2018 Survey Results: Social Media use of College Student Athletes

June 12, 2018 Kevin DeShazo Leadership, Social Media Education, Social Media Monitoring Tags: , , , , , , , , , , 0 Comments

How and why do college athletes use social media? For the last 8 years, we’ve traveled the country to help them use it with purpose and positivity. We’ve been on more than 170 campuses and educated over 100,000 student-athletes. We’ve had conversations about career development, cyberbullying, mental health, brand building and more.

5 years ago, we decided to go deeper, surveying collegiate athletes at every level about their social media use. You can see results from 201320142015, 2016 and 2017. This year we had over 2000 student-athletes participate. This information is useful for administrators, to help you understand how and why this generation of athletes uses social media, but it is also helpful for us. This data also informs how we structure our sessions and messages to student-athletes, in order to be relevant and connect with them in a way that has a true impact. This is how we have become and continue to be the most trusted resource when it comes to educating student-athletes on social media use, and why more than 170 programs have utilized our services in the past 8 years to educate, equip and empower college athletics on social media.

The reality is that social media use is not going away and there is still a significant need for social media education. There’s a tendency to believe that because this generation of athletes has grown up with social media, that they know how to use it well. For most, that simply isn’t the case. Understanding how and why to use social media well only comes through intentional education from someone who actually understands and uses social media as well as the mindset and habits of not just college students, but college student-athletes.

Here are the results of our 2018 survey on the social media use of college athletes.

Participants: 2136

Level of competition
NAIA: 5%
D3: 10%
D2: 13%
D1: 72%

Male: 32%
Female: 68%

Facebook
98% have an account
53% say they use it less than they did one year ago
32% check it at least 5 times per day, without posting
98% post less than 5 times per day
92% use it to keep up with friends and family
79% use it for entertainment
30% use it to get updates on news
15% use it for school work
62% have more than 500 Facebook friends
32% have posted something inappropriate (profanity, racial, sexual, drugs/alcohol, violence)
77% utilize Facebook’s privacy settings
83% “like” a brand page on Facebook

Twitter
95% have an account
62% check it more than 5 times per day, without tweeting
46% tweet between 1- 5 times per day
7% tweet more than 10 times per day
39% have more than 500 followers
67% have a public account
38% use it for entertainment
46% use it to get news updates
31% use it to connect with friends and family
7% have shared personal information on Twitter (phone number, email address, etc)
27% have tweeted something inappropriate (profanity, racial, sexual, drugs/alcohol, violence)
8% have received hateful/critical tweets from fans
3% have responded to hateful/critical tweets from fans
78% follow a brand on Twitter

Instagram
99% have an account
84% have a private account
46% check it more than 10 times per day, without posting
39% check it between 5 and 10 times per day, without posting
93% post between 1 and 5 times per day
100% use it to keep up with friends and family
84% use it for entertainment
31% use it to get updates on news
8% have posted something inappropriate (profanity, racial, sexual, drugs/alcohol, violence)
11% have a Finstagram (fake/secondary Instagram account)
83% follow a brand on Instagram

Snapchat
93% have an account
67% send more than 10 snaps per day
39% use it to stay updated on news
85% use it for entertainment
84% use it to keep up with friends and family
62% have posted something inappropriate (profanity, racial, sexual, drugs/alcohol, violence)
40% have posted something inappropriate during this last school year
9% have sent snaps to someone they don’t know
61% have received snaps from someone they don’t know
67% have more than 50 friends on Snapchat
61% believe Snapchat is private
13% follow a brand on Snapchat

Which social media platform do you use the most?
Instagram: 46%
Snapchat: 31%
Twitter: 15%
Facebook: 8%

Which social media platform is your favorite?
Instagram: 53%
Snapchat: 23%
Twitter: 15%
Facebook: 8%

In addition to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat, what social media platforms do you regularly use?
Facebook Messenger: 85%
Pinterest: 23%
LinkedIn: 46%
Tinder: 18%
Tumblr: 7%

71% spend at least 1 hour per day on social media
32% spend more than 2 hours per day on social media
96% said they receive mostly positive comments on social media
85% said overall, social media has a positive impact on their life
49% say they’ve had no social media training
33% say they’ve posted something online they regret
23% have witnessed a teammate being cyber-bullied on social media
31% have checked social media during one of their games
8% have posted to social media during one of their games
39% believe their social media activity is being monitored by their athletics department
15% have been disciplined by a coach or administrator for a social media post
13% have engaged in a romantic relationship online
70% have met someone offline that they first interacted with on social media
31% have used social media to network for a job or internship

Fieldhouse Media is an award-winning firm dedicated to helping athletics departments get the most out of their social media efforts, from educating student-athletes and staff to providing an overall strategy. To find out more about us or to join the more than 170 schools utilizing our services for their athletics department, contact us today.

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