Last week’s Social Pages Pre-Season Training focussed on the Don’ts of Twitter and Instagram which, as I understand it, is the focus of almost all social media training offered to players. But telling players what NOT to do all the time is not only patronising as all get-out, it’s also not very helpful.
This week we’re looking at where players get it really right; social media can let players show who they really are and what they stand for, and it is one of the few mechanisms for players to speak directly to the fans themselves. It’s also a great way for fans to get an insight into some of the banter that goes on within these teams as the players tweet, post photos of each other, and generally stitch each other up.
Week 2: Players – How to get in the Social Pages for the right reasons
Firstly, thanks for being on twitter and taking the time to share a bit of your non-playing lives with us. We know you’re not under any obligation to do so, and we also understand that having twitter is a double-edged sword: after a win we all tweet how awesome you are, but if you lose there are some who will tweet vile and disgusting things to you that cross every line of decency known to humanity. That you persist after that and still talk to us is pretty great.
I don’t want to tell you what to do, but I wanted to give you an idea of what others have done well, and why I think it’s worked. I can’t wait to see what you come up with too!
Your twitter account can give your followers an insight into your wacky, awesome, serious, contemplative or random self. And it’s 100% up to you who you show us you are. My favourite tweeters (hmmm… sounds like a post for next week) show a side of themselves that would be almost impossible to capture in a 60sec Rugby Club profile, or a magazine article.
Lachlan Mitchell is equal parts awkward and hilarious; Laurie Weeks is an everyman – warm and funny; Nathan Sharpe takes a huge amount of flack about his appearance on the chin.
The personalities these guys project on twitter have made me more interested in following their team – the Brumbies (traditionally my second team behind the Reds) faced some stiff competition from the Rebels last season. Another standout tweeting year and I might just be converted.
We genuinely care about your health and well-being and most of us really do worry when we see you injured during games. James O’Connor used twitter brilliantly in 2012 when he let us know how he was and what was happening when he lacerated his liver. I know it’s not always possible, and if it comes down to a choice between resting & healing, and tweeting your progress I implore you rest up!
But if we’ve seen you knocked out, injured or in pain, we want to know you’re okay, and the quickest way to let us know is through twitter. And which would you prefer – sending one tweet at the time? Or 1500 words a few hours later in the paper or on news websites debating about your injury based on the way you fell, the type of tackle, the way you walked off the field… let’s face it- not everyone can diagnose an injury through a television screen as well as Marto can! At least this way they can have the right information!
James Horwill is great at this. A few weeks ago he decided to launch a design competition to come up with a Team Rehab logo. He did so on the spur of the moment while he was on the massage table. One week and hundreds of entries later, Kev and the rest of Team Rehab voted on their favourite logo.
The winner won a jersey signed by Team Rehab, and Kev made the logo his twitter profile pic. He tweeted entries along the way, and interacted with the entrants and the voters. Ad agencies and marketing professionals dream of the type of buzz and publicity that Kev managed to get for free within 30 seconds.
Promoting what you believe in
The Faingaa Twins are actually involved in only two causes: NBCF and Mission Australia. What I love most about the Twins’ account is that everything they tweet is consistent with their “brand”; even when they are tweeting about rugby or engaging in banter with their teammates. At no stage do they say anything that could reflect poorly on either organisation or be taken out of context. I know their teammates often tease them about how much free stuff they are given, but as a business OR a charity organisation: if you had the opportunity to associate yourself with a person (two, actually) with 19 400 followers, who has never tweeted drunk or inappropriately, you’d take it, wouldn’t you? To put it another way, if you give them free coffees but they tell more than 19K people where they go for coffee, isn’t it a good deal?
David Pocock, aka St David of the Onside, is also fantastic at this. He tweets about gardening, music, his 8020 charity, rugby, politics, training, culture and human rights. I am also an ardent fan of his
yummy tight luscious enormous photography range of 8020 merchandise. Unfortunately I haven’t been allowed within 150m of him or his family and pets had a chance to speak with him about some of my ideas for future merchandise, however I think an expansion into the men’s underwear market is the next logical step.
Let’s face it, you will probably never look better than you do right now. In 10 years time you’ll be nervously laughing off jokes about how much weight you’ve gained at your club’s Old Boys Day (unless you’re Nathan “Farnham” Sharpe, that is – you’ll still be playing!). You should post as many photos like these as you can while you can. Your loyal Social Pagers will thank you!
These are only a couple of ideas, and you don’t need to do any, or all of them. We also love your funny photos, but I didn’t have enough space in this post to list EVERYTHING! Thanks again for letting us into a bit of your life.
Until next week, man-hugs and bum-taps to you all