How to be in the Social Pages for all the right reasons
Go shirtless. Or shortless. Or both.
I am a woman who appreciates a man who shows a commitment to solidarity and equality with his athlete sisters. Athlete women have been forced to cavort in skimpy clothing in settings and poses completely unrelated to their sport since Esther Williams flopped about prettily for MGM way back in 1945.
Shirtless rugby players are our strongest allies in redressing this imbalance. They recognise that challenges to the inequalities arising from hegemonic masculinity in sport are more effective from within the privileged group, than those originating from the outside. Quade Cooper was one of the original thinkers in this area, when it was discussed way back in Social Pages #4 (or so). Digby Ioane was a passionate supporter of equality also.
In short, the Social Pages will DEFINITELY post your photos if there is nudity. It’s just the sort of feminist I am.
Interact with your team’s official account
To me, this shows that you’re genuinely interested in what is happening around your team. The team has an army (sometimes a very small army) of people talking about engagement – fan engagement, corporate partner engagement – so please do your bit and engage with them too! There are only a few players I see who reply to their team’s mentions, but when I see the interactions between players and their team I get the impression that they are really happy to be in their position. It’s pretty cool.
Take interesting photos
I love when teams travel to South Africa because they take so many fantastic photos hanging out at game parks, riding bikes through town etc. If you’re doing something that you think is pretty cool, odds are we probably will too. But if it’s simply the same coffee shop as yesterday and the day before – the one that offers free wifi – we probably only need the one pic.
Remember – people are watching
Here is where I remind you that your tweets are public, people read them, and people who don’t know you very well judge you (possibly pretty harshly) on what you say. Here is also where I remind you that your tweets can be used as quotes in newspapers, on television, and on blogs such as this; if you want something to stay private, use direct messages or text. Remember that criticising a referee performance will earn you a SANZAR-imposed fine and criticising sponsors or your own team will cost you lots of dignity and a LOT of dollars. Don’t drink and tweet; if you’ve read your text messages back after a night out you’ll understand why. And never have a spray at a follower; your profile with 10K followers vs them with their 50 followers is not a fight you need to win AND you’ll look like a dick.
The Queensland Reds
Until quite recently the Queensland Reds’ official accounts posted somewhat erratically and there was an over-reliance on linking to Facebook content and the website; the players were the flag bearers for the franchise. But it’s turned around since the start of the year and the content is coming thick and fast. I remember a commenter on the Waratahs post who mentioned their frustration over so many posts in such a short time. If this irritates you, the Reds are probably not your team. Just today (and it isn’t over yet) the Reds have posted:
Twitter (@Reds_Rugby): posted or retweeted 11 tweets, no photos linked from Instagram – all posted direct
Instagram (redsrugby): 1 photo*
Facebook (verified account): 3 posts to Facebook, none linked from Instagram
*today is uncommonly quiet because it is a rest day. On Saturday they posted 10 photos from 4 locations.
The above stats are not counting RedsTV which is filmed and posted on the website twice a week or more. Clearly there is a lot of volume (indicative of greater resources – no doubt this area become a priority for the Reds moving forward), but what makes it more extraordinary is that the content is not duplicated across platforms. If you follow the Reds on each platform you’ll see similar content, but never the same. Pretty impressive. And reflected in the Facebook stats- 100K+ followers and more than 6600 people are talking about them. All of this despite Facebook receiving somewhat less focus than the other two platforms.
You cant escape the Reds media but it would be great to see more players get behind them.
The Queensland Reds players were, on the whole, the ‘early adopters’ of tweeting rugby players; Quade Cooper, Digby Ioane and the Fainga’a Twins have featured heavily on these pages through the years. But there has been a changing of the guard at the Reds and in the Super Rugby community more broadly; while the older (twitter-wise, anyway) players are solid and consistent, the younger players at the Reds are giving us a sense of the excitement that comes with your childhood dreams coming true – being paid to play rugby alongside your heroes.
@QuadeCooper on Twitter; quadecooper on Instagram
Given that Quade has almost as many twitter followers as all the franchises combined, you’re probably already following him. What has struck me about his tweeting over the past year or so is that it’s settled down. There’s no controversy, no drama, just him going about his day. He RTs some gorgeous fan photos, says please and thank you, and no longer peppers us with the free stuff people give him.
(@FaingaaTwins on Twitter; faingaatwins on Instagram)
Aaaahhh the Amway dealers of twitter: friendly, open and awesome, then they tell you about their (mattress suppliers/ endorsements/sponsors/supporters of their golf day) non-stop for a week or four, before reverting back to the guys you’d invite round for a barbie! They’re back to being their friendly and endearing selves at the moment so they’re absolutely worth a follow, but surely I’m not the only person who unfollowed them in the lead-up to their golf day last year??
(@beaurobbo on Twitter; beaurobbo on Instagram)
Beau is the guy at the Reds who you probably most want to have a beer with. He comes across as honest, hardworking and genuine. He has a business venture called Suporda that he’s trying to promote, but he’s not going overboard in doing so. He also doesn’t take himself too seriously and will have a chat with anyone.
Honourable mention to Chibba Hanson (@chibbahanson on Twitter; chibbahanson on Instagram) for instituting #WilmaWednesday – when he posts photos of his Rottweiler pup.
The new guys
I’ve chosen only three Reds players, but there are probably another 4 or 5 who are on there regularly, and even more ‘lurkers’ too. The best thing about the new guys on social media at the Reds is that you can see the raw excitement come through again; it’s something I miss from when players were new to twitter and therefore to us.
Some of the new players for the Reds have taken like a duck to water. Above I mentioned that I’d love to see the players interact with the franchise more via twitter and Instagram. Curtis Browning and JJ Taulagi do this particularly well at the Reds – if the Reds mention them or tweet about an event they attended, Curtis and JJ respond in some way. Likewise if they are at a Reds-related event they tag the Reds in their posts.
JJ Taulagi (@jjtaulagi on Twitter; jjtaulagi on Instagram) Loves a selfie (!), but posts a lot of tweets and photos. He replies to a LOT of his twitter and Instagram interactions and mentions. He may have taken the only known photo of the notoriously reclusive Chris Feauai-Sautia too – it’s in the gallery.
Curtis Browning (@Curtis_Browning on twitter; _curtisbrowning on Instagram) Australian U20 player of the year for two years running, and Australian U20 captain, Curtis is an impressive specimen (see shirtless pic in gallery), Curtis isn’t the most prolific tweeter or Instagrammer but he appears to do some unexpected stuff in his spare time.
Will Genia (willgenia on Instagram) This little love muffin needs no introduction but he’s fairly new to Instagram so he goes in this section. He seems to attract more “follow me please please please I’m your biggest fan” comments than the others.