Every athlete knows that social media can offer them tremendous value when trying to build a personal brand. In fact, social media has given them the opportunity to actively shape the way they are perceived by the fans.
Social media can also be of great help to raise awareness for issues or to use your voice for something that matters.
It’s good in many ways.
But for some athletes, social media can be a minefield. Here are 4 things every athlete should know to avoid stepping on one of those mines.
1. Haters would looooove to take you down
It might sound scary that there are people (haters!) who will be scanning through all your social media accounts, searching for anything that can potentially hurt you or your career.
Yet, this is a reality every famous person has to accept.
Every athlete has their own way of dealing with haters. While simply ignoring them is certainly the best strategy, some athletes like to respond. Find what works best for you, but always be respectful and polite as haters are just waiting for a false move on your side.
2. Fame makes you vulnerable
Fame is an adoring attention that many athletes want. But it also increases the number of eyeballs looking at you. The more notoriety you gain, the more vulnerable you become to haters trying to take you down.
Before posting, liking or sharing, always remember that every little move you make on social media will be scrutinized and interpreted. Also, question yourself if your actions on social media can be offensive or disturbing to a larger group of people.
3. What is out there, will stay there – forever.
As an athlete, you have to consider that your words and pictures shared on social media will live forever. Content can be captured in screenshots or saved by other users. Many posts that have been deleted have come back to haunt athletes, so don’t count on deleting something as a solution.
You have to realize that you are functioning in public. Don’t post it in the first place if it’s something offensive or disturbing.
4. You never know who might be watching
Social media has the power to make you or break you as an athlete. It’s not a secret that recruiters and scouts pay extra close attention to social media accounts.
The way recruiters perceive you on social media can be what separates you from another player. Be smart when posting things on the internet — you never know who might be watching.