With virtually every college coach on Twitter, the social media site has quickly become a great avenue for athletes and coaches to connect. NCAA rules allow coaches to follow an athlete, direct message an athlete, favorite/retweet their tweets, and subtweet them (mentioning them without saying their direct name). It also allows athletes an easy and simple avenue to reach out to colleges they are interested in attending.
The following steps will maximize your recruiting exposure and ensure that when a coach views your profile the chances of moving up their recruiting board will increase.
1. Profile Name
Be sure to use YOUR name as your handle. If a coach is looking for you, make it easy for them to find you. "SmackDaddy007" is not a name that a coach can find and/or want to recruit.
Make sure your profile picture is your best headshot. This helps the coach recognize you when you see him at a camp or remember you if you just recently met him. Put your best action shot as your header to show how you look in playing.
Put all basic information here (Class, Height, Weight, School, Academic Info). Fill in the remainder of the bio with any pertinent information that you feel would separate you from your competition (academic/athletic awards & honors, other sports, clubs, combine/track times, etc). Only put information that would help you not harm you. If you run a 6.2 40 yard dash, don't include it.
4. Profile Info
Include current town under location, your birthdate, and Hudl & Recruiting site link as your website. Make it easy for a coach to know more about you and locate your highlights.
5. Pin Your Highlight
Twitter has a function that allows you to pin one of your tweets so it's always the first thing you see on your page. Be sure this is your highlights. Even better, download your highlights from your Hudl and upload it to Twitter so the video automatically plays when someone visits your page. Twitter only allows 120-second video uploads so be sure to condense your highlights to your best clips (as it should be anyway).
6. Keep It Clean
Be careful what you tweet out as anything you write will either help you or harm you. Assume a retweet is an endorsement of that tweet, so do not retweet anything that could hurt you. Avoid mentioning anything about something illegal, avoid profanity, and keep it respectful. Know that most colleges have a "character assessment" evaluation and one of the first things they look at is your social media. How you act on social media could quite possibly be the deciding factor between offering you or another athlete.
Go on all the websites of colleges you are interested in attending and find your position coach, your area's recruiting coordinator, the Player Personnel Director, and the recruiting assistants. Follow them on Twitter. If a coach comes to your school or if you meet him at a camp/visit, be sure to follow them as well.
Tweet out anything that you feel would help promote you. Some examples:
College visits and/or camps that you attended
Updates on how your sports are doing with notable accomplishments
Videos of your off-season training (Only impressive ones, like a heavy max or big box jump)
Any awards received from camps, showcases, or sports
Use Twitter to keep in touch with any coach you meet in person. Before attending a camp/visit, use Twitter to let them know you will be attending. After attending a camp/visit be sure to thank the coach for his time. If you have not met the coach yet, start by tweeting or DM'ing him your highlights. If they do not reply, do not be alarmed. There are certain NCAA rules to if and when a coach can respond to you.
10. Still, Be A Kid
Go ahead and use social media as you normally would under these parameters. Don't make the account look too professional or like it is run by a parent. Be a kid, have fun, and communicate with your friends as you normally would!