Social Media Monitoring Tips for Student-Athletes and Parents
Social media has become an inescapable reality for everyone in our modern world. Even parents who avoided the likes of Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for years must now face the near-certain likelihood of their children posting whatever their hearts desire, without thinking twice! Parents today face the tough task of allowing their kids to partake in such popular sites and apps, but while also keeping an eye out for them to prevent an embarrassing post harming their lives.
This is an especially challenging arena for parents of student-athletes, where a single errant post could ruin the chance of attaining a vital college scholarship. Remember, many posts are permanent, and can haunt a person for years down the road. Below are some helpful social media tips for high school athletes and their parents so that such inflammatory posts can be monitored and prevented. By enabling the use of various platforms’ alert settings, you can be the first one to see a child’s post and be sure to prevent personal online damage. Here is how to start:
If you have a Gmail account, you can visit Google Alert to get alerted for when your student-athlete’s name, college coaches, high school name and other keywords of your choosing pop up on a search engine index. Google will send your Gmail address and email alert whenever those names or phrases pop up so you’ll be the first to know!
2. Use these Facebook tips —
There are two ways for receiving notifications from a Personal or Business page on Facebook which are available when you hover over the “FRIENDS” or “LIKE” button.
Get notifications of your Friends posting on Facebook:
“Get Notifications” – by selecting this option under the “Friends” tab on your child’s wall, you’ll be alerted each time that person posts anything on their Facebook page or on your wall.
Get notifications of Facebook Business pages:
“See First” – by selecting this option under the “Following” tab on your child’s wall, you’ll see their posts first on your news feed.
Parents should add their kids as friends on Facebook so that they can monitor their posts. For athletes, it’s also wise to follow your favorite coaches, colleges, and NCAA, NJAA, NAIA, and Recruiting Realities so you’ll be the first to know when they make news updates or pass along important information!
“Social media is a double-edged sword in sports.” – Espn.com
3. Twitter Alerts –
You must make a Twitter account in order to keep tabs on your child, colleges, coaches, and athlete associations. Then follow these steps:
A) We recommend “Following” all accounts that apply to your future goals and networks.
B) You can also monitor someone without following them by clicking the “Tool” icon and selecting “Mobile Notifications”. If you attach your phone number to your Twitter account, you’ll automatically be alerted to every Tweet from the person/business you wish to monitor.
4. Instagram —
Note that profiles be set to either Public or Private. You should have a conversation with your child athlete about their privacy settings, as anything posted publicly can be used by anyone or any publication without warning or notice. It’s important to know how damaging a public profile can be if your athlete doesn’t market himself or herself correctly. You can follow them by searching their IG handle (which begins with @, for example our handle is @RecruitingRealities).
5. YouTube —
Channels allow you to Subscribe, and will then alert you each time a new video is posted or shared. This is recommended as a good way to stay informed with your network or athletes.
The above are the most popular social media platforms for student-athletes, and parents need to stay informed. The changing times and technologies are moving fast these days, and parents play an important role in educating their athletes to make smart choices. Instruct your student-athlete to follow some successful (and well reputable) athletes who display maturity and common sense in their posts so they can learn and follow suit with how to act appropriately on social media. Additionally, by monitoring your child’s actions online, you’ll be well prepared to help guide them in making smart decisions about how they represent themselves across these social media networks.