Instagram, Snapchat, LinkedIn, GMTM, TikTok, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook... Social media is a crucial part of how we communicate. And now, more than ever, it is a crucial part of how basketball players are being recruited for college sports and national teams.
And athletes are doing much more than creating TikToks for their dunks and funny videos on YouTube. Social media is becoming the center of an entire brand that starts well before AAU ball.
Whether you are engaging with coaches and scouts through Twitter, managing your image for fans and other brands on Instagram, or documenting everything in your career on GMTM, social media is an essential part of what makes sports so compelling. And what can make a recruit so sought after.
According to the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, surveys show that 90
Here are five ways to use your social media profiles to provide a boost in your basketball recruiting and increase your chances of landing an athletic scholarship:
Promote Your School & Basketball Team
It starts with getting fans in the seats and creating excitement around the team you are playing on right n0w. Don't wait until you play varsity next year or make the "all-district travel team" to start posting, what you are doing right now is what you should be sharing. GMTM is a great place to upload videos from practice or your team's workout sessions to create a buzz around you and your teammates.
Getting excited and taking pride in playing the game is what college basketball coaches want to see. College scouts care as much about what they see when you engage with your team and how you act off the floor than they do about how many points you put up. Sharing your team wins and successes is an easy way to change your mindset in a tough season or make a winning streak more memorable - and coaches love a guy with energy and Ways to promote your school & basketball team include:
- Posting season schedules.
- Reminding fans of game days and encouraging fans to attend.
- Showing some of your team’s game highlights.
If you are constantly showcasing and promoting your school and basketball team, college basketball coaches will think favorably that you will likely do the same for their school and program. As a result, college basketball coaches will believe that you will likely help increase ticket sales, boost their team’s social media engagement, and, hopefully, convert some of your followers to follow and support their college basketball team’s program.
Ask Yourself: “Am I actively promoting my school & team when possible? Does my social media show coaches that I can promote my team?”
Engage With Fans
Your followers are following you primarily because they like your play on the court or because you are a player for their favorite team. Get engaged with your followers and allow them to feel part of the team and your journey!
Examples of ways to engage with fans and followers include:
- - Take fans “behind the scenes” to show how you get ready for game day.
- Show weightlifting or training videos to show how you prepare for the season.
- Give “behind the scenes” tours of locker rooms and other facilities that fans might not get to see.
- Post polls to ask which game they are most excited to see or if they are attending a big game.
Additionally, respond to all comments left on your posts! Simply “liking” or leaving an emoji isn’t enough; go the extra mile and respond. It only takes a few seconds to type: “Thank You!”, “We appreciate your support!”, “We felt your energy tonight!” Never take fans or followers for granted. By constantly engaging with your followers, you will show college basketball coaches that you can be an asset to and help boost a school’s and program’s fan following through social media engagement.
Ask Yourself: “Does my social media demonstrate to coaches that I am good at engaging with fans and followers?”
Celebrate Your Teammates
College basketball is a team sport. An individual’s success is the team’s success. Credit your teammates for helping you make a nice play.
- “Check out my teammates’ great outlet passes to me on these fast breaks!”
- “Thanks to my teammates for setting awesome screens for me, which allowed me to score a season-high!”
By celebrating your teammates’ success, you will show college basketball coaches that you are a team player off the court and that you are happy to share the spotlight with your teammates. College basketball coaches will view this characteristic as a huge plus; all coaches want to recruit student-athletes who will be a great asset for building and maintaining positive team chemistry!
Ask Yourself: “How many of my social media posts are celebrating or highlighting my teammates?”
A general rule of thumb to follow is: “Every day that you don’t post on social media is a day that you are not seen!” Never go extended periods without posting on social media. It’s imperative to stay visible in the eyes of college basketball coaches; every day that you post is a day that you are seen by college basketball coaches and can make an impression in their eyes! Additionally, use different features of social media. It isn’t necessary to always post highly-edited or elaborate posts and videos. An Instagram story is on display for 24 hours! It only takes a few minutes to craft a well-written and thoughtful tweet on Twitter.
Ask Yourself: “How frequently do I make posts on social media? Am I making enough effort to remain visible in the eyes of coaches?”
Show Other Interests Outside of your Sport
Are you a talented singer or musician? Enjoy reading mystery novels? A gifted artist who likes to paint, draw, or create digital art? Spend free time skateboarding, surfing, hunting, or fishing? We know that you desire to get recruited to play college basketball and receive a basketball scholarship. However, rather than filling your social media pages with only basketball material and highlights, show other interests and talents that you have outside of basketball, which will allow college basketball coaches and fans to see other parts of your personality! Additionally, you will be able to connect with fans who share the same interests as you or potentially gain new fans, solely because of your shared interests and talents. Most importantly, showing other interests outside of your sport will help college basketball coaches connect and bond with you during the recruiting process over things outside of basketball. Recruiting phone calls and conversations will be more enjoyable when you are discussing interests and passions that you enjoy outside of basketball!
Ask Yourself: “Am I showing parts of my personality, hobbies, and interests outside of basketball that would spark interest and conversation from coaches and fans?”
Use your social media to boost your recruiting and increase your chances of landing an basketball scholarship. Simple changes and strategic implements can significantly change the direction of your recruiting process and increase your chances of finding the perfect fit for you to achieve your athletic and academic goals!