I know you're a busy athlete. But give me your attention for a couple of minutes and I'll show you how you can leverage your athlete brand to create and monetise your Twitter following.
Twitter remains a popular network for professional athletes, journalists and brands. It is these individuals that will help you amplify your story and get you sponsored and funded. Let me show you how to reach those people, connect with them, help them and then get helped by them.
Here are the steps we'll need to take :
1) Create a Winning Profile
2) Become a Team Player - make connections and share the right content
3) Going In For The Win - Reach Out
Although there are a lot of time-saving advice here, it is not a "6 minute 6-pack" type of work - you'll still need to pop up your laptop and put in a little bit of work at least every couple of days. But in the end, I guarantee, it will be worth it.
1. Create A Winning Profile
It is important to keep in mind that you are aiming to attract the attention of professionals, journalists and corporations on Twitter. Try to set up your profile in a way that will appeal to them. Try to tell your story with your profile picture, cover picture, description and an additional link or a way for people to contact you or learn more about you. Couple of important points:
1. Professional athletic pictures
2. Short description with your location - make the description enticing to catch the attention of anyone reading it
The location will help journalists know where you are from.
3. Hashtags will make your profile easier to find.
4. Add sponsors to give them exposure - your twitter profile is a great place to provide exposure to your sponsors
Here are some nice examples of athlete Twitter profiles that you can follow :
Share Some Athletic Content
A winning twitter profile is not only about the cover picture and description, it is also about the content that you share. So, once your Twitter profile has the right look, you should sharing content that will get you noticed. However, there are couple of things to keep in mind with twitter to help you stand out. Here they are:
Shareable Content Format
Twitter did some research into what fuels a tweet’s engagement and here are some highlights from their findings:
Which Hashtags To Use
Sometimes knowing which hashtags to use can be difficult, but it can also make all the difference between getting shares or not. There is a great tool called Hashtagify that I used to decide which Hashtags to use when sharing on Twitter and Instagram. Type in a keyword that stands out in the blog or article that you are sharing and it will give you other important hashtags that related. Below is an example of a hashtag research for my sport of judo. You can do the same with your sport.
Tweet At The Right Time
You can use Buffer to also schedule posts for those specific "well-function" time periods. For example, if you go on Twitter at 4pm but your tweets get the most interaction at 8pm, you can schedule that Tweet to go out at 8pm. Furthermore you can schedule tweets days and weeks ahead.
Create Event #hashtags
Twitter is an incredible tool for events and as an athlete participating at sport event, you have exclusive access to great content regarding the event. Start sharing content about the event weeks prior to competing and make sure you are using an appropriate #hashtag such as #2016JudoNationals #2016TennisWorlds #2016GymProvincials.
If you do this properly, people will join your hashtag and soon enough people will use the hashtag to learn more about the event. Since you were the first one to start using it, your content will be highlighted.
2. Become A Team Player - Connect and Share
The idea here is that on Twitter you can create great connections with professionals in order to create a network for future uses such as seeking sponsorship or crowdfunding. The first step is to follow the right people and then to help them share their content. If you do this properly, you will get notice and you will be able to ask for a favour in return when you needed (such as when you are running a campaign). This is the basis of being a Twitter Team player - the benefits are endless.
Follow 2,000 People Right Away
Twitter allows you to follow 2,000 without having many followers yourself. You should take advantage of this because after 2,000 followers you will have to maintain a high ratio of followers. Following others sends them a notification so they will have a chance to notice you and follow you back. If you followed 2,000 and didn't get 2,000 followers back, you can use ManageFlitter to unfollow everyone who didn't follow you back.
Who Should You Start Following?
You want to get the most relevant news and events in your sport in the fastest way possible. I'd recommend to start following your provincial, national and world sport organizations. For example as a judo athlete in Quebec, I follow @judoquebec, @judocanada and @injudofed to get the latest news in my sport. Just doing this will already give you a lead on the rest of the field because you will have access to "exclusive news" that you can share to create your community of followers.
Next, look at who those organizations are following, who are they retweeting and interacting with and follow them - they are likely to be important people in your community.
Create A List
After you followed a sufficient amount of people you have a flowing feed of news. However, sometimes that news can be overwhelming and you might not be interested in every single thing. There is usually specific accounts that you really need to keep up with such as your current or future sponsors, you might want to create a list of them. I've create some ideas of lists that you can create in Twitter. Remember that every time you follow someone or a corporation, they will receive a notification and will check out your profile. So make sure your profile is up to date before you follow a lot of people.
Here is an example of my lists:
Start "Retweeting or Re-Quoting" :
Many corporations, journalists and organizations are working hard to increase their audience on Twitter. If you are sharing their content, they are likely to notice you. Instead of re-tweeting, try to "re-quote" - this will allow you to put your comment on the post as well. You can also add a quote from the article and mention the author for an even greater reach!
3. Going In For The Win - Reaching Out
Tweeting @ Them
Now that you have the attention of the journalists, companies or professionals, you can start reaching out. It starts with a simple tweet such "@_____ can I DM you, I have a question regarding a blog post". If they are available they will reach out and you can start a conversation with them on Twitter.
Journalists and professionals : You can ask them to share an article or even write an article about a specific topic that you need. You can share with them your crowdfunding campaign and they will help you amplify your reach and story - this is exactly how your monetize your efforts on Twitter. The results will out-weigh the work that you put it.
Corporations (potential sponsors) : You can also reach out to corporations and ask them directly for sponsorship or ask them to sponsor your campaign.
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