Social media can be a powerful tool in baseball player’s arsenal or a drag on his public image.
We’re all aware of the dramatized horror stories surrounding social media and celebrities. They are not indicative of the norm. We all make poor decisions, and social media certainly provides a stage where they can be spotlighted. Instead of adversely reacting to a seemingly dangerous platform, however, our responsibility as leaders is to encourage responsible and productive use of all our resources.
Social media provides athletes with an undeniable connection to their fans. Through displaying an authentic image with which folks can connect, a player peripherally demonstrates powerful teammate behavior. Unlike the often agenda-driven narrative created by traditional media outlets, social media empowers young men to take control over their perceptions and their careers. A simple tweet apologizing for not being able to sign all autographs during batting practice transforms annoyed parents and devastated kids into affirmative fans for life.
Yesterday, we discussed the value of calculated risk taking. While there is undoubtedly risk associated with participating on social media platforms, the upside is tremendous. You give yourself a microphone and when the time comes to make an important statement, you have a captive audience. Whether you’re looking to increase your earnings through the power of endorsements and sponsorships or draw attention to a cause close to your heart, making use of your platform is undeniably powerful. From the Wall Street Journal:
As celebrity endorsements move beyond the superstars, the mid-level player with personality and social-media savvy can reach endorsement and name-recognition levels that were once only the domain of the best of the best, said David Carter, author of the recent book, Money Games, and head of the USC Sports Business Institute.
“This is the emerging norm—these athletes now have an ability to establish and build and then extend their brands, and break through a lot of the clutter. For many years, with traditional media, the top endorsers did well. They had a lot of notoriety and strong followings, and a lot of other athletes were relegated to the local supermarket openings, and cutting the ribbon at car dealerships,” Carter said.”
Armed with information not saturated with fear mongering, SM should be an asset to not only the player personally, but his team as well. From a study from BYU:
What the current study shows is that in the context of one’s performance, perceiving the image of one’s teammates as positive can impact one’s performance indirectly (H6)… Favorability of media, a separate but similar predictor to positive media, was seen as being a partial predictor of overall team performance, performance in home and road games, but not in pressure situations.
Essentially, there’s a link between the perception of you by the public and your team’s performance during games. Think about it – it makes sense. You utilize social media effectively and fans dig you for it. These fans come out to support. The beat writers look for reasons to make glowing comments about you, because they don’t want the vehemently protective fans coming after them and because frankly, you’re likeable. The pre and post game media sessions are more positive, thereby relaxing you. Do you play better at ease? Damn right you do.