10 Tips… for athletes using Twitter

Twitter_Logo_WhiteOnBlueIf you are going to use just one social media site make it Twitter. It is a great way to publish information, engage with fans (your own and of your sport), to market yourself and appeal to potential sponsors. While most of the 1.3 billion people with accounts won’t see your tweets, if you work hard to build a great content feed and grow your followers you can make an impression on the people who can help your sporting career. Here are 10 tips to help use twitter effectively as an athlete.

 

  1. Have a professional profile name – not a comedy name you gave yourself years ago and thought would be a giggle. Your twitter name should be as close to your real name as possible as this is how people will look for you. If your name is already taken you can add your sport to it. The easier you are to find the more it will be used in the media and so you’ll great more followers.
  2. Have your profile picture be a professional headshot of you in your sports kit. This is often the shot a journalist would use or a company you are speaking for may pick to put on any information about you so it needs to be one you really like.
  3. Use hashtags as these are easily searchable and it means more people will find your tweets if they are trying to find out more about a subject. To find the best hashtags to use there is a tool called Hashtagify (hashtagify.me) helps you decide. You type in a keyword that stands out from whatever you are sharing and it gives you other important related hashtags.
  4. If you have any type of public profile in your sport put out news on your social media first. This means people follow you to hear news first and you reward  those who follow you with exclusives.
  5. Decide on your twitter tone and stick to it. You need to be yourself and authentic so let your personality and humour shine through, but ensure you don’t alienate anyone or be rude to others. Some what ‘not to do’ ideas from professional athletes who have screwed up can be found here. https://performanceinmind.co.uk/2016/09/28/the-ten-social-media-mistakes-athlete-make-most-often/
  6. Having a good variety of positive, professional and interesting posts is key. These could include information on kit or sponsors, charity or awareness campaigns you are involved with, match or competition comments, community work, training, nice comments about team or club mates, the build up to matches or competitions and thank yous to people for coming to watch you.
  7. Join in other people’s conversations. Only get involved in things you know about or want to learn more about but this will help you show you are an expert in your sport as well as competing in it. Learn from others and offer your opinions and sporting expertise.
  8. Use photos (they get on average 35% more retweets), videos (28% more retweets), quotes (19% more retweets) and hashtags (16% more retweets). If you have professional photos taken at competitions or matches and they go up online retweet them or ask to use them. These are striking and get followers attention.
  9. If you want to get the best engagement there is a tool called Buffer (buffer.com) which looks at all your tweets and measures what time people interact with you most. Then you can schedule tweets for these time periods.
  10. To make great content, take people behind the scenes of your life and your sport. Think about how you can be useful to your followers. Insight into your sport, interesting facts or figures, comments on competition will all be of interest to sports fans. Show people what it is like to do your sport. Changing room photos or videos (but these must not embarrass anyone else), training shots, little videos of gym routines can all be of interest.

 

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