Rory McIlroy – A Social Media Example for Small Business Owners

Mon, Jun 20, 2011

Getting Familiar

“Hay There” Friends!  As a small business owner, you are teed up to take advantage of a game-changing opportunity – the opportunity to leverage a social media presence for your business!

Rory McIlroy, the 22-year old professional golfer from Northern Ireland, changed his game yesterday by winning the US Open.  He didn’t just claim a major title, he enhanced his overall brand presence by simultaneously sharing his story and connecting with fans everywhere via social media.

Whether you are on the PGA tour or run a dental practice, you have built a base of fans and happy customers that look forward to staying connected with you.  Once a person is introduced to your brand and has a positive experience, they are usually excited to be a part of your community.  You work hard to build a presence for your business and develop relationships offline; wouldn’t it be great if you could exponentially expand your reach online?

It is precisely this medium of social media that enables businesses to connect with customers on a personal, interactive, social level, just as Rory has connected with his fans.

Rory McIlroy can be viewed as a business owner with a number of competitive advantages.  These attributes include his commitment to his trade as he has been playing golf his whole life.  It was mentioned yesterday during the U.S. Open coverage that Rory would become very upset as a child when it was time to leave the range and he even slept with a club in his hands to reinforce the proper grip!  Furthermore, his resilience is second to none.  Despite the infamous “Masters meltdown” a few months ago, he looked at that experience as an opportunity to build character; he didn’t beat himself up and acknowledged that there would be other opportunities for success down the road.  Finally, he is just a “likeable kind of guy”.  Although I have never met him, he seems to have a genuine personality, the kind that draws people in. :)

All of these elements of Rory’s brand translate nicely through his social media presence.  As evidence, the number of his social connections has certainly increased overnight and a continuous stream of congratulatory messages are being posted to his Facebook wall by fans both new and old.  Supporters were also able to share in his celebration in “real-time” through photos and commentary he sent out via Twitter.

A competitive advantage of a small business is its ability to be authentic and “personal”. The brand, the owner, and the small business innately identify with people closely on a human level that feels warm and genuine.  This personal representation of a small business can translate perfectly through social media.

As a small business, social media allows you to expand your reach exponentially in a way that was once reserved for only large-scale competitors via traditional mediums.  I hear from some small business owners that their needs are “too basic” for a social media strategy and presence; however, the reasons for using social media are far from “specialized”.  A strong social media presence is a critical means of communication like a phone line is for your small business…without it, you could lose the ability to stay connected and communicate regularly with your customer base.  Wouldn’t this stop business from moving forward?

As we learned from Rory, a social media presence is best leveraged when it enhances a fan’s experience with your brand. You too can effectively connect your small business with customers through the right social media strategy and dedicated activity.

I look forward to seeing how Rory’s social media presence continues to expand…I personally hope to see more interaction via his blog and Facebook page in particular.  Congrats again to Rory McIlroy!

Want to find out what an effective social media presence looks like for your small business?  Take action TODAY to see how Hay There Social Media can help your small business get social media results!

Simply send an email to “info at emilyahay dot com.”

Thanks for reading!

~Emily A. Hay

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