Athletic Recruiting Coach Communication Recruiting Responsibility Social Media

6 Ways to Use Social Media to Your Advantage

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I’m sure a parent, coach or teacher has warned you to be careful about what you put online.

With college coaches and administrators heavily monitoring Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and other social media platforms of their prospects, we definitely hear more cautionary tales than examples of smart social behavior.

But there’s good news.

There are ways you can use social media to your advantage when it comes to your recruitment. Take a look at our top tips for how you should use your social media accounts to help–not hinder–your recruiting.

Make sure all your accounts show you in a positive way

See what comes up. If there’s anything you don’t like the look of, research where it came from and get it taken down or deleted.

Additionally, deleting old accounts minimizes different social media avenues that are putting your information out there – and getting rid of the ones you no longer monitor.

Once you’ve cleaned up your social media accounts, you can start posting your highlight videos, making positive commentary about past games and sharing articles about your sport. Here are some more examples:

  • Academic and athletic awards or accolades
  • Recaps of combine/camp performance
  • College visits
  • Firm scholarship offers

Coaches want to see that you are engaged in your sport in a positive, healthy way.

Follow coaches

Following coaches at colleges that interest you is good for a few reasons.

First of all, you get all of their updates so you can keep up with the team and what the program is up to. You can also get a feel for the coach and his or her personality. Even if they have someone else posting for them, chances are they have the majority of day over the voice and content they’re putting out there.

There’s also a chance the coach will follow you back once you’ve followed them, which could help you gain attention if you make the right kind of posts.

DM (Direct Message) coaches that follow you

While there are rules regarding when, where, and how a college coach can contact a high school student-athlete, a student-athlete can DM a college coach at any time. Depending on the time period or other factors surrounding NCAA rules, the coach may not be able to write the player back, but as with calling, a student-athlete can send a DM without penalty, at any time.

Take 30 seconds before you post anything

Ask yourself: “What is my message? Is there any chance this could be misinterpreted negatively? Is there any chance this could hurt my recruitment or reputation?” If you have any doubt about that message will be perceived, then don’t post it.

Monitor the people you follow

As you do your best to keep your social media pages as squeaky clean as possible, pay attention to the people you’re following. A coach may check who you follow to get a feel for your interests.

If you follow someone or something questionable, or with a crass handle, it makes the most sense to unfollow them for the time being.

Be gracious and humble

Remember: posts you put online have little to no tone in them, so coaches who haven’t met you in person might not understand your sarcastic sense of humor. Plus, this is just a good rule of thumb at all times.

Make sure you’re getting the best recruiting advice by following us on Twitter @ncsa, Snapchat and Instagram @ncsa_sports and on Facebook.

Our recruiting experts can give you more tips about how to use social media to your advantage or improve your digital presence and connect with college coaches. The best way to get started is with a recruiting profile.

About the author
Laura Chmiel

Laura Chmiel is a marketing coordinator and a lead writer for NCSA Athletic Recruiting. As someone with a passion for athletics and education, she graduated from Indiana university with a B.S. in Elementary Education. After school, she gained first-hand experience helping student-athletes and their families get to college.