Do you remember the days when the only way to send a message to your favorite baseball or football star was to send physical fan mail? There was risk involved because not only weren’t you guaranteed a response but it was very likely that it wouldn’t be read at all. With the advent of social media tips, though, interaction has changed. All anyone has to do is send a tweet, with the right handle and hashtag, and the chances of it being retweeted by the aforementioned star are greater.
Social media is one of the most useful tools and one of the reasons for this is the ability to connect to various individuals in the public eye. What if you are athlete who is looking to make a name for him or herself? If you want to stay connected with fans, there is a set of unwritten rules that should be followed. Keep these in mind for the sake of social media engagement that any online marketing firm can attest to.
5 Social Media Tips for Aspiring Athletes
1. Keep your fans updated
This is perhaps the easiest step that can be listed and understandably so. Unlike traditional fan mail, as referenced earlier, social media possesses the luxury of instantaneous content. What this means is that anyone, regardless of whether they belong to the sports industry or not, can keep their followers and fans alike updated. As an athlete, you should be able to post on a consistent basis. One of the reasons for this is because the general audience does not have the patience of waiting for the next update. If you take too long to post on your social media account, or neglect posting entirely, maximizing the worth of social media on your end may prove to be an unneeded challenge.
2. Don’t be too focused on marketing
Fans and followers are intuitive and they know when they are being sold a product. When it seems like messages are posted solely for the purpose of selling them on a pair of sneakers or a certain sports drink, chances are that fans will be turned off. It can be argued that, as an athlete, you can go about marketing to an extent. You may hype your team until it seems like everyone believes it to be a threat. Not only do messages like these come across as more personal but you are able to bring attention to your team, allowing it to appear greater in the eyes of the public. It’s when social media becomes nothing more of a product placement vehicle that its impact starts to diminish.
3. Social media should be used for expression
Everyone has a certain personality, so why not let said personality shine on social media? It’s important to come across less like a machine and more like a living, breathing human being behind a Facebook wall or Twitter feed. A great example of this is Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant, who has a number of accounts across social media. When Bryant constructs tweets, the messages either come across as honest or inspired. It’s apparent that he draws support from a number of sources and he isn’t shy about letting others know about it. Expression is crucial but it’s important to bear in mind that honesty, especially on social media, can be conveyed to a fault. Be mindful of this the next time you tweet out to your followers.
4. Retain your reputation
While social media is a great tool for expression, it’s easy for said tool to be abused. Last year in January, Heisman trophy winner Johnny Manziel came under fire because of a picture he posted on Instagram. The picture in question featured Manziel holding a wad of cash accompanied by the caption, “casino ballin.” While this may not be considered an instance worthy of scrutiny in any other situation, it’s be easy to see why the NCAA would look down on this activity. It’s because of instances like that reputations should be protected on social media. An act that even so much as pokes the proverbial stick at an industry’s rules can tarnish an athlete’s standing.
5. Focus on networking while on the sidelines
No athlete desires an injury, which goes without saying. Not only does it halt the momentum of the incapacitated athlete but it may make them eager to come back sooner, which can negatively impact their health. When you are on the sidelines, make it a point to be more active on social media. When you are working hard to rehab from an injury, log onto Twitter now and then. While sports fans are easily the most intense individuals, they can also be some of the most empathetic. When an athlete proves him or herself to be reliable on the field, recognition is earned. Fans want to see star players bounce back. If you are struggling with recovery, use the words of inspiration found on social media as the best fuel.
See also: 5 Great World Cup Social Media Campaigns