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Over the past few years, the growing popularity of social media has completely changed the landscape of sports. It offers the audience an emotional experience and the emotional highs and lows of those competing, via smartphones. From connecting with fans on a global scale to attracting lucrative sponsorship deals, social media platforms offer an array of advantages that can significantly impact an athlete’s career. While from the business point of view, social media can prove to be a major boost as it helps enhance the visibility of the athletes or any sports organization. This possibility directly caters to the fact that athletes should have a strong and strategic communication plan in all their social media channels.
Remember, this boom in social media is not going anywhere, anytime soon and Indian athletes have a fair chance to foster their digital presence. This in return can maximize their chances of building many followers and can help them increase their earning potential in both ways– via recognition and money. Did you know social media can influence, facilitate and protect your brand profile on your terms?
Engaging in social media has become a widespread online activity, with over 4.59 billion users globally in 2022. This number is expected to climb to nearly six billion by 2027.
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Why Every Athlete Needs an Online Social Media Presence
It increases your fan base
The base of social media is so powerful that it not only allows you to connect with your fans but also makes you connected with people you’ve never met, such as fans, supporters, or just those people who like your sport. So, it is one of the best advantages of the use of social media.
Get a chance to tell your own story
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No media channels, newspapers, or any traditional media as the middlemen, which might twist and turn the angle of your story to their benefit. It’s your story and you are the one telling and announcing it on social media. Exactly the way you want it to be told.
Reflects engagements, open sponsorships, & opportunities
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Potential sponsors often shy away from investing in amateur athletes as they do not have a great amount of media attention. But no worries now. With social media, you can increase the sphere of influencers and reach out to humungous followers. This shall help athletes in growing their sponsorship potential. Showcase your talent and share the message you want to spread and create your own value/media space – there is no one to stop you.
Indian athletes are the biggest brand advocates. Putting yourselves as athletes at the forefront of social media can help fans connect with their favorite players, thus setting it all for some exciting content. You as Indian athletes are the positive representatives of social media marketing for sports.
Ways by which Indian athletes can find social media success:
Create a distinct voice of yourself
This means how you as an athlete ‘speak when you communicate with your fans/audience. Try to give a distinct voice to your social media which could give an impression of solidarity, and trustworthiness towards you. Most importantly, it makes your communication congruent. Your tone of voice should be reflective of your values and beliefs. This will help you connect with your audience.
Share your stories
Whether you are posting a blog, video or just tweeting, make sure you are emotionally connecting with your audience. You can simply narrate how you got into a sport, share your journey, and your life story, or just share your training videos as motivational stuff. Remember, every post doesn’t have to be epic but should have the power to connect with the audience.
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Do not be scared of sharing every aspect of your sporting life as an Indian athlete. This shall let the followers engage more and connect with you more as an athlete. Display your actions on and off the field. This can vary from enjoying training, to hanging out with teammates, etc.
Be appropriate and consistent
You should also know that you are representative of your sport and shall not post anything that violates laws or anything intoxicated. Remember building your social media is a slow process. Hence, know that you should be frequent and regular in posting on your social media accounts – one thing that develops credibility towards the audience for you.
Spread yourself to larger communities
Try to engage in conversations with your followers, as much as you can. Always have a positive tone in your conversations. Take out time to respond to every comment. Share your big, upcoming events with your fans.
Apart from this, you can tag sports authorities at relevant places, to give them importance and value. You can share their relevant content and engage in conversations with them. These governing bodies or allies can garner more reach and in turn business for your social media.
Maximizing Social Media Impact: Strategies for Indian Athletes
Facebook is the largest social media community in the world. As an athlete, your Facebook page can reach to a million users that your personal Facebook profile can’t.
Choosing the right name for your facebook page – one that differentiates you, defines your expertise and looks authentic too, is most important.
Taking people behind the scenes of your athletic career helps establish a connection with your fans. Sharing your daily routine goes a long way to creating a connection between you and your fans. Also, you can try taking your interaction with your fans to the next level by hosting Live Facebook Question and Answer sessions.
The simplest and easiest way to share valuable content on a consistent basis is to follow the best Facebook pages for your sport and to share their content with your take on it.
Instagram as a social platform plays directly into the athlete’s strength. And can be thoroughly used to create a huge following and create monetize opportunities.
Instagram is not always a one-way thing and can be used to engage with your community. Here, you are communicating with your followers with every post – you can ask and answer questions with your posts. You can get involved in these “social trends” along with trending hashtags to drive even more engagement.
In a nutshell, Twitter as a micro-blogging platform to form your own community of followers. Learning the lingo of tweets and hashtags is the crux of cracking a successful page on Twitter. While engaging with fans, always tweet in the first person.
Always try to have conversations on Twitter with your teammates or people you respect from your sport and use hashtags to join relevant debates. Also, make sure that Twitter is the first place your fans should find out what you are doing next.
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Athletes are given a direct platform through social media to exhibit their talents, accomplishments, and exclusive glimpses into their lives. By consistently sharing content, athletes can enhance their visibility, expand their fan base, and attain recognition that extends beyond the confines of traditional media platforms.
Indeed, social media platforms have emerged as a substantial avenue for athletes to captivate endorsement deals. Brands acknowledge the tremendous influence athletes wield on social media and the extensive reach they possess among their followers. Athletes who possess a robust online presence can effectively utilize their platforms to forge partnerships and secure profitable endorsement agreements.
In order to fully leverage the benefits of social media, athletes should ensure they have an active presence, regularly interact with their audience, and share genuine and captivating content. It is important for them to adopt a strategic approach, aligning their online activities with their personal brand and long-term objectives.