(Image courtesy of picjumbo.com)
One mistake athletes make is choosing to ‘switch off’ their social media commitment to their audience in off-peak seasons. However, an athlete’s career doesn’t stop at his or hers sport activities, it also lies in creating interesting content online in order to keep exposure levels high. Think of social media as an online magazine to express your story – what your life is like during competitions and away from competitions, how you train, what you like to eat, where your next professional appearance will be. Of course there are some things an athlete can choose to remain private, nevertheless, social media should be a natural extension of an athlete’s life. Moreover, the most successful athletes are the ones who can positively remain in the spotlight.
If you are an athlete considering how to build your online presence, here are some tips to get you started.
Keep it close to grass roots
If you want to be taken seriously as an athlete, you can do significant harm to your career by being someone you’re not. Besides, wouldn’t it be exhausting? At FanFuel we constantly stress that an athlete’s social media profile should be organic. By staying true to who you are, your followers know what you stand for and will admire you more for that.
Be consistent with your posts on social media
Flooding news feeds with your posts on the hour, every hour is a big annoying no-no. On the other hand, leaving it months in between posts also makes your audience lose interest. Find a balance that is right for you and be consistent with it.
Be creative and interesting with your content
Your fans follow you for a reason. Give them content that is significant and be creative with it. Tell your audience about a great book you’ve recently read, a new surf spot you’ve found, or a song that reflects your current mood. Every now and then, reposting a funny meme that has made you laugh also works, too. After all, there are only so many pretentious selfies one can handle.
The use of hashtags won’t make or break your post, but it can enhance your post providing you use meaningful or down right hilarious ones. Hash tags can bring more audiences to your posts, they also help you categorise your topics.
Listen to the negative feedback
It’s not exactly pleasant to think about negative comments let alone read them about yourself, or your performance as an athlete. However, a good athlete grows a thick skin, but a better athlete listens to the negative comments and recognises it as constructive criticism. Negative comments can let you know what your audience didn’t like about your post. Use that to try and cater to your audience in subsequent posts.
N.B: in the realm of social media exists a not so mythical creature called a ‘troll’. Sometimes you can be the sweetest peach on the tree and someone will still hate peaches. In that case, there is nothing that you can do to please these sort of people. In the words of Taylor Swift, “haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate”.
Let it also be about your followers and create conversations
There is nothing more endearing when an athlete has time to respond to fans. Acknowledging comments or tweeting back every now and then is a way to show your audience how down-to-earth you are. The most fortunate athletes are the ones who also have a loyal following. Keep them happy because they are part of the reason for your success.
Follow FanFuel’s YouTube Channel (FanFuelTV) for more tips.