has changed?
I have been with UST Mamiya for 5 years now doing both the Digital and Social side and Social Media has changed a lot since then. How I create content has changed a lot which has shifted my role and ultimate goal to work with Social Influencers as much as possible to leverage and market the brand. They truly are Brand Champions and are able to give an opinion about a shaft and a solid review right on the spot, versus waiting and going through a lengthy process of testing with other various media outlets.
Today’s Social Influencers and Content Creators are the best form of Marketing for any brand and so I take in their thoughts in how we also do content creation in house. What's the most important thing you want people to know about your brand? When a consumer visits our website or our social profiles for the first time, we want them to see a community and also to see a market of golf shafts for all golfers. Our Recoil iron shafts have been the #1 graphite iron shaft in the market for the last 5 years and counting. We want the consumer to know that they are trusting a quality brand that we are diligently designing new shaft designs to better their golf game.
Is there a style or a voice you shoot for with your brand's social content?
There is definitely an aesthetic and an overall game plan that we try to keep on our Social Outlets. We have two hashtags that we utilize in every social post: #USTMamiya and #TeamUSTM, by using these we create that community of golfers who want to be a part of something more. We don’t just want to be a page that displays our products, or posts about what is happening on Tour. We also want to be a page that displays the average golfer’s feedback and their content creation.
What's the biggest misconception about your brand you'd like to clarify?
The biggest misconception is that “graphite is weak…” Even with today’s impressive technology we still get comments from golfers that they are hesitant to switch into graphite iron shafts because they are not sure they will perform as good as their steel iron shafts. One of our slogans is, “You play graphite in your woods, why not in your irons? Make the switch to Recoil.”
With the advanced technology of carbon materials available, we are able to make iron shafts perform even better than steel. We are able to manipulate material and change up designs, versus a steel shaft. You see a lot of the steel shaft manufacturers promoting their graphite lines a lot more, and that is because they know this too. We tell consumers, that you just have to go try Recoil, just go hit it and then tell us what you think.
What's your typical work day look like?
It has been said that Social Media positions are a full 7 days a week job, I would tend to agree with this statement. My typical day is heading into the office, logging in to all of our Social Media profiles first thing in the morning to see what our followers are saying. I am a planner so I am typically planning out content over the next few weeks and months which includes video projects for future shaft releases, working with our Ambassadors on special projects, and meeting with our product development team and Tour Team.
I assist our Director of Marketing with any other marketing initiatives we have going on as well. I also run our parent company’s social media profiles (UST- ESSX Pole Vault Poles) and run the marketing initiatives with that team as well as work with our Professional Pole Vault Athletes. Something I have learned over time is that planning out my postings helps me save a lot of time and keeps me on track. However, social media moves fast and there could be something trending that I am not expecting and so that is when the creative side in me has to kick on. I don’t always join in on the trending game, because sometimes it is honestly not always in the best interest for the company.
What's it like to work so closely with brand ambassadors and pros?
Working with ambassadors and Pro’s is the best part of my job. I love to communicate and collaborate with people, so by working with our Ambassadors it opens up a lot of fun and interesting dialogue. I head out to events on the PGA Tour about 6 times a year and have the opportunities to meet with Pro’s who play our shafts and or testing our shafts for that week. It is an interesting dynamic from the shaft side because we are limited in what we are able to actually do as far as promotion of the players in our products.
I do believe that golf is trying to move forward in this sense and not be as stiff when it comes to promotional marketing. As far as on the Pole Vault side, we have access to the top Vaulters in the World including 6 Olympians and the #1 Pole Vaulter in the World. I have had the opportunity to photograph, and tell our Pole Vault Athlete’s stories through video which has been a lot of fun because it is a whole different sport and the interaction I get to have with them is a great experience.