Professional athletes are now all over Twitter and Facebook, displaying their thoughts and day-to-day activities to the world. Athletes are always appearing in headlines and new stories. With so much media exposure, pro athletes should have some training in social media and responding to the public because athletes often get themselves into trouble by making inappropriate comments. Everyday I am amazed at the lack of professionalism athlete’s display in public.
Each athlete represents a brand or an organization and it is their job to make their organization look good. Too often athletes misuse social media tools like Twitter. The Pro Sports Communications blog explains the common mistakes that athletes make on social media. Here are big mistakes that I agree with:
Lack of social media education
Social media should be approached with a plan and purpose when used by anyone, especially athletes. For an athlete, social media tools should be used to focus on things like increasing your fan base, representing your brand and being a role model.
I understand that locker room talk is not necessarily clean because you are with your friends, but make sure that it does not carry over into your social media posts. Swear words are not appealing to all viewers, so keep it exclusive to conversations with the homies. Also check grammar, we want to know that jocks have brains too.
Focusing on the haters, not the supportive fans
There are no benefits from getting into Twitter battles with haters. You have more supportive fans anyways, so interact with them and ignore the negative comments.
Forgetting to represent your brand
When you become a professional athlete you are no longer representing yourself, you are representing your team and your organization. So don’t embarrass yourself, or your brand with social media mistakes.
My advice, get social media training. As a freshman college soccer player I was clueless about the importance of representation. I am a University of Oregon athlete and the community recognizes me as representing Oregon. Thankfully, early on I was taught how answer to the media and how to represent Oregon. Now I am careful what I post on the Internet because I am part of something bigger than just myself. Just like on social media, I am aware that I a may be recognized when I am out in the community, so I have to carry myself responsibly and respectfully at all times.