Manitoba has some terrific athletes doing incredible things. Be it hitting the Olympic and international competitive stages, raising money for charity, or being a role model for younger up-and-coming athletes, there are some big names coming out of Manitoba on the sport scene. At Fit Communications we work closely with athletes and provincial sport organizations and understand the environment of sport in our province. As part of this, we do presentations for athletes and coaches with regards to social media. How to live your brand online. And when we first set out on this journey, we found a lot of athletes, in Manitoba and across the globe, doing social media right…and many doing it all too wrong. So this week’s blog is dedicated to ‘The Top 12 Do’s & Don’ts of Social Media for Athletes’.
1. Think before you tweet or post. Pause for a second before and think about how your grandmother would feel about what you just said. Once you tweet it, there is no turning back. You never know when someone might share something you said. In fact, assume they will.
2. Always remember that as an athlete you not only represent yourself, but your club, coach and teammates as well.
3. Speaking of them, do not tweet or post anything they say in confidence or in private. What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas and what happens in the locker room should stay in the locker room.
4. While it may feel better to vent using profanity, avoid it at all costs. If you can say it with profanity…you can say it better without it. That will serve you well in the future.
Avoid replying to or ReTweeting Twitter users with vulgar names. Do you really want to be associated with @BigPhatBooty or @herpesboy? Also Just because you hit the Retweet button doesn’t excuse you from a bad tweet. Those words you are sharing from someone else’s account now become your words. If you retweet something that has profanity, sexual, insulting or offensive, it is a reflection of you, not the person who posted it originally.
5. Of course you would never violate any rules or laws, but in the unlikely event you do, don’t share it with the world on social media. There are hundreds of stories of careers ruined and scholarships lost over stupidity on social media.
6. Speaking of hate, don’t spew it…ever…on any topic. If you don’t like your club or your coach, you are free to make a move. Stop complaining about things you have no intention of changing.
7. Avoid controversy. Politics, race, religion and sexual orientation are generally a slippery slope.
8. Be Positive. People connect with those that are optimistic, full of energy and good things. Share things in your life that are positive like a trophy for winning MVP, or a birthday bash picture, a wedding, a new car, etc.
In social media, we always hear about the “bad” things. But there are more positives that happen then people realize. Share the good. If you do that, you’ll grow your network, improve your relationships and stand out. It is a fool proof system.
9. One of your Twitter followers or Facebook friends may be in a position to hire you one day. Think to yourself if what you are writing would make them think you are someone they would want to hire. Even if you don’t compete in a major conference or a revenue sport, don’t be fooled into believing nobody is paying attention. The first thing employers do nowadays is Google search potential employees.
10. Don’t be a bully. It’s simply not nice. There can be devastating consequences for the one on the receiving end. Everything from lowered self esteem to suicide. If you see it taking place, do something about it. It’s your obligation as a human being to do the right thing.
11. The internet is forever. Even if you take it down, the damage is already done.
12. A picture is worth a thousand words. The old adage still rings true. Instagram is such a big tool in today’s social media world. It is an awesome tool. If your team travels a lot for games, share your story with pictures. People love to see the trip and the journey that sports can take you on.
But also be warned, that pictures can harm you more than words, too. Do yourself a favor when you go to a party, leave your phone in the car. Or keep your fingers away from the camera app. Let’s go back to the mom rule – would she approve of this picture you are about to take? When it doubt, don’t do it.
If you would like to learn more about our social media seminars for athletes and coaches, we’d love to chat. Find out more here and then give us a call…we’re super nice!