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In this digital era, social media has become a go-to tool to promote yourself or your business. For an athlete, it’s really a blessing. Athletes without actually having to have face-to-face communication with thousands of fans can still get in touch with them through social media. Especially, for the athlete who has got little free time, this online engagement works best. Yes, there are some rules to be followed to maintain your positive image and some precautions to take as well, but overall social media is the best thing that could have ever happened to an athlete’s life, especially for the one who wants continuous attention and fandom. We will look at how an athlete can increase social media engagement.
Ways to Increase Social Media Engagement for Athletes
|Steps to increase social media presence for an athlete
|Share pre-season training
|Applauding the teammates
|Create polls to get feedback
|Be the interviewer
|Show glimpses of off-field endeavors
|Recall the past
|Showcase contributions to the community
|Inform about injuries
Share Pre-Season Training
Fans eagerly wait for a new season to kick off. They do know the date, time, and schedule. As an athlete, you can include some posts, videos, and tweets, about pre-season training. This delights the fan. The posts also make sure that the right message about your mindset and the team’s mindset is spreading to the community. You can use a trending hashtag or social media challenge. This not only makes the fans happy but also helps to increase the followers’ number.
All players have to submit their mobiles to the team management on match day. Thus a player can post some video or can write about how he or she is feeling about the game before the match. The point is to create a positive vibe around you and your team and the goal is to announce that you and your team are looking forward to this game. You can use hashtags like #Bringiton, #letthegamebegin, etc. If a player has given an interview to a TV channel before the game, then he can even share a video of the glimpses of that interview.
Now the game is over and everybody knows the results. If you have done well, then all is good. You can tag your team, and teammates, post a team photo, post the moment of celebration, etc. On the other side of the coin, if you have a miserable day, or if your team has lost the match by the barest of margin, there will be tons of comments abusing you, slandering you, and threatening you. Again the point is to maintain a positive image.
So never reply to those negative comments and post something like ‘we will give our best in the next game’. The more you dwell on trolling, the more you are going to sink into it.
Applauding the Teammates
Many netizens would have seen the players who are out of the team, post on social media about the match and the players. They will tag the team saying ‘well-played boys’, ‘come on girls’, etc. This creates goodwill about you and displays your team spirit despite not being in the team. This is usually done by the one who plays in the game. But when a player seating outside posts like this, it has a higher positive influence on his fan-following as compared to the influence on the fan-following of the player playing in the game.
Create Polls to Get Feedback
Social media polls are a very funny and exciting way for the fans to understand how much they know their favorite athlete. Polls can be on anything right from serious issues to relax a bit. Social media polls result in rapid fan engagement and also send a message that the player gives importance to the fan’s opinion.
Be the Interviewer
Yuzvendra Chahal, the Indian leg spinner is famous for his hilarious social media posts, be they reels or just an idiosyncrasy. But fans do love him. This leg spinner is also famous for his ‘Chahal TV’, where he takes interviews of his teammates before or after the game. As a teammate, the interview is always very informal and in friendly way. This is the kind of approach fans look for. This gives better insights about a certain player as compared to a formal interview.
Show Glimpses of off-Field Endeavors
The player after he gets his phone back can share the video of the hotel they are staying in and can share the video about the camaraderie between the players. On a serious note, photos or videos of a workout session with a trending song in the background can quickly take your fan following to the next level. As a caption, you can write some motivational quotes and can inspire the community to work out and stay healthy.
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Recall the Past
Players can post or repost their previous content to celebrate a certain day. A good example is Hardik Pandya’s post. The post consists of two photos, one of celebrating the 2011 World Cup victory with his friends, and the second one is a selfie with MS Dhoni, Jasprit Bumrah, and Shikhar Dhawan.
The caption reads “From cheering and celebrating India’s World Cup triumph in 2011 to representing #TeamIndia in World Cup 2019, it has been a dream come true #cwc19”. Posts like this inspire millions of people and eventually add to your fan following and fan engagement.
Showcase Contributions to the Community
As a celebrity, every athlete should do some charity work or community work that creates goodwill for you. You can help the unprivileged children, help the NGOs, donate to relief funds, visit natural calamity-affected areas and help them as you can. This also sends a message that the player is aware of his social responsibilities and motivates fans to follow the suit.
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This is the most obvious, isn’t it? Celebrate the birthdays of your teammates, family members, coaches, and support staff and post them on social media. One thing to keep in mind is never waste the cake by applying it to the faces. This also sends a message that you respect the food.
Inform About Injuries
Fans do care about players and athletes. So as a player if you are injured, make a post informing about treatment, how you are feeling, the expected recovery time, etc. This creates a better relationship between you and your fans, which is directly proportional to the fan engagement and fan following.
For any celebrity, be it a sportsperson or a movie star, social media engagement is paramount. Following the simple rules like posting regularly, interacting with fans, giving insights, doing community work, not replying to trolling, and most importantly staying away from negative things, and controversial events you can increase social media fan engagement along with creating a loyal fan base.
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Social media engagement is vital for athletes as it allows them to connect with fans, build their personal brand, and establish a stronger online presence. Engaging content helps athletes cultivate a loyal following and can lead to sponsorship opportunities and increased visibility.
Sharing individual anecdotes, obstacles overcome, victories achieved, and even moments of setback can establish a deeper and more genuine bond with your audience. Audiences are drawn to following personal journeys and finding connections with shared experiences, which significantly boosts the likelihood of them engaging with the content you share.
Avoid over-posting or posting irrelevant content. Also, be cautious with controversial topics that could alienate your audience. Inconsistent posting and not responding to comments can also negatively impact engagement.
Social media analytics offer insights into how your content performs. Study your most engaging posts, your audience’s active times, and follower demographics. This data shapes your future content choices.