Tag: social media athletics
Many things keep administrators up at night. One of those things, not surprisingly, is what their student-athletes are doing online. “What are they posting? Who will see it? Will I get an email at 2:00 in the morning about it? Will I wake up to find one of our players on Deadspin for something she tweeted?”
What players post is out of the control of administrators and coaches – no matter what policies you have in place. It’s one of the main reasons social media education is so important. Given how much time college students spend online, and how much of a magnifying glass is on what student-athletes post, we must be intentional to educate, equip and empower them to use it well.
In our leadership sessions with teams and departments, we use a tool to decrease gossip and drama. It’s a visual tool that asks 3 questions.
Today we have a guest post from our friend Morgan Crutchfield. Morgan is a writer and photographer who studies the dynamics of social media and sports. Find her on Twitter @CentralMorgan. Enjoy!
Social Media can be a scary thing to tackle as a coach; the need to address athletes’ social media usage may be overwhelmed by fear of failure to cover all the issues or intimidation related to opening a Pandora’s Box by talking about social at all. Attempts to create guidelines start to look like exercises in making long lists of don’ts and the ever-changing landscape of apps and platforms seems to create more work and more room for error. But as we learn more about athletes’ relationships with their teammates and peers, we’re learning that a restrictive social media plan is not only not effective for teams, it fails to capitalize on the power of positive social.
While there is certainly value in setting boundaries with your players and possibly even providing examples of social media disasters to prove the point, educating on what not to do should only be a small part of the plan. Because while social media can be a gateway to some exceptionally negative consequences for athletes who use it only as a megaphone for poorly thought-out posts, it can also be an incredibly powerful set of tools to help athletes build both team unity and self image.
Where should you start? Like any skill on the field, wise social media use starts with practice, so I’ve developed a “drill” that will help your athletes understand how to use social media for good and at the same time will utilize the networks they’re on for hours at a time .
Blueprint: a detailed plan of how to do something
We talk a lot about social media use of college athletics departments, and of course how student-athletes and staff use the various social media platforms. We tweet out a lot of links to something inspiring that one department did, or something unique that another program published. These ideas help to get creative juices flowing, to see what works for others that might work for you. The problem is that, without an actual strategy, none of these are really helpful. You don’t just throw graphics or videos or stories up independently of one another. Each has a place in your overall brand story, each serves a purpose in establishing and furthering your voice. You got a lot of RTs on that great pic but what now? That funny YouTube video you posted went viral, but you didn’t have a plan in place to capture that momentum. You are doing social media, but you aren’t really doing social media.
In our visits to over 80 athletics departments and conferences, we ask a lot of questions and learn about where people are succeeding and where they are struggling when it comes to social media.
These discussions (along with our work with athletics organizations and studying the social media industry as a whole) resulted in a presentation that we’ve given over the past two years at a number of events, on creating a blueprint for social media success in college sports.
When it comes to our digital and social media efforts, we’re all in search of compelling content. The perfect image, the emotional video, the perfectly-timed GIF or Vine. “What will our fans respond to?” “What will resonate with them?” “What story can we tell?”
This is a commendable and necessary pursuit. We’re a visual society. Images and videos win. They capture our attention, stir up emotion and can cause us to take action. Keep pursuing that.
Where most teams/brands/organizations go wrong on social media is in the area of listening and responding. A recent study by Socialbakers showed that 80% of US companies don’t respond to questions on Twitter. 60% don’t respond on Facebook. [insert facepalm GIF]
2015 is here and it’s off to a fast start. The NCAA Convention is this week in our nation’s capital. Making the trip? We’d love to see you! Mike Koehler – one of our brilliant social media minds who helps us create effective social media strategies for athletics departments – will be serving on a panel about using social media to your advantage in a crisis. While we all hope and pray that a crisis never hits the doorsteps of our department, it’s necessary to have a plan in place in the event that this becomes reality. Social Media can be a critical resource during this time, from listening to response to advocacy. Make it work for you.
Details on the session
Crisis Communication: How to use social media to your advantage
When: Thursday from 1:15-2:15
Location: Woodrow Wilson Ballroom A
Open to all
If you’ll be there, let us know!
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 70 schools utilizing our services for their athletics department, contact us today.
In the past two and a half years we have spent time on over 50 campuses, presenting to over 30,000 student-athletes, coaches and staff members on how to use social media well. We have helped them understand not only how to tell their story and develop their reputation online, but why that is necessary. Today, we are excited to offer something that focuses on the athletic department as a whole.
While most athletic departments and conferences are utilizing social media, many still have questions – a lot of them. Questions about strategy, content, audience, purpose, return. You’ve heard it said that if athletics are the front porch of a university, social and digital media are the front porch of athletics. We believe that to be true. We also believe that, regardless of the size of your department or budget, you can make an impact with how you use social media.
Our team has over 15 years of combined experience in creating content online. From Fortune 500 companies to non-profits, CEOs to small business owners and individuals, we understand how to help brands succeed in the digital space.
You have a story to tell online. You have fans that want to engage in that story. We are excited to help you tell it.
Contact us today to learn more.
Fieldhouse Media is a firm dedicated to helping student-athletes and coaches use social media in a positive, appropriate way through education and monitoring. To find out more about us or to join the over 50 schools utilizing our services for their athletic department, contact us today