Social Media For Athletes | [The Best Tips]

April 10, 2019

Social Media for Athletes – The Ultimate Guide

Social media is already a huge part of our life and it couldn’t be any different for Athletes and Sports in general.

Social media for Athletes shouldn’t be taken lightly. In 2017 Social Media is by far the most consumed medium of attention of people among every other traditional medium outlets (TV, Radio, Magazines), athletes, teams and sports celebrities are already relying on it more and more. We already see that:

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  • More and More athletes are trying to showcase their talent, connect with fans, get their name out there.

  • Teams announce news through social media. No need for a press release anymore. All it needs is a 15 seconds tweet.

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But what makes social media for Athletes work to their advantage.

What are the Dos, DONTs, secrets, and tips for maximizing the benefits someone can get from them?

Also, which social media for athletes are proper for each audience or need, how a PRO athlete should be using social media and how should an amateur athlete use it as well.

There have been so many pro Athletes currently who leverage social media but few of them do that effectively as a brand building tool with a specific strategy behind each post. 

Let’s dive into the survey we did regarding Social Media for Athletes. Professionals and Amateurs.

Life is great on the field. With Social Media “off the field” can be great too. Social Media for Athletes can create numerous opportunities during and after the end of their career.

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Social Media for Pro Athletes – How to approach

Brand building through Social Media for Athletes – In case you haven’t realized yet, you are a brand!

Like a brand you need to start by setting your goals in terms of what you want to stand for.

Is it your passion, you never quit attitude, your strength, your kindness, your giving character? Of course, this needs to be something that comes out of you naturally since if you pretend to be something else from what you really are, it won’t work.

After deciding on your overall mission as a brand you need to find the ways you will start building this image for you.

  • Choose the social media recipe that best suits you and know the demographics of your audience. If for example, you are an athlete with a greater appeal towards people aged between 13-20, you can’t leave out of the equation Snapchat.

  • Build a fan base and interact with them. Be approachable but not too much. Social Media for Athletes is all about fans.

  • Give back something – This can be either a charity or a contest, or a chance to meet you and win something from you.

  • Create revenue streams.

According to a recent survey fans are 160% more likely to be influenced to purchase a sponsor brand if recalled through social media for athletes. 

This is a great opportunity for many products who want to take advantage of this engagement of athletes as trendsetters and opinion leaders in order to create a purchase lift effect through social media recall.

So smart brands can associate with their portfolio of popular athletes in order to make the recall of their brand that much more likely and positive

Engaging in Social media for athletes is critical to building a solid personal brand that pays dividends for a lifetime

Build your Social Media – Make money while you sleep

What does this mean? What are the benefits vs traditional endorsement activities for athletes? How social media for Athletes change that?

  • Players don’t have to travel, do meet & greets, do any heavy liftings. They can respond and engage with their fan base while sitting on their couch

  • All fans have opted in. So, there is already the choice from their end to hear from and engage with the athlete

  • All conversations and activity are trackable.

  • Cross promotion of fan bases with online properties

  • Massive revenue opportunity for minimal work

  • Fans can log in live or see the entire session later

  • Minimal or no event cost

  • Simple Logistics

  • Fans can become promoters by sharing also

A Factor that many athletes ignore. Career length.

It’s obvious from the graph below that the average career length of an Athlete is very short, even though it is constantly being increased because of better overall health, better sports training, and medicine, better scouting and recruitment, higher salaries, league expansions, etc.

This means that an athlete has just a few years also to build his own brand, while at his peak, to be able to leverage that after the end of his career (i.e. Michael Jordan).

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So it’s imperative to make the most out of it! How? Let’s see a few points of a great strategy when it comes to using social media for athletes.

How a Social Media for Athletes strategy looks like:

  • Develop a daily/weekly routine – Consistency like in training is the key.

  • Consider scheduling posts. That saves you from doing that every single day. It’s kind of prepping meals. You go to the kitchen once and you prepare the meals of a week ahead!

  • Apply the 70/20/10 rule (for them/conversations/about you).

  • Apply the great KISS rule– keep your posts short & sweet! Those are the most engaging ones.

  • Share rich media (links, photos, videos, audio, etc). We live in the content era. Utilize every available tool and create unique content. You can also create your personal signature when creating your content (personal logo or intro video opener).

  • Develop recurring ‘themes’ for your posting. (i/e Monday Motivation or Friday Q&A etc). Creating habits for your audience is something that works!

  • Decide what to post to your personal profile vs. public page.

  • Build up a bank of stories, ready to post/schedule at any time. That will save you time and you can also re-share old content that was previously engaging.

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Social Media for Amateur Athletes – How to approach

Even if you are not Cameron Newton, still you can have a social media strategy and specific goals when initiating your effort to build your brand name as an athlete.

Having a strong social presence doesn’t happen overnight. Especially in this generation, personal branding is becoming even more important starting at the collegiate level.

Collegiate athletes have the chance to build relationships with their fans while they are affiliated with their university.

They’re betting that these fans will carry over to their professional careers. Having a loyal and supportive fan base can be a super powerful tool, especially once one is able to make money off of their personal brand.

Companies are much more attracted to athletes that have higher marketability and can be therefore leveraged to promote specific brands. Although college athletes have to comply with NCAA regulations, they still have the power to become huge influencers of their sport.

There is beauty in the Struggle right?

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As an athlete, you know that your day-to-day life isn’t all adventurous and glamorous. With the towering mountains of laundry, the restrictive diets and the cramped apartment shared with your parents, your training partners or teammates…you’re not exactly a prime candidate to appear on an episode of Ballers.

But just because you don’t have Tiger Woods’ mansion or Russel Westbrook’s fashion taste doesn’t mean that your life isn’t inherently interesting. Social media for Athletes are proven to be very engaging when done right. 

In fact, that’s just another day to you is an exciting peek into the life of a high-performance athlete to your followers. Let’s face it: even if you’re just starting out your elite athletic career, you’re still on a life path that many people only dream of.

When someone follows you in social media it’s a bit like watching a reality show.  Your new follower wants to see something interesting from you. That’s what makes social media for athletes so interesting, even at an amateur level.

An engaging story, humorous moments, more personal ones, see what the life of a young up and rising athlete looks like. There is beauty in the struggle, right? So, let them see!

So what can be the goals when using social media for Athletes at an amateur level?

  • simply to get noticed

  • gain notoriety

  • attract media attention

  • build a brand or a specific reputation

  • connect with fans or build a fan base

  • inspire & motivate, share one’s journey

  • provide exposure for sponsors

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What an amateur athlete can offer to his/ her followers

  • A story they can relate/ engage with: Ups and downs, everyday hustle, comebacks and setbacks, tests and triumphs.

  • A behind the scenes look: People love the idea of getting a sneak peek behind the headlines. To watch what they can’t see in the traditional media. Social media for athletes provide this opportunity.

  • Motivation: Like the life of a young entrepreneur who starts from nothing trying to create something that will change the lives of millions, the first steps of an athletic career can be even more motivating than the one of an already established athlete.

Someone trying to run a 5K for the first time, for example, might be inspired by the lengths that an elite triathlete has to go to achieve a personal best. Many athletes bolster this feeling by providing inspiring content like quotes.

  • Health/fitness/sport tips and tricks. Many athletes provide training tips or share products that work for them, which anyone who plays the sport or is involved in physical fitness can appreciate.

  • The feeling of being part of a community: A social media study showed that 73% of people shared content because it allowed them to feel connected to others with similar interests and concerns. Following an athlete, as he or she prepares for Olympics/Paralympics/World Championships gives your fans the sense of being connected in a small way to a global sports movement.

How to Structure your strategy

  • Find your moto, your own hashtag that relates mostly with your own journey, or an overall theme that you would like to build on, throughout your career. By creating a few key messages or goals to guide your social media efforts, you’ll remain focused and communicate with a purpose consistently.

  • Be yourself and as original as possible. Don’t need to copy anyone or anything. Everyone appreciates more someone who is authentic. You can’t fake this for long. Social media for Athletes don’t differ than brands that win because of their authenticity.

  • Keep the balance between your personal and public life. No doubt, when sharing your journey through social media, that’s no more private, but keep a strict line. Social Media for Athletes can be interesting without being “The Big Brother” itself.

  • Select the social media platforms of choice: You have many platforms to choose from including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Youtube, Pinterest, Soundcloud, Tumblr, ChampionsID etc, etc.  Very quickly you’ll encounter choice-overload and it’s important to consider which platform(s) you choose based on where your ideal audience can be found, as well as a consideration of the ‘utility’ that the service provides.  For example, if you’re looking to host/share your videos online, you’ll want to immediately consider Youtube or Vimeo as an alternative.  If you’re looking to professionally network there’s no better place to start with LinkedIn or ChampionsID.com which is focusing only in the sports industry.

  • Be consistent: One of the biggest mistakes that athletes make is only updating their social media accounts at big events. Unfortunately, building a social media following is a slow, incremental process. You’ll have more success posting a few times a week than you will if you post only when you have big news to share.

 

Summarizing

Social Media for Athletes, provide a Vast opportunity for numerous reasons and should be treated as a unique way to utilize all the benefits that they offer. Don’t take this opportunity lightly. Spend time to design a strategy beginning with your goals. Ask for proper mentoring or assign this important task to experts.

 

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Written by Konstantinos Synodinos, Founder of ChampionsID.com

KONSTANTINOS-SYNODINOS-CHAMPIONSID-FOUNDER (2)

One response to “Social Media For Athletes | [The Best Tips]”

  1. […] said above, your social media are your own personal media. It's like you own a TV station and you can broadcast whenever you want. For […]

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