Tips and Tricks of Social Networking for Athletes
Most of you may understand the basics of social media but to really leverage the social networking landscape you must know what's out there.
Everything you put out in cyberspace can ad might be used against you. Remember this when posting. Your goal as an athlete should be to show yourself as a highly qualified elite athlete, a person that has discipline, athletic ability, work ethic and someone an organization would like to hire. Posting videos of obnoxious behavior may be funny but it is not the best use of the platform giving your mission is to increase your chances for a scholarship, being drafted and potentially representing a brand or establishing your own. A person of character, integrity, work ethic and one ho enjoys him or herself will bring you closer to achieving the outcome you are looking for.
In today's landscape, anything is ok but everything is not beneficial to your vision you have for your life.
Understanding Social Networking Sites
If you’re confused by the variety of popular social networking sites, don’t feel ashamed. The social media realm has exploded in the past decade, with new sites popping up and dying off every day. But never fear. Although we won’t spend a great deal of time covering all of them (if that’s even possible, considering the vast amount of networking sites that now exist), we’ve compiled a quick reference guide to help you distinguish the most popular social media outlets and assess what (if any) might be right for you.
Facebook: Listed first because it’s most likely the one you’re already familiar with. This is the most personal popular social networking site, with users uploading shoebox after shoebox of their own personal memories to share with an ever-growing network of friends and family. Facebook’s privacy filters can create a false sense of security, so be wise about what you share. They have been known to change their terms and privacy settings without notice.
Facebook business and community pages, however, can be a good marketing vehicle for a brand you want to promote or for a business to engage its customers on a more personal level. With its claimed 1.1 billion monthly users, it’s difficult to ignore from a marketing perspective.
Twitter: Twitter is considered a “micro-blog” because of its short bursts of information. You are limited to 140 characters, so you must carefully craft your message to get straight to the point, or add a link to a more detailed page (ie. your blog, a news site, etc). When used properly, Twitter can be a valuable source of real-time news and information.
When you set up a Twitter account, you choose who you want to “follow” via some of their suggestions or by doing searches about topics important to you. Then the “tweets” of all those you follow will show up on your timeline and you can read, respond and or “Re-Tweet” the message to your followers. Anytime you mention another user in your message by including the @ symbol in front of their username, it will notify them of your “mention,” otherwise your message will simply appear on your timeline and the timelines of everyone who follow you. Links that appear with a # (hashtag) in front of it are searchable – click it and you’ll see what others have to say on the topic. Users typically create phrases using hashtags with the hopes of getting something to “trend” or become a popular search topic. These trending topics change daily depending on what’s going on in current events, or by geographic regions.
The key to the value of the information you get is in who you follow, so be sure to spend some time searching out the right sources for you.
YouTube: Obviously this is the most popular video channel on the web. Purchased by Google, it has become even more popular as a search engine, with many people preferring to watch video results rather than read content. YouTube has also begun incorporating many social networking functions – so if you like certain users' videos, you can subscribe to their “channel” and get notifications every time they add a new video. You can also message other users, “like” or “dislike” videos, and add comments to videos.
Pinterest: Pinterest has gained a huge following since its release in 2010. It is an online pinboard that functions similar to Twitter but in visuals rather than text. Users “pin” photos to their timelines, creating different “boards” according to topics and interests. Other users can follow their boards, and whatever photos they pin will show up in their homepage timeline.
Because of its visual nature, Pinterest is widely used for fashion, hair and makeup tips, cooking, gardening, home decorating, organizing, fitness, and inspirational messages.
Instagram: This is another highly visual social medium that functions in a similar way to Pinterest, only it is limited to smartphone apps. Rather than “pinning” content from websites, Instagram users take photos from their smartphone, apply various filters and then upload them to their Instagram account.
Google +: Not wanting to be left out of the social media sphere, Google hopped on the bandwagon with their “Plus” product in 2011. Although it hasn’t taken off the way Facebook and Twitter have, it has gained a large user base mainly due to its connection with its own search engine. A large portion of its users rely on internet marketing for their careers, and so they cannot afford to neglect a social networking app that integrates with a search engine as widely used as Google itself.
LinkedIn: This network aims to be a professional business person’s social network. At its most basic level, it is like your very own online resume and cover letter there for the world to see. You can (and probably should if you’re job hunting) craft your professional image, network with others in your field, and communicate with people in your network about what you’re looking to accomplish professionally. It is not unheard of for companies to seek out and hire job candidates using this social network alone.
Social Media Tips and tricks for Athletes
- Post workouts, pictures with other athletes in competition, post positive quotes. Post pictures that make you look tall, strong, fast and explosive.
- Advice - Do not post anything with excessive cursing, obnoxious behavior, or negative talk about other people. Focus on your vision which hopefully is achieving elite-level success and building a legacy that will last beyond your playing days.
- Think like a coach - If you were a coach what would you want to know about an athlete.
- A coach or endorsement organization might want to know:
- Things like what type of workouts does the athlete do? You could post workouts
- How does an athlete think? You could post a book you're interested in reading, possibly a book about mindset
- What does he do in his spare time? Maybe you could post your latest art piece or playing a musical instrument
More Tips and Tricks
- Keep it Positive - Words our powerful...try to maintain a positive outlook. When you make a mistake give back up and try again.
- Follow - Follow other channels and people that are where you want to be and also represent themselves in a professional manner.
- Have fun - Enjoy yourself while posting but remember professionals are examining your profile. So maintaining a degree of professionalism is always recommended.
- Develop a plan for content delivery. Write down what you want to post and when you will take pictures and write the content.
- Name - keep your naming convention the same across all platforms, this will make it easier for people to find you and grow your network.
- Follow the same people across all social media platforms. This type of consistency will trigger algorithms to find people that want to follow you because you have an audience that is similar on a different platform. For example, Your Instagram audience is similar to your Youtube. audience.
- Research and learn your audience. Instagram has insights that will tell you a lot about your audience, when they engage, prime time slights in addition to likes and comments. Take notice which content garners the strongest response. Try to deliver similar content in the future.
- Take advantage of video - Video always does well. Social media platforms tend to reward video more than they do other types of content.
- Promote your content once a month. Experiment with promoting your content.
- Post Regularly - how often should you engage with your online community? This can vary depending on your commitment to athletics and other factors, but it should be at a minimum at least once or twice a week. Keep fresh content in front of your audience.
More Technical Social Media Tips for Athlete
Use hashtags that are popular and consistent with the products you use are want to be associated with. Corporations pay attention to who uses there hashtags and products.
Use Video in Social Media
Advertisers, experts, and marketers who use video grow revenue roughly 49% faster than non-video users?
If you haven’t been using video in your social media content, you're missing out on a great opportunity to engage your audience.
Facebook Custom Audiences, you can create a 'warm' audience of people who've watched a certain amount of video from your page. Then, you can create a Lookalike Audience to prospect for users who look and behave just like the original video watchers. You are retargeting people who like your content with more content.
Why is this important? Because anyone watching more than 60% of a video is likely interested in its content, and therefore more likely to follow, engage and share your page with others.
Social Media No No's and What Not To Do on Social Networking
Do not create fake accounts or alias, this can get you in trouble with social networking companies. Or possibly lose credibility with your audience.
Avoid Poor Grammar and Spelling
Grammar mistakes and spelling errors can reduce your credibility especially if you call yourself an author. While you are an athlete you can impress your audience with thoughtful, grammatically correct posts. To help avoid errors you can write your posts in a word document with spell check.
Pick 1 or 2 Social NEtworking Platforms and focus
Don't waster energy and time trying to be everywhere at onece. Focus just like on the field or the court.
Know When To Put Social Media Away
Use social media don't let it use you. If comments bother you don't read them. Leave social media off while practicing, playing and or doing anything associated with the game. Keep your mind clear! Social networking is a tool, not something that you should use to validate your existence or game.
Important Studies on the Negative Impact of Social Media
Published in the journal Depression and Anxiety, the study found every 10 percent increase in negative social media experiences was associated with a 20 percent increase in the odds of reporting depressive symptoms, a statistically significant finding. On the other hand, each 10 percent increase in positive experiences on social media was associated with a 4 percent decrease in odds of depressive symptoms, but this finding was not statistically significant.
The study, based on a survey of 1,179 full-time students at the University of West Virginia, suggests negative online experiences have more impact than positive ones because of negativity bias.
"The way we're built like humans, we're more impacted by negative experiences as opposed to positive ones," says lead author Dr. Brian Primack, director of the Center for Research on Media, Technology, and Health at the University of Pittsburgh. "If someone takes five classes and they do well in four of them but they don't do well in one, they'll focus more on that. We can become jaded to what people consider positive experiences."
Negative experiences, in general, could make people more prone to depression, according to Dr. Pamela Rutledge, director of the Media Psychology Research Center. Whether you are "bullied in a hallway at school or someone is rude to you in a store," it is bound to affect you, Rutledge says.
But the age when those experiences occur also matters, which is why she says it is important to note the study examined 18- to 30-year-olds.
"When people are in that period of their development, they are much more in tune to what others think of them," Rutledge says. "You're leaving your nest and establishing yourself in the real world, so you're much more attuned to what people think of you socially." - Tala Salem, US News, "Study: Negative Social Media Experiences Linked to Depression" June 7, 2018