10 tips… for athletes who Instagram

InstagramInstagram is brilliant for athletes as what you are doing every day creates fabulous aesthetics. It can give a behind the scenes peak into your daily life as an athlete with the ups, the downs and all the hard work. Here are 10 tips to get the most out of time on Instagram.

  1. If you feel sub-conscious or too shy promoting yourself perhaps think about it as not promoting yourself as a person but as an individual doing your sport to try to inspire others and bring more people into your sport.
  2. Set up a professional looking profile. The pictures can be the same as your twitter pictures with your headshot picture being you in kit and your background picture being a mid match or competition shot. In your biography you should include your sport and club and link to your club’s Instagram feed.
  3. Rather than think of Instagram as an online photo album it can be more effective to think of it as a way to tell your story – sharing videos of your training or straight after competitions will give some insight and help people see the journey you are on with your sport. This helps inspire and build a genuine connection.
  4. Remember our stories won’t always be perfect. In fact they almost never are. Our lives don’t travel in a nice straight line. We all have ups and downs and you will connect much better with people if you show this. Don’t do it to the detriment of your career (ensure you don’t post anything which gives your competitors one-up on you) but, where you can, be honest about the struggles and loses you have, and about the learnings and wins. This will make you a much truer ambassador for your sport and show you as an authentic athlete.
  5. Use hashtags so your shots can be found easily by people not yet following you.
  6. Don’t take yourself too seriously – have fun with it. Make beautiful pictures which authentically show your life – both the fun side and the hard working side.
  7. Follow others. This will help build up your followers and give you great ideas on what to share. It also helps you see great content you may want to share with others. Key people to search for will be other athletes, nutritionists, exercise experts (rather than influencers), psychologists, coaches and physiologists.
  8. Use filters. They make a big difference to how frequently they are viewed. A research project through Yahoo Labs found filtered photos are 21% more likely viewed and 45% more likely to have a comment made on them. So use them liberally.
  9. Every month or so look back through your posts, see which ones received the most likes and comments and tailor your future content more along these lines.
  10. If you struggle to think what content you could post consider including:
  • Photos from workouts and exercises – these can give people examples and ideas
  • Meals you eat which are great for supporting your training – with the recipe on another picture so other athletes can try making it too.
  • Quotes or tips which have helped you see things differently or inspired you.
  • Travel pictures of where you are training or competing.
  • It can be nice to sometimes have a theme to your pictures such as having your club mascot pop up in some shots or taking shots from a certain angle.
  • Join in ‘days’ such as Medal Monday, Transformation Tuesday, Throwback Thursday, Flashback Friday or SelfieSunday.

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