Social Media has made athletes more accessible than they’ve ever been. Even if the sport has a rather niche market, it’s a near certainty that you can look up and stay up-to-date with the top professionals and aspiring amateurs within it.
So, how should athletes go about managing their personal social media to be attractive to their sponsors and fans? The following list is a great start:
1. Be Yourself
All athletes are not created equal and neither are their personalities. Therefore, be genuine with what you say and how you say it. The more sincere – or quirky if that’s your thing – the more people will appreciate your personal style and hence, your posts.
2. Share Your Story
Your social media is essentially an abbreviated journal in your athletic career. Declare what you’re out to get and why you want to get it. People follow athletes because they pursue a non-traditional path and in a sense, live vicariously through them.
3. Post Relatable Content
Nearly 99.9% of Shaun White’s followers will never know what it’s like to perfectly execute a Spiraling Double McTwist 1260. Regardless of athletic feats, it’s important to engage in the everyman, relatable content from time to time. After all, we all experience similar day-to-day happenings.
4. Connect With Your Followers
How long does it take to reply to a tweet or Facebook post? Maybe 10 – 15-seconds. Engaging with fans and embracing the accessibility social media provides, creates an experience no fan is sure to forget. Such actions build a loyal following, thus increasing your social engagement.
5. Follow Your Supporters/Sponsors
Show support to the brands that support/sponsor you. Given an athlete’s influence, followers are likely to follow the brands you follow, which the brand would most definitely appreciate. If you’re an athlete looking for new opportunities, following a brand you would like to work with is a great opening.
6. Be Involved In Brand Interaction
Share the content and/or provide your personal opinion of a brand you’re working with. Social testimonials are great marketing assets for brands and, as a sponsored athlete, what better way to show your value to them than to give them content that is easily repurposed!
7. Do Product Giveaways
Sometimes, actions truly do speak louder than words. If you’ve got some extra gear lying around, do a give-away within your social circles. Doing so will create hype around your sponsoring brand(s) and yourself.
8. Post Photos & Videos
Regularly post photos and videos of the places you get to travel, compete, the products you use, and just for general check-ins. Such content is dynamic and engaging, which is sure to bolster both your brand and your sponsors.
9. Be A Community Supporter
As an athlete, you embody what people strive to be. With that, be involved in your community development; e.g. help build a motocross course, assist in junior sports camp development, and promote these activities on your social media to raise awareness for the programs.
10. Understand Your Influence As A Role Model
People will look up to you for what you do, what products you use, and for what you say. By every means, be yourself, however, understand the implications to your brand and sponsors of ill-advised social content.
A social post, a “Tweet” for example, is so much more than just a post. Factoring in your engaged followers and the average followers of your engaged followers, the 140 characters you share has the potential to reach tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of users depending on your social following. Overall, an athlete’s voice in social media is much more powerful than you may assume; use it to your advantage.