Last week I talked about how Twitter and Sports are a match made in heaven. This week, I want to talk about one of the best qualities of Twitter and that has to do with the fact that it is free branding. Twitter is the easy and free way to advertise your personal brand and connect you with people all over the world. Obviously, this is a function of Twitter that is very attractive to celebrities and athletes because it gives them a way to convey their personalities and preferences on a digital platform and it doesn't even cost them a cent. I want to focus on how athletes can utilize this tool to their advantage following three easy steps:
- Create a voice
- Establish a follower base
- Be consistent
CREATE A VOICE
The first thing an athlete that uses Twitter should do is create a voice. In other words, athletes, or any Twitter users for that matter, need to figure out what exactly it is that their Tweets are about. In some cases, athletes choose a very professional voice and only comment on things that are relevant to their career as an athlete. An example of this would be Kobe Bryant's Twitter feed. He usually only tweets out things having to do with his career and rarely does he get personal or step out of the world of professional basketball. Here is what one of his tweets looks like:
On the opposite end of the spectrum, there are athletes that rarely mention their affiliation with sports like the unpredictable character that is Metta World Peace. One of his Tweets probably looks something like this:
As you can tell, lacking a little bit on the professional side, but entertaining nonetheless. Regardless of whether you choose to keep your tweets classy and clean or edgy and provocative, it is important that you establish a voice early on because it is the voice that defines your brand.
ESTABLISH A FOLLOWER BASE
In order to establish a brand, you need to make it recognizable. In order to make it recognizable, you need to make it well known. On Twitter, that means you need followers. It is impossible to grow a brand with just a handful of followers. Twitter is the easiest way to connect with people and then let those connections do the rest. An athlete like Michael Phelps or Drew Brees can get retweeted or favorited thousands of times which is essentially free advertising for them. This is made possible because each one of them has hundreds of thousands of followers. Creating a solid follower base is crucial for the success of any athlete's brand.
The last step towards using Twitter to grow an athlete's brand has to do with consistency. Being consistent is essential to the success of any Twitter profile. The easy accessibility of a platform like Twitter makes acts of impulsiveness very vulnerable. The fact that you can pull out your phone or hop on your computer and write down a quick tweet within seconds means that there is probably nothing from stopping people from doing it when they are bothered or frustrated. Many athletes have fallen into the trap of voicing their opinions on controversial issues on Twitter without realizing the potential consequences of their actions. In the world of professional sports, nothing on social media goes unheard. It is important that each and every tweet is well thought out and consistent with the voice you establish.
Like I have said, Twitter is an extremely powerful social networking tool, especially in the world of sports. It can be a blessing and a curse at times, however when it is used correctly, it certainly seems to enhance more than it detracts.