As of January 2016 there are over 2.3 Billion active Social Media Users across the globe. These incredible numbers provide us with almost limitless opportunities, but also come with an inherent risk. Social Media, when used correctly, can open doors you never even knew existed, bringing you closer to coaches, teams and other athletes who would otherwise seem worlds away. However, as a Student-Athlete you may find yourself in the Social Media spotlight more than others and one offensive post or comment may tarnish your brand forever. One thoughtless post could ultimately cost you to miss out on otherwise lucrative opportunities. As a Student-Athlete it is important that you stay educated when it comes to the use of Social Media.
Some high schools and even colleges now offer Social Media Seminars helping to provide concrete guidelines for your use of Social Media, and Scoutlete recommends attending these, or finding other means to educate yourself as best as you can on how to use Social Media to your advantage. You may find that some teams even have their own rules or guidelines, but in the meantime, here are a few tips from us to you:
Remember that anything you post on Social Media becomes public. Many users believe that they can simply delete a post or a profile in order to remove unwanted information, however it is important to keep in mind that content shared on the internet can last forever. Screenshots, right-click saving and various other means of saving your information can result in sharing and re-sharing of anything and everything you post online. As a Student-Athlete remember that your posts, pictures and statuses may end up being viewed by thousands, even if you think it has only been shared with a friend or a small group of friends. Social Media is a public undertaking, and nothing you post is truly private.
Sharing, Retweeting and Reposting
Before you choose to Share, Retweet or Repost something ensure that you would post the original yourself. By sharing it you are making it your own. Athletes can, and have been suspended simply for retweeting something deemed offensive. Even if you are not the original poster you are making it your own and sharing with the world that you believe what the poster believes. Don’t tie yourself to groups or people that you don’t want to be associated with by reposting.
Every post is a reflection of who you are. Many of your Social Media followers may never know you personally, all they will know is what you post online. Ensure that you are representing yourself well and conveying the right message to the public. Keep in mind that your Social Media posts may be seen by friends, family, fans, coaches, scouts, agents, institutions and teams. More often than not admissions officers, coaches and scouts use Social Media to learn more about candidates and prospects. With every post consider your Brand and what you want it to represent in the eyes of others.
Find The “DO’s”
As you navigate the Social Media landscape, educating yourself on the Do’s and Don’ts, it may seem like there is a long list of things not to do, but not many things to do. That is not the case, it is just a matter of being sincere, using common sense and preparing yourself well ahead of time for what is to come.
Here are a few DO’s:
Support those around you, those you admire and those you aspire to be like.
As your Social Media following grows ensure that you thank those who have helped you to get to where you are. Saying thank you to friends, family and fans for their support can go a long way and speaks worlds about your character.
Don’t be scared to follow others. Follow those you admire, follow those following you and follow the things you love.
Be sure to keep your personal brand in mind. Your posts are public, so every post should be a representation of how you want to represent yourself in public.
Set Goals for yourself. Identify early on what it is you want to achieve with your Social Media Presence and dedicate yourself to the Personal Brand you want to Grow.
Social Media can be a tool for good and when used correctly could help you to reach levels you otherwise couldn’t dream of, but remember Live your life, don’t post your life.
Branding, Grow Your Brand, scoutlete, Social Media, Student-Athlete