Social media and sport. Two things which having been put together, have completely (and beautifully) evolved the sports industry and all involved. What is social media you ask? Social media refers to sites most of us use daily including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Youtube. Sites like these allow us to connect, share, post, comment, and link to others from all over the world.
As a tennis enthusiast, it’s been amazing to see social media and its influence on the top players in the world. As funny as it sounds, tennis players are brands. And as brands, tennis players (along with all other sporting professionals) need to market themselves in order to develop a large support and fan base. Therefore, it is necessary in our society today, for sporting professionals to use various social media platforms.
To start off, let’s take a look at my all time personal fav, Roger Federer. He’s beautiful, I know. Just under 15million likes on Facebook, 464k followers on Instagram, 2.7million followers on Twitter, and the 2nd most popular tennis player on social media (number 1 in my eyes). What do all these big numbers say about Roger? They tell us he engages with fans. He includes them in his life, and makes them feel important to him. Although it’s difficult for him to personally engage with all of us fans, he takes the time to post photos, statuses, and tweets of where he is, what trophy he’s just won, what he’s eating, who he’s making friends with, and what sort of cake he got for his birthday.
Becoming an instant Twitter sensation back in 2013, the Feds also conducts Q&A sessions on social media such as Twitter and Reddit where fans are able to ask the man any questions they like, and when I mean any question, I mean any question.
So pretty much, sporting professionals need to have a social media presence if they want to be noticed in the world and supported by a large number of fans because let’s face it, if Roger Federer didn’t have the thousands and millions of followers on his social platforms, fans wouldn’t pay top money to watch him play tennis, sponsors like Nike and Wilson wouldn’t do anything for him to wear and use their gear, and the 4 grand slams throughout the year wouldn’t make sure that all his towels were folded to perfection during tournaments. All this happens because of his fans and support from his engagement with the world through social media. He’s not just a great athlete but a role model, a great influence to all those that look up to him. This is where social media is important. It’s needed by sporting athletes to be able to maintain their stature and reputation in a digital world where 72% of internet users are active on social media.
I want to hear what you have to say. Do you think it’s important for all sporting athletes to be on social media? Which sporting athletes do you follow on social media? Why? Leave a comment below, otherwise click here if you’re after some Twitter advice from the tennis pros themselves.