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How to Use Twitter for College Recruiting

High school recruit using social media

When it comes to college recruiting, Twitter is the preferred platform for both coaches and student-athletes. Over 95 percent of student-athletes surveyed say they have a Twitter account, and nearly all coaches are actively using the platform to communicate with recruits and promote team content. The platform allows users to boost their online presence and make fast, direct connections. How to use Twitter to get recruited varies based on sport. Twitter is widely used for all sports, but is most popular in football, baseball, and men’s and women’s basketball. 

Can college coaches follow recruits on twitter? Do they look at Twitter? 

Yes. Following the appropriate NCAA Twitter rules, college coaches are permitted to follow recruits on Twitter. Student-athletes should be aware of when coaches can begin to reach out to their Twitter account based on their sport’s contact period.  

Do college coaches look at Twitter? Yes, coaches look at Twitter and student-athlete tweets for a variety of reasons in recruiting. Coaches can communicate with recruits, evaluate character and gather recruiting information from student-athlete Twitter profiles. What do you do if a college coach follows you on Twitter? Follow them back! A social connection is often the first sign a coach is interested in recruiting you.  

What does it mean if a college coach follows you on Twitter? 

There are many reasons why a college coach would follow a student-athlete on Twitter. For example, a coach may be genuinely interested in a recruit and wants to monitor their Twitter account for any red flags and get a better sense who they are as a person. Or, they may simply want to boost their own number of followers to promote their sport camps. 

What do you do if a college coach follows you on Twitter? First, follow them back. If a coach follows your Twitter account, responds to your direct messages with more than just a generic note, or DMs you first, that’s a positive sign they may be interested in recruiting you. 

Create a Twitter profile that will attract college coaches to follow you 

Student-athletes should take a purposeful and strategic approach while using Twitter for college recruiting. Start by creating a Twitter profile that will work as hard as you do. Coaches should be able to search your Twitter name and get the most important recruiting information directly from your profile. Use these guidelines to optimize your profile for college recruiting.

Student-athletes should take a purposeful and strategic approach while using Twitter for college recruiting.

Establish your identity 

Include key facts first 

Insider Tip: Now that you have created your Twitter profile just remember that coaches, directors of admissions and player personnel, among others, can all see and read what you say and post in social media. And they won’t stop at just your posts. They could be checking out your friend’s profiles, too. So, before you post, read the student-athlete’s guide to social media. 

What are good things to tweet? 

Did you know college coaches pay attention to what a student-athlete tweets? Student-athletes should tweet information that college coaches would find useful while recruiting them. Remember that coaches are also looking at social media to gain a better understanding of a recruit’s personality and character. It’s important to be aware of the content you are promoting on your Twitter account by either a post, like or retweet.  

Here are good examples of what to post and how athletes can use Twitter for college recruiting:  

Avoid inappropriate posts, captions or comments. Aim to have a Twitter profile that you would be comfortable with anyone reading.

Update Twitter account settings to allow DMs from college coaches 

Once the appropriate contact period begins, college coaches will use Twitter to direct message recruits. If your DMs are closed and a coach isn’t following you, they can’t message you. The same goes for college coaches. You might come across coaches with private accounts. If their account is private, you won’t be able to send them a direct message until after you’ve made a mutual connection.  

Getting every college coach to follow you on Twitter would be a full-time job. But lucky for you, there’s a way around this. Update your Twitter account to receive DMs from people you aren’t following. Depending on the phone you’re using, either tap the gear icon in your “Me” tab, click on the navigation menu or click on your profile icon. Select “Settings” and tap “Privacy and content.” Next to “Receive Direct Messages from anyone,” either slide the twitch or check the box to enable the feature.

Should you DM college coaches on Twitter? 

Yes! Student-athletes should be proactive when it comes to Twitter and college recruiting. Sending a direct message to a college coach on Twitter is oftentimes the quickest way to communicate and get on their radar. Proactively reach out to the coaches of schools you’re most interested in being recruited. If you’re unable to send a coach a DM, first attempt to follow them on Twitter. Be patient. Remember that coaches must follow NCAA Twitter rules, so depending on your year in high school or sport’s contact period they might not be able to respond right away. 

If you haven’t received anything back in a few days, you can attempt to get their attention by tweeting at them. “Tagging” a coach on Twitter or using a team’s well-known “hashtag” may lead to a follow back and open a conversation in your DMs! 

Twitter accounts athletes should follow  

Twitter earned its title of being the most popular platform in college recruiting because of the public resources it can provide both coaches and student-athletes. There are many Twitter accounts dedicated to providing information and advice to their niche followers. We’ve narrowed down some of the best Twitter accounts, per sport, student-athletes should follow for college recruiting.

SoccerVolleyballLacrosseAll Sports

Insider tip: Did you know coaches pay attention to who you’re following on Twitter? Coaches monitor student-athlete Twitter “Followers” to see their interests and gauge their competition! Make sure you’re following accounts that show coaches you are dedicated to your sport, team, school and community. 

How to use hashtags on Twitter for college recruiting 

Hashtags play an important role in how athletes can use Twitter for recruiting. Almost every college and athletic program has their own unique hashtag(s) they use to market themselves to prospective recruits. These hashtags promote a sense of family amongst the school’s athletic department, showing unity and pride for their university. When used correctly, it can be an effective way to grow student-athlete Twitter accounts and help recruits get discovered by college coaches.  

Hashtags can also be highly effective on other social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok. There are a few things to keep in mind when applying hashtags to student-athlete tweets. Here’s how to use hashtags on Twitter for college recruiting: 

Should you tag college coaches on Twitter? 

Tagging a coach’s Twitter profile is a great way to get their attention. But when it comes to how athletes can use Twitter for recruiting, there are pros and cons. Remember that once your account is set to public, your tweets are available to all users.  

Ask yourself, what is the purpose of my tweet? Is the update or information I’m about to share better suited for a private conversation? If so, consider sending the coach a text or a DM. However, there are times when tagging a coach on Twitter has a purpose and beneficial to your recruiting.  

Tag a coach on Twitter to:  

College offers and social “edits” on Twitter 

Twitter and college recruiting continue to influence one another. Coaches have introduced “edits” to officially offer and welcome commitments to their school. Social “edits” are personalized graphics created by university-paid designers, or third parties, and distributed to student-athletes to share on their Twitter profile.  

As of August 1, 2016, the NCAA permitted college coaches to send out official offers via social media to high school juniors and seniors. This is especially popular among college football and the Power Five schools. It’s become a part of football culture.  

Every year, Twitter accounts are flooded with “edits” of high school football prospects come the first of August. Schools also use them to maintain communication. Coaches will have “edits” created to wish recruits happy birthday, wish them good luck in an upcoming game, or just to let them know they’re thinking about them. If a coach, or school, is sending you “edits,” there is a strong likelihood you are one of their top recruits.

Coaches have introduced “edits” to officially offer and welcome commitments to their school.

Summary: How to get recruited on Twitter 

So, does Twitter help you get recruited? Yes. When used properly, student-athletes can use Twitter to increase their chance of being recruited by college coaches. Take initiative. Follow and interact with the Twitter accounts of the schools you are most interested in being recruited. Remember, coaches monitor student-athlete tweets and use Twitter to communicate with recruits and share information about their program. NCAA Twitter rules allow coaches to reach out to recruits once their appropriate contact period begins. Be sure your Twitter account settings are ready to receive DMs from college coaches.  

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