The Social 9 with - Jonathan Alongi
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.
Jonathan Alongi — Aldila Golf (MCA Golf)
Brand Twitter: @AldilaGolf
Title: Aftermarket Sales Manager
How did you get started in social media?
I really had no plans to be involved in social media as it just kind of fell in my lap. I have a finance degree and have been working in the golf industry for 14 years. MCA Golf brought me on as a sales representative in 2017 and the brand needed to increase their social footprint so I volunteered to help out with social media and marketing campaigns. I now manage our Aftermarket Sales division along with our social media channels for all of our golf shaft brands.
Do you have a favorite social media outlet right now?
I typically use each outlet for different reasons. Twitter is great for news and to stay up to date on current events. On the flipside, Instagram seems to be really driving the content story for a lot of brands. I often find myself scrolling through Instagram in amazement of what it has turned into over the last few years.
Is there ever a struggle to put brand before self or vice versa?
Since I am involved in and manage global aftermarket sales and distribution for MCA Golf, I don’t find it very difficult to keep the brand at the top of the priority list. I have somewhat of a private personal footprint on social media so it allows me to be more focused on growing our brand.
How has your content evolved with so much being picture and video-centric, rather than just words?
We have made progress on the content side, but have a long way to go. It is always a struggle to find and develop unique content, especially around golf shafts. Our main focus is to showcase the beautiful aspects of our product and how they can improve someone’s game. We do have a few projects we are working on for 2020 and are excited to come out with some really good content next year.
Does your favorite outlet match up with golf demographics?
A few years ago I would have said no. But with the growth of Instagram over the last few years, that belief has changed. It is amazing to me how much golf centric content I see on social media these days. The game is being seen by a lot more people through social media than in previous years and I think that is a good thing. I travel a lot for business and the one thing that always surprises me is how many 40-50 year old business travelers are sitting on the plane scrolling through Instagram and Twitter.
How has your role changed as social media has changed?
One of the biggest struggles in social media is to constantly stay up to date with the newest trends and ideas. I have learned a lot of the last year or so in managing our social media challenges and have learned quite a bit about what works and what doesn’t. I think you have to be willing to change and be flexible in everything you do. Social Media is constantly changing and we as a team are always working towards adapting and reacting in the best way we can.
What's the most important thing you want people to know about your brand?
What sets us apart from our competition - Mitsubishi Chemical is a vertically integrated company. We develop and produce everything that goes into a finished golf shaft. This vertical integration means we can make virtually any combination of resins and fibers required to optimize a golf shaft's design and performance. This is what allows Mitsubishi Chemical to be one of the leaders in the golf shaft industry – it provides us ‘A Material Difference’.
Is there a style or a voice you shoot for with your brand's social content?
We definitely try to keep a premium look to the MCA social content. We are known for our premium product in the market and want to portray that image to our customers and end-consumers. You will see a lot of conservative, but premium style content from us now and in the future.
What's the biggest misconception about your brand you'd like to clarify?
I think a big misconception for the industry as a whole including our brand, is that shafts don’t matter or that it doesn’t play a large role in someone’s game. Getting custom fit for the right product is the best thing you can do for your golf game. Every part of the club is important and when the right shaft is placed with the right club head you can definitely see a difference in performance. Our job here is to communicate that effectively to every golfer out there.
What's your typical work day look like?
We run a global sales and marketing operation out of our office for 2 shaft brands and manage distribution and custom fitting accounts all over the world so my days are always busy. My mornings are usually dealing with international customers as a lot of their communications come in overnight. I will transition to our domestic business around midday and handle getting shipments out the door in the afternoon. Marketing and product planning meetings are often sprinkled in a few days a week, along with a lot of travel from month to month. We currently have about 4-5 people managing our global aftermarket division so we are always doing our best to take care of our customers. This is one of the main reasons I love working for MCA is that each day is different from the last. There is always something exciting happening and we are touching all corners of the golf world.
What's it like to work so closely with brand ambassadors and pros?
Brand ambassadors are always exiting to work with because of the passion they have for our brand and the game. I love the energy they have and the unique vision they share when they are talking about our products. I am always a proponent of our brand ambassadors talking about how the product performs for their game. It is so easy to sell product when it is in your hands and producing unbelievable results! On the pro side, I am always amazed at the commitment and dedication they have to their craft. With everything we have going on in our day to day lives, it is often hard to stay focused and committed 100% of the time. Every time I see those guys and girls out on the professional circuit, I get re-energized and dedicated to the growth of our brands.