With the help of social media you can, metaphorically speaking, shake even more hands and sign more autographs! Continuing from part 1 of our post, we take a look at some useful tips about how to use modern technology in your favour. But remember never to fake it on social media! Be transparent when presenting yourself to the world. Fans and media are smarter than you think!
6. Personality is what makes the difference
The most known athletes are not loved just because what they do on the field, but also off it. Fans love to know more about their idols, their personality. Of course there must be a limit – some things should be kept to yourself – but there are unlimited ways to share yourself without giving away your personal life. Think about yourself as a brand and build on it! It doesn’t hurt you or anybody else if you share relevant information about what is happening with and around you: what goes through your mind before and after games, who you hang out with the most and which team you use when playing FIFA 12 on your video game console. Tell a great story the easy way. It’s just like writing a text message to your friends; adding a good photo or video is a great bonus. People will love it!
7. Influence others and socialize!
Social media gives you the power to influence other people and protect yourself from bad media exposure. That is important because things can get out of hand. As already mentioned under point 4 (use social media as your press officer), you can also clear up your potentially misunderstood quotes after games or explain that a photo of you having dinner with a friend of the opposite sex doesn’t necessarily mean that you are cheating on your partners – as tabloid press is often fast to jump to conclusions. Also, try to use social media as a great way to socialize with your fans! You can only sign one autograph at a time, but if you write something after a game, involving all your fans that were watching, you can reach thousands. You can also use social media platforms (in later – professional – stages of your career) to connect and influence people from the media and marketing. More and more athletes have personal sponsors. It is a great way to generate extra income.
8. Ask if you have a question!
Using social media can come in handy in everyday situations. Having a problem with your computer and don’t know how to fix it? Looking for a great idea to spend the weekend with your partner? Do you enjoy cooking, but have no great idea what to put in your pan at the moment? Social media platforms are a great source of information if you know how to filter it. Word of mouth on the internet is the most reliable source of information if you know who it is coming from. Write down your question if you have it and check what happens next. There is a chance no great solution or tip will show up, but chances are you will get lucky.
9. One day your career will be over – but only your sports career!
Hopefully your career will get you enough money to live a quiet, comfortable life after it. But living in the spotlight for 10+ years can be addictive, so think about things you would like to do later even before it happens. Being active in social media can maintain your relevancy and influence even long after your sports career is over! Former NBA league »hoops« star Shaquille O’Neal is a great example: even though he retired, he is still influential with his posts on Twitter where he writes to almost 6 million followers about his life after basketball. It is true that there are not a lot of people like him out there, but his idea can also be yours. He was known for his funny posts when he was still a player – and guess what? He has his own comedy show now … Do you like fast cars? Maybe your career after football involves reviewing them for auto magazines! Use social media to make relationships with people from your fields of interest. You never know, it may come in handy after your sports career.
10. Be on the lookout for new things: new platforms, new gadgets …
Like with everything else, don’t get left behind! Technology is evolving ever faster, so you need to keep up with it. Keep your eyes and ears open for new social media platforms and gadgets that can help you. Tablets and applications you can use on them can make your social media life easier and more controllable. But don’t forget “real” life. Everything you do on social media must only be an extension of your real life persona.