Athletes have a platform to share their voice and influence people. They shouldn’t take that lightly. What can be used for good, can also cause damage to their reputations and hurt others. Recently several MLB players quickly learned that the hard way, coming under fire for controversial content they shared on social media. Whether athletes posted the content more than a decade ago or during their career, people care and hold the players accountable.
Athletes must be conscious of what they share on social media to build a positive reputation and maintain it. Here are four tips for athletes:
- Find your focus. Consider what topics you want to talk about and stay focused on them. This will help build your image around causes and subjects that matter to you. Showing your passion is important, but be careful about getting carried away.
- Always think for the long term. It’s easy for you to quickly post whatever’s on your mind, but it’s very important to think before posting. Both up-and-coming and established athletes can damage their brands and reputations by posting comments that could be controversial.
- Audit your content. Opinions change, so plan to audit your content. If you shared an opinion that no longer reflects your beliefs or current point of view, take those posts down. Also, be mindful of what others are posting or have posted about you – consider if it can be removed or prepare to answer questions about it should it be raised.
- Stay in scope. Understand any guidelines that your team or agent may have in place. Your team is a part of your image, so it’s important to be consistent with its brand as well. Setting up social parameters for yourself can help you easily decide what is best for you to post or comment on.
Social media is so important for athletes because it’s crucial to building and keeping a loyal fan base. Be engaging – communicate with fans and get them excited about the team. Be influential – be active in encouraging fans to do good and go after their dreams. What athletes do on social media defines them, so have a strategy and stick to it.