Social Media

How College Coaches Use Social Media In Recruiting

How College Coaches Use Social Media
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College coaches want to know who you are.

They absolutely want to know who you are as a student-athlete — both a student, in the form of your transcripts and SAT/ACT scores, if you’ve already taken them, and an athlete, in the form of your highlight or skills video and descriptions of your role on your team.

But more than that, college coaches want to know who you are as a person. It’s sometimes called the intangibles of recruiting: who are you? What makes you tick? What kind of player will you be like on the team?

There are a number of ways you can highlight what kind of player you are in an online profile specifically packaged to show what kind of student-athlete you are. But remember that college coaches are also going to look at your social media accounts — yeah, even your Instagram account — and think about what kind of player they’re recruiting.

If you want to learn more about how to use your social media to prove to college coaches you’re the best athlete for their team, read about the 7 top ways you can use social media to your advantage in recruiting.

College coaches use social media to promote their programs to student-athletes

Especially with Signing Day coming up, college coaches and athletic departments are taking to social media to celebrate recruits joining them, and to stay at the top of other student-athletes’ minds. After all, your college has to be the right fit for you.

“Nothing has impacted recruiting more in the last 20 years than social media,” Nebraska director of player personnel Ryan Gunderson told ESPN. “It has revolutionized recruiting. Sure, cell phones have had a huge influence in the process, allowing recruiters to go mobile with their communication. But with today’s technology, cell phones are merely a vehicle for social media use.”

There are even more people than college coaches using social media to watch high school student-athletes.

And I don’t just mean your high school teachers or schools’ admissions departments.

Back in December we covered the story of Tre’Vour Simms, who will be making his written commitment next week on Signing Day.

What we didn’t cover — and I’m still not going to link to, because there were some pretty nasty words exchanged — was that no matter which tweets you clicked on, fans from both schools that Tre’Vour was considering were getting pretty upset about such a top recruit.

“The whole process was honestly so negative,” former Oklahoma State QB commit Nick Starkel told ESPN. “Fans hop onto social media and take shots at high school kids who are being asked to make the biggest decision of their lives so far. Some fans don’t realize that we’re just kids making a huge decision. It’s very disrespectful when you get tweets saying, ‘I hope you never succeed.'”

What can student-athletes do on social media to get recruited?

When we look at any social media platform, it doesn’t matter if you’re thinking about whether it’s a college coach, or a rabid fan from a rival school (or a really excited fan from a school you’re verbally committed to!) or a parent, or a teacher, or your great-aunt Sue: always make sure your social media profile is showing you as a model student, a model athlete, and a model citizen.

Coach Enquist recently wrote about the microbehavior of courage, where she said that the number one trait college coaches look for is courage.

By that she meant that coaches want to see a student-athlete who won’t just say no to partying — they’ll talk to their friends on the team about a bad decision they might be tempted to make, and convince others to make what might seem like the unpopular decision.

The same is true for how athletes who want to get recruited should use social media. It might seem funny to put a ridiculous gif up, or to join in a social media fight among Amber Rose, Kanye and the Kardashians.

But when you think about all the people who are going to be watching your social media account, and thinking about whether you’re the perfect fit for their college spot, staying focused to your school, your sport and how you’re enacting positive change in the world is going to do you far more good in your recruiting journey.


We have a number of other tips and strategies for how to communicate with college coaches. Want to learn more? The best way to get started is with a recruiting profile.

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About the author
Andy McKernan

Andy McKernan is the content strategist at NCSA Athletic Recruiting. A content marketer with a background in creative writing, Andy brings several years of experience to NCSA.