Becoming adept at navigating social networks can transform the brand of a retired athlete from “has been” to “savvy navigator.” I recently wrote an article that explored how active athletes can use social media to become fan favorites. In this article, I cover how retired athletes can continue to grow their brand by staying active with social media.
Engaging on social networks can increase the presence of your profile (if done right). Though the rush of playing on the field or court is likely in the rear view mirror, your career as a professional communicator is just beginning. Hopefully you had the opportunity to practice engaging the media while being an active athlete. Perhaps this experience has taught you how the media works; because now, you are the media.
Post-career social media engagement shouldn’t be just “something to do.” Engage with a purpose. Also have fun while being social. You do this in order to:
1. Establish/maintain a connection with your friends and business contacts.
2. Stay current with happenings in industries of interest.
3. Learn how to communicate in new ways.
4. Distribute content.
5. Increase your authority on a subject.
All these are valuable to your post-athletic careers.
Open The Blinds
Now that you’re no longer a member of a sports team and concerns of disclosing proprietary information are relieved, be more open about your (hi)story and processes as an athlete. Your fans will appreciate having an insider view of your regimen. Now that you’re the media without any league or team restrictions (granted that you’re not working for another media entity with their own set of rules), use this freedom to your advantage by creating remarkable content.
There’s no better way in this day and age to create remarkable content than by consistently producing quality videos. You can work with a team to produce a weekly show or daily video blog. Many people forget that YouTube is a social network within itself. Your video content, whether short or long form, will be what fuels your high quality engagement on social networks like Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. The importance of production quality varies according to the style and purpose of the project. You’ll be practicing useful media skills while being social and developing a reel. Your reel could lead to television and radio opportunities.
If you know how to express yourself through writing, you’re in a great position. If you don’t, take a creative writing course at a local college and/or begin to read quality blogs, media sites, or periodicals that cover the subject you’re interested in. Learning grammar and paying attention to details like tone are very important in writing.
Like the video content mentioned above, written content will be what you distribute across your various social media platforms. It’s funny. You were told to avoid reading newspapers and blogs during your playing career, but now you’ll need to study them.
Monetizing Your Engagement
Warning: Don’t engage on social networks while wondering how you’re to monetize the activity. Let your genuine approach naturally fuel situations that could result in monetary gain. For example, I’m not a fan of the “Get Paid to Tweet” services out there as they can severely compromise or ruin the social network engagement of an influential person.
Now. It’s never too late to get started. Need help getting started? Give us a shout.