Use Social Media to Enhance Your Personal Brand

The NCAA is at it again, another rule change that will allow coaches to interact with prospective student-athletes on social media.   However,  its not as straight forward as you think.  They are calling it the Click Don’t Type Rule.

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Here’s NCAA Proposal 2015-48, passed by the NCAA’s legislative council in the spring and took effect Aug. 1, 2016.

An athletics department staff member may take actions (e.g., “like,” “favorite,” republish, retweet, etc.) on social media platforms that indicate approval of content on social media platforms that was generated by users of the platforms other than institutional staff members or representatives of an institution’s athletics interests.

What was behind this rule change?

From the NCAA:

Intent: To establish exceptions to the prohibitions on endorsements of events that primarily involve prospective student-athletes, or endorsements of a prospective student-athlete’s team or coach, or an athletics facility that is primarily used by prospective student-athletes, and an exception to the restrictions on publicity before commitment that permits actions (e.g., “like,” “favorite,” republish, “tag,” etc.) by an institutional staff member on social media platforms that indicate approval of content on social media platforms that was generated by users of the platforms other than institutional staff members or representatives of an institution’s athletics interests.

Rationale: Under the current legislation, it is difficult to monitor all coaches and their social media activities (e.g., “likes,” “favorites,” republishing, “tags,” etc.). This proposal would create exceptions to the restrictions related to endorsement activities and publicity related to recruiting on social media platforms and attempt to maintain pace with the frequent creation and/or enhancement of social media applications.

 Social Media is becoming increasingly popular among the next generation and the NCAA and college coaches are taking notice.   There are so many different types of social media profiles available I don’t know how people can manage them.   As a business owner it is almost a full time job to maintain all social media accounts.   The social media fad really took off with Facebook, then Twitter arrived on the scene, followed by Instagram, and most recently SnapChat.

Derek Jones, an Assistant Football Coach at Duke University says “treat your social media profiles as your resume because that is the way we view it.”

Here are three examples of College Assistant Football coaches tweeting about prospects they dropped due to their social media profiles.

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Here are some social media tips to live by as you begin building or re-building your personal brand.

Social Media Tips

Are you a prospective student-athletes who wants to play at the next level.  Follow these tips to help you build a personal brand that will enhance your college recruiting process. Everything you tweet and post contributes to that brand.

  1. Name/Handle:    First things first make sure it is an appropriate name.  Second, make sure a coach can recognize you.  Include part of your name, graduation year, and/or number.
  2. Content:  The content (pictures, comments, etc) you post should be appropriate. If you weren’t comfortable saying it/showing it to your parents and grandparents than you probably should publish it on social media.
  3. Representation:  Keep in mind as a student-athlete you not only represent yourself, but your family, your school, your team, and your coach.  What you post could effect them in the long run.
  4. Personal Interactions should stay that way.  There are some things that don’t need to be in public.  What happens in the locker room, stays in the locker room.   It is also goes for the same if you want to share something private don’t post it, call/text, or even better do it in person.
  5.  Keep your Tweet Clean! Avoid using profanity or any derogatory comments about a person or group of people.
  6. I know you would never violate any rules or break any laws, but in the unlikely event you do, don’t publicize it! There are countless stories of athletic scholarship opportunities lost and careers ended by tweeting incriminating info.
  7. If by some chance you have girlfriend, boyfriend keep it to yourself. Coaches and others do not need to read about your drama.
  8. Don’t express your hatred of anyone or anything specifically the school, a professor, a fellow student, or your coach.
  9. 10. Do not tweet about being in “grind mode” or tell the world how hard you are working on the field or in the gym, because if you were really working that hard, you would not have time to tell us about it!
  10. Avoid getting in to a war of worlds on social media especially with someone who is trying to bait you into saying something stupid or controversial. Just ignore them and even better, block them. Social Media wars never end.
  11. Never tweet about controversial topics including politics, race, religion or sexual orientation. Nothing good ever comes from those tweets and they tend to go viral quickly. Just don’t do it!
  12. Be extra cautious about posting after a tough loss.  A good rule would be to sleep on it.  They can be difficult and emotionally draining and you might regret what you tweet.  Let’s use the Hope Solo incident.  Her words resulted in a 6 month suspension from the US Women’s National Team and was recently allowed a leave of absence from the Seattle Reign.                                                                                                          HopeSolo
  13. Never reply to or retweet things from users with vulgar names or say vulgar things. When you retweet those things it is like you were saying it yourself. Further, do you really want to be associated with @filthypanties, @BigAssBarb or @turdfarts
  14. If you are underage you should not be drinking.  Never allow yourself to be photographed with a drink or red cup in your hand. We all know what goes in those red cups and even if you were drinking water, nobody is going to believe you.
  15. Social Media is a personal timeline.  If you missed a class, meeting, or other event and you posted during those times most likely you are gonna get caught in a lie.

Social Media allows the next generation to put themselves out in the public eye whether it is photos, ideas, or opinions they have , the whole world can see it.  So it is important that you use extreme caution if you have any desire to play college sports.  College Coaches are tuned into what is going on with social media and it is now a big recruiting tool.  Your social media profiles can either help or hinder your recruitment. Use Social Media to enhance your personal brand, not destroy it.