Social media can be a great tool to aid college basketball prospects in their recruitment. Of course, social media can hurt a prospects recruitment as well if used the wrong way, and there have been plenty of articles written on this subject, including this ESPN article.
In fact, it has been said that social media has NEVER got a kid a scholarship, but it has most certainly lost more than a few kids scholarship offers. With that said though, I’d like to focus on the positive side of social media and provide tips on how basketball players can use it to help in their recruitment.
First, I’d like to make it very clear, again, that social media by itself CANNOT get an athlete a college basketball scholarship. The players on-court performance and off-court school grades will determine this, for the most part. Like I’ve written about before there are more than a few “checkboxes” that have to be checked off before a player even becomes a college prospect.
Once those are checked off, then there are some tools that can be used to aid in recruitment, such as a good AAU team, highlight films, emailing college coaches, etc. And the use of social media is just another such example of a tool that, if used properly, can help increase a prospects chances of getting recruited to play college basketball.
3 Tips on Using Social Media for College Basketball Recruiting
#1 Be Where the Coaches Are
Thus far, I’ve just talked about social media as a general catch-all term, but as we all know, there a many social media platforms, and they all function very differently. The ironic thing is that for college basketball recruiting, the BEST platform is perhaps the least popular these days … Twitter! Pretty much every college basketball coach is on Twitter and uses it to get information, including on prospects to recruit.
Most coaches are on Facebook and Instagram as well, but they don’t use Facebook that much for recruiting purposes, often times reserving it for more personal use. While many coaches generally use Instagram to follow recruits, it’s not as useful as a tool for recruiting because it’s functions mostly a photo and video sharing platform whereas Twitter can be used as that plus a newsfeed as well.
As for Snapchat, while it’s popular with the kids, it’s not so popular with the coaches for recruiting, especially the older ones. However, I have noticed the young college coaches getting on there more and more, and many of them do use that to track recruits, so players need to be very careful on there.
Snapchat is one of the main sources of trouble for recruits as the disappearing Snaps often times give young players a false sense of protection to post inappropriate material, so watch out!
Overall, my recommendation would be for all recruits to be on Twitter and Instagram if they’re not already, and moreover, actively use both of those accounts as an aid in their recruiting.
So How can Basketball Recruits use Twitter and Instagram correctly?
#2 Use Twitter Correctly
Firstly, follow the coaches, schools and programs that you are interested in and/or have a realistic shot to play at.
I know I always say this, but not every player can go play at Duke, Kentucky and North Carolina. Playing basketball at the Division II and Division III levels are the best option for many players, as previously written about, so follow those accounts accordingly too!
There are also a ton of great informational Twitter account about college basketball, recruiting, NCAA rules, etc, which provide great insight that parents and players can learn from.
Secondly, with Twitter, players can use it to push out their information, accomplishments, videos, schedules, and other useful information for coaches, whether that be through a player’s own tweets or through retweets.
However, please note, some players and parents fall into the trap of tweeting and retweeting out EVERY SINGLE thing about them, which can be a major turn off to college coaches.
This gives coaches the impression that players who do this are in love with themselves and egotistical, which is never good for a team. So please understand here that there’s a fine line with putting out enough information and putting out too much.
#3 How to Use Instagram
As for Instagram, like I said, it’s not as useful because it’s really only photos and videos, but it can be used to push out some photos and videos of the recruit, whether that’s highlights or whatever it may be.
It is also often used by recruits to put out “edits” of, for instance, a players final 5 schools (where they have offers from) or even the final choice of a recruit, but again, just beware of doing too much of this type of thing as it can be a major turn off for coaches.
To wrap up, I think all recruits who need a little EXTRA help getting recruited to play college basketball should use Twitter and Instagram, as long as they commit to using it properly, and be very aware of EVERYTHING they put out on social media, whether that’s Facebook, Snapchat, or whatever.
Social media can certainly help a recruit, but it will not be the sole factor in getting them a scholarship – that must be done on the court and in the classroom. However, social media can (and has) most certainly lose a player scholarships.
Now get to tweeting and posting!
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