Social networks have changed the landscape of online searching. It’s not, any more, the question of being the best athlete (and everybody will find you), it’s a question of how, where and why are you present (and you will find them). Athletes, which understand the meaning and opportunity of it, can definitely be benefited.
Searching on Google, watching clips on YouTube, looking for information on Wikipedia and, of course, spending time on social networks (Facebook, Twitter etc.) became daily regular things for almost each one of us while using internet. Also for the sport fans, players themselves, team mates, coaches, managers, marketing people and everyone, who has at least a piece of interest on sport.
So, if you’re an athlete, who’s thinking at least a little bit differently and “out of the box”, that fact should be your opportunity. You can easily create your own “social net” (mixture of using different social networks) and (inter)connect them between themselves. Besides, you can (should?) create a network, which allows you to find – with credible content not spam! – the people you want; i.e. you have to find them and don’t let them looking for you.
Indeed, it’s not a question of being the best in your club, class or generation – hey, there are plenty of them and we’ve never heard of them, right!? –, it’s a matter of how you position (represent) yourself in the online social community. Don’t forget; it’s free, word spread and virally affected real time (worldwide) media.
So, what is a practical advice of using social networks as an athlete? Believe in your content; be innovative (why not to put yourself on auction in eBay? I know it might be strange idea, but anyway …), different and use as much media as possible. Interconnect them – use “cross media” – and you’ll definitely be distinguished. Further on: social media enables you to engage your fans, friends or followers – talk to them and let them talk to you. Give them a chance to cooperate and co-create in your story. And one more thing: don’t mess your personal matters with you professional life. For example: photos from your birthday party have nothing to do with goal you scored last week.
It’s also important for you to use as much as possible different media forms, such as photos, videos, links and text … but don’t just use plain text (visitors could think you’re exaggerating, while real photos, links and/or videos are sustaining your words/text).
So, these are your first steps to be “on the market”. First of all, you have to understand the meaning and opportunities of social media, then believe nowadays you can present yourself on the market as interesting and valuable “product” (repeating: although maybe you’re not the best athlete). Of course, if you have plans to play/perform abroad our do something more from your career. Don’t forget: you have to find the right target group (people); because it’s difficult they’ll find you (the offer on the market is really enormous). It’s all up to you…
P.S.: This blog will not change your life, neither will help you if you stay only at words … but it will certainly help you to start thinking about what are you capable to do on this field.