Let’s start with something that’s fun – because that’s why people go to social media – to have fun.
A QUICK WORD ABOUT ‘VIRAL’
Don’t push to copy videos that have gone viral. It doesn’t hurt to try, of course, but remember that there’s no formula for viral. And as you know, you don’t need fancy cameras or a film crew or perfect weather or even a decent phone to have a video get massive attention – and then dozens of spinoffs.
But have fun and make your own version of this in a different setting – take risks and try things. As long as you aren’t rude or offensive, it doesn’t hurt to take a chance with social media.
It’s easy to fall into the trap of making posts that speak to your friends and colleagues – the problem is that restricts you to a kind of group mentality. Like a clique. It also means that you start speaking FOR that particular group, to appeal to them specifically.
That’s great to build your cred with that audience, but it is seriously limiting for your profile as an individual, whether in sport, business or the arts.
Unless you have a very specific target market in mind and a strategy to maximise the benefit of that audience, avoid trying to speak to a specific audience. This is important because you never know who your great fans might be. You might find you have a huge fan base among 30-year old women in Brazil, or that 45-year-old men in Thailand just get you and become huge fans. Those are obviously pretty specific, and you won’t be targetting just one demographic in one country, but the point is that you have no idea who you might appeal to – around the world! And the benefit is that social media will take your stories, comments, quotes and videos around the world.
This is the generation of discovering the world without leaving home.
Be yourself and be honest and true, avoid speaking to your clique, and you might be pleasantly surprised by the fan base you grow.
AB de Villiers would never have known 20 years ago that he would be the darling of India.
Don’t restrict yourself of limit your audience. And welcome any fans you draw to you.
The way for people to get to know you is to let them get to know you. Post – often but keep it real and keep it you.
PS video on Instagram
This is the big buzz word which will get ears pricked up… but don’t worry about them. You are either too small to worry or if you’re big enough you can employ someone to hassle with them.
If you work in social media, different story, or if you have endorsements or are making money from social media, different story, different conversation.
While you are developing as a person, a potential sports star, a brand, or just little old you, put your focus into creating the content and documenting your life.
Share your life experience with other people. Your life might not be interesting enough to draw millions of followers, but it is unique and it is something you have to offer. So share it and see where it takes you.
25 years ago cricketers weren’t so rich. India exploded as a cricket ‘audience’ thanks to whiteball cricket and tv coverage, and now cricketers are richer than golfers and NBA stars. The point is, you don’t know what the public will like in five years time, so don’t chase what’s big now cos that could fizzle by the time you’re ready to shine.
Be you and just like you pour yourself into the goal of achieving your ambitions, put that same energy into sharing who you are on social media.
PS video on Instagram
Again, a new thing will come and go. Facebook will be up and down, Instagram is massive right now, it might fade. Be aware of what’s trending but don’t get caught up in it. What matters is you sharing your story. That’s what is unique and what will last.
And learning how to share your story will help you when you’re a sports star or just running a business or working for a boss. We all need to learn how to share ourselves on social media as the trend is that this is how communication is going to grow.
PS video on Instagram
Put your content online and put lots of it that’s all that matters.
The more you post the more the platforms see you’re an interesting content creator.
And again, don’t post for your ‘known’ audience, post for an unknown audience and you will be presenting your true self to a massive audience – and the ‘risk’ is you will be discovered by a lot more people!
PS video on Instagram
The 10,000 post challenge
You know the 10,000 hour rule? Read Matthew Syed’s book bounce – it will change your life as someone working in sport or dedicated to a sport.
Here’s a social media challenge for you – We’ve got 158 days from today until 2020. Let’s call it 150 to give you time to get to grips with your social media platforms and strategies.
That’s about 70 posts a day.
If you want to really grab attention and give people a chance to know you… go for 10,000 posts by end of year. Take a screenshot of all your social numbers and don’t look at them again till end of year. Then check it.
70 posts a day.
OK, that’s a bit ‘extra’, as they say now, and it’s a big chunk of time. You probably can’t manage that, especially if you’re studying.
Keep that in mind, though, as the kind of range you should look at – because posting online is free, and it offers you free marketing and brand-building exposure. It allows you to build your fan base for free – so the more you post, the more people are going to get to know you and follow you.
Let’s keep it real. This you MUST do: 1000 posts from now until the end of the year. That’s seven a day. That’s nothing – but if you keep it up it will build. And keep the 70 posts watermark in mind, because some days or weeks when you have time and your life is on fire then go for that.
PS video on Instagram
What can I post seven times a day?
- Share your skills and training
Make a video of yourself bouncing a ball, doing taps with your feet, or a cute training drill. Chipping golf balls over a pile of books into your backpack.
Exercise – film yourself lifting weight or doing exercises to show what you go through and also to record your progress. And make a comment in each video that adds some extra life. “Wow, hard work after a late night victory celebration!”
“Taking it easy before the big match, but I had to still push myself.”
Let the words come out as if you’re talking to a friend or training partner.
By sharing these moments you also make yourself accountable to your audience, which means you have some form of performance pressure to keep filming and improving. That’s a great motivation to improve.
- Become ambidextrous
You don’t always have to be the hero. Today’s heroes reveal their vulnerable side. Iron Man even dies. Sorry.
So film yourself (PS video on Instagram) doing a skill left-handed (if you’re a rightie) and document how you progress and learn. Film yourself throwing a ball left-handed against a wall and catching it again and again. Film this once a day or twice a week and keep loading new videos that show your struggles and growth.
Bonus point – at the end of 2019 when you are throwing a ball well left-handed (or kicking a ball, or headering a ball with your left head), you can compile all those videos into one longer video to show your progress. That would be a killer.
Again, this will help to motivate you to improve as you have an audience who is going to hold you accountable. Even if that audience is small and remains small, what matters is that using social media can help you to improve.
But if you do something like this well and let your personality shine through, there’s every chance of hitting the V-spot – VIRAL VIDEO.
- Motivational quotes – share one you read every day. You can share a meme someone else has made, or make your own meme, maybe with a pic of yourself. Load this to Instagram and Facebook and Twitter even… but also record yourself saying the quote and then add a few seconds of commentary about what it means to you or anything. That makes it really personal. Post that video as well to Facebook and Instagram and Twitter. Some people like to read memes, some like to watch video. Put your good messages out as wide as possible.
- Share something real about you – show your weird toe, a birthmark, the way you can bend you finger back to touch the back of your hand. Nothing rude or inappropriate, but show your crazy side – this is stuff other people can relate to, and if someone relates to you because they also have an odd birthmark on their shoulder like you, then you’ve probably found a new fan – and that fan will share you to their friends and fans.
- Film yourself exercising
- Film a cross skill – not something angry, but if you’re a cricketer, film yourself playing golf, or kicking for poles, or serving in tennis, whether you do it well or not. It adds another dimension to who you are and breaks up the monotony of too much content about your main skill
- Make a comment on a match or a player – on all social media platforms. Let people know your thoughts and observations – quick and short, doesn’t have to be long.
- Don’t just like stuff – leave a comment. But not just “nice” or “respect” – leave a real comment that shares your thought on that subject – people will start getting to know you. But try be positive cos social media can get ugly, so stay positive cos that encourages more positivity. Don’t give people reasons NOT to like you, unless you can help it.
They may follow you or not but you will be letting people get to know you… and most importantly you will be getting better at creating content every day in lots of little ways.
- Film yourself doing a daily drill you want to get better at – this shows your practice routine – and at the end of year you can also do a compilation video showing your improvement. And guess what… in five years when you win the world cup or are endorsed by Nike, then you have long videos to show how you went from humble to hero. That’s a big win.
- Some things you can do on mass like the quote of the day or learning a new word every day, maybe in another language – something you want to do for yourself. Learn a language and a new phrase or word every day or whatever you are studying teach people something – that reinforces it for you do it and you can share your process for others to benefit from either to get to know you or to help them learn along with you.
You can create memes and do recordings of things like this for four hours one day when you have downtime, and you will have that content ready to drop one a day for the next week or month.
- Take a pic of yourself every day at same time or in same space. You’re just documenting your life – and leave a different short comment in each day that sums up your mood or your environment. “Taxi rank quiet today.” Or “Usual jokers in the canteen”. You can do this in a regular pose or a different pose each day. Experiment with it, see what other people are doing… but also try your own thing. Something that appeals to you – try and and post it and let it find its audience. And if it doesn’t either just keep on doing it if you enjoy it, or adapt it or try something new.
- Take a pic or short video of a hero of the day or week – the person who stops their car to guide ducks across a busy road, the petrol attendant who lends you R50 to get home. Document your life and share these moments online – text, pics and video. All or any of them.
- Interview someone every day – ask them three quick questions, either all the same or just random. These can be three separate posts on IG. Here’s the point… do these things if they interest YOU! Don’t worry about your audience – SHARE with your audience what YOU DO as well as what INTERESTS, AMUSES OR EXCITES YOU. Do that and you are giving people a reason to want to follow you and be a fan.
- Daily diary – YouTube or podcast or both – just share your thoughts for a few minutes on what happened what you learned what was fun what you’re grateful for, what the weather is like, that fact that you phone battery is drying faster each day. You life!
- Do a daily Dude Perfect drill – not one of their major missions, just a small section thing…. bouncing one ball into a cup off a wall – and keep doing until you nail it – that’s one post a day. Your audience will be intrigued to follow your progress… and when YOU final nail it that will feel like they have too as they have shared your journey.
- Ask your parents of siblings or partner or teacher something about what they remembered about you. You can do daily quick or can do a longer chat to the person – full on YouTube, split into 5-10 minute blocks on Facebook, very short on IG. And all can go on an audio podcast
How many views has your best video or post had?
Here’s one that knocks the stuffing out of most people’s accounts… it’s an incredible piece of video, but in truth it’s just one person’s reality and courage shown to the world.
It’s and awe-inspiring ‘wow’ video, so it’s hard to compete with it, but the message is that if you show yourself for who you are then people will respond. And that’s all you want – a response!
Wasted time… rain stopped play, waiting at airports, waiting after practice… in the old days the old chaps played cards, smoked and drank too much. With social media you have a GREAT way to use your time.
SETUP FUN CHALLENGES
Think DudePerfect, or the Mannequin Challenge, the Ice Bucket Challenge. Google other challenges. Make some new ones up. Use your downtime (especially cricket when it rains) and when you’re touring before or after practice – a lot of dead time, so use it to boost your social media space.
Point your cellphone camera at a friend, an opponent, the coach, the umpires or refs, spectators… and do shorts interviews. Ask fun and silly questions, ask for insight or advice. Interview the media – writers or journos or even camera people. Have fun and explore your world… and while you’re doing it you will be revealing your world to your followers and future followers.
INTERVIEW YOUR PEOPLE
Hey mom, dad, bruva or sista – what do you remember about me when I were growin up? Ask your family (or your spouse or significant other) for memories of things you did as a kid – or even more recently. It’s personal, real, of interest for you and them as a record and a reminder. Lekker – and one day when you’re famous, these posts will be lapped up by people. If never famous, it’s still a lekker record for you and the fam.
And its good practice for being interviewed yourself when you become a star – or maybe when you have a media career instead of sport or after sport. Working your social media is an incredible way to prepare for your future, whatever that may be.
UPCOMING FIXTURES AND EVENTS
Lead up to events and big matches etc, tell people about them, how you’re feeling what you’re doing – that will help to create awareness for the match but it also gives you great ways to share content and share your life online.
THAT’S ALL, FOLKS
The simple things such as exercising make for great sharing – and this chap has shared his personal challenge that he has risen to. Gold!
New app… new trend… got to do it. If everyone’s doing it, so should you on social media
Try something audacious… be dramatic… have fun… and if it fails just go with it, smile and laugh. Don’t take yourself too seriously.