It is well-known that your Twitter and other social media accounts can have an impact on your recruiting. This impact isn’t all bad, however; tweeting properly can give you an edge over others in the recruiting process and make it easier for you to get noticed.
The most important characteristic for your Twitter account is for it to be recognizably “you.” It is useless if a coach sees your Twitter and can’t connect what he sees on the page back to you. It is therefore very important to have your full name – first and last – as part of your handle, and up-to-date pictures and videos. Your Twitter handle, like your email address, should identify you. Keep it professional.
Keep your content updated because no coach wants to see your profile picture from middle school. If the material is there, coaches can and will look all the way back. Something that was funny when you were in the seventh grade might not be funny anymore. Make sure your posts showcase who you are now.
It should also be easy for anyone who sees your Twitter to recognize that you are trying to be recruited to play college athletics. In your bio, list your sport, school, and graduation year. Also provide a link to your highlight video in your bio. This way, any coach who comes across your Twitter page instantly knows that you are a prospective college athlete and that they have the opportunity to watch you play. To help coaches notice your profile, you can follow the accounts of teams and coaches you are interested in, making them more likely to look at your profile.
Having a good highlight video is just as important as a good Twitter account, so that any coach who looks into your profile will like what they see. Mike Donnelly, head coach of Florida Southern Men’s Basketball, describes what he looks for in a highlight video, stressing the importance of keeping them within 3-5 minutes, showcasing athleticism, and showing a high level of competition. Donnelly also recommends “One highlight in summer (AAU competition) and one highlight during the high school season.”
Related coach rating: Mike Donnelly
Lake Forest Women’s Hockey coach, Jennifer Wilson, also details social media and highlights videos. She says it is important to be able to immediately identify who you are in the video: “Make sure that you are circling or highlighting which player you are… at all times. If this service is not available, list what number and color jersey you are for each clip and what times you complete what you are trying to showcase.”
Related coach rating: Jennifer Wilson
Once your Twitter account and highlight video are set up, it is important that all the content you tweet and retweet is of a clean and positive nature. Vassar College senior pitcher Max Spencer says, “Regardless of whether or not you use social media for recruiting, make sure your profile is incredibly clean. Go through all of your tweets, retweets, and likes, and make sure they are all things that reflect positively upon you.” The same code you would follow for non-athletic submissions, or job applications apply here. This is the most important advice about all social media in recruiting.
Support your own school’s athletic programs and social media accounts, and post about them if you want. Show that you care about your team and school. Support your teammates. Tweet about their accomplishments. This will exhibit that you are a good teammate, and there is also the chance they return the favor, and gain you exposure. Your Twitter account should reflect your values as a member of the team and the community. That will tell a coach the values you bring to their team.
Do not be afraid to post about subjects other than sports as well, and highlight who you are as a whole individual. This shows you are a more well-rounded, independent person. Choose three or so other topics to focus your other posts around, so you seem more put together than someone who spontaneously reacts on social media to everything they see.
To increase your chances of college coaches noticing your social media account, you have to be proactive about contacting coaches. Gunnar Widercrantz, a Junior infielder for Vassar College says, “While Twitter is a good location to post highlight tapes, there is never a guarantee that they will be seen by recruiters and head coaches.” So, make sure you’re reaching out to college coaches and letting them know your highlight video is available to them.
We recommend using email to contact coaches, as it is the most professional format, and it leaves a paper trial. LRT sports has many articles that can help you craft the best possible email to coaches.
Related: Example Email to College Coaches
Once you have contacted a coach through email or phone, they will likely check on your social media themselves, but it is a good idea to include a link so they can see your highlight tape. Doing this prompts the coach to look at you, and could give you the advantage over someone who is less proactive.
Related: Reaching out to College Coaches
Vassar Baseball head coach Mathew Righter, when asked if he looks at social media while recruiting, said, “Usually, just because they direct me there to see a highlight or skills video. I may also see their social media feed if they ‘request me as a friend.’ I don’t look for anything in particular but would prefer not to see anything racist, sexist, homophobic or that would generally indicate this person would not uphold the standards of our program.”
Ultimately, it is up to you whether or not you choose to make your social media a forefront of your recruiting process. You may be fine without, but choosing to spruce up your social media and Twitter to showcase yourself could give you an advantage over the athlete who relies on the coach themselves to do the digging.
* Originally published on September 15, 2021, by Daniel Bonfiglio