Go for Gold: Social Media Takeaways From USA’s Best Athletes

posted by Cassandra on August 18, 2016

Go for Gold: Social Media Takeaways From USA’s Best Athletes

posted by Cassandra on August 18, 2016

USA Athletes Who Are Winning On Social

Like millions of people around the world, we at SOCi have Olympic fever. Don’t believe us? Check out our video!


For this reason, we are dedicating this week’s blog post to two of our favorite things: the Olympics and, of course, social media. Let’s take a look at what we can learn from three of the USA’s best athletes, in regard to creating a memorable social media presence that sets the gold standard.

No. 1: Michael Phelps

Many people know that Michael Phelps is the most-decorated Olympic athlete in history. However, did you know that he’s also making history on his social media channels? With more than 8.5 million Facebook Fans and 2.02 million Twitter Followers, Phelps is on top of his social game.

You might assume that it’s easy to amass this many Fans and Followers when you are a world-renowned household name, but being famous isn’t necessarily what got Phelps to the top of the social podium — being social is!

Social Olympic Swimmer

It seems as though Phelps is as well-trained in social media best practices as he is in swimming the 200m butterfly. The highly lauded swimmer makes good use of nearly all social media tools, whether he’s sharing personal thoughts with his fans via a Facebook Live stream, sharing a photo of his relay team on Instagram, tweeting a preview of his Sports Illustrated cover (complete with relevant hashtags) or retweeting a USA Today Sports article he was recently featured in.

Here, it is crucial to note how, through the use of a wide variety of social media tools, Phelps is able to communicate directly with his family, friends, fans, Fans, Followers and other famous folks, making him a bona fide social butterfly.

No. 2: Simone Biles

Simone Biles is America’s newest sweetheart, largely thanks to her meteoric rise in gymnastics. She is a three-time world champion and winner of five medals in Rio (four of them are gold).

Her place in America’s heart can also be attributed, however, to her authenticity on social media. With more than 650K Facebook Fans and 570K Twitter Followers, it’s safe to say that the U.S. — and the rest of the world — are falling in love with Biles’ genuinely sweet demeanor.

Olympic Gymnast on Social Media

Biles often posts behind-the-scenes looks at her and her team’s workouts, how they spend their free time and any encounters with celebrities. In her posts, Biles can often be seen smiling, giggling and even blushing. Case in point: Biles loses her cool a bit when she poses for photos with Zac Efron, as illustrated in her video tweet, which has already been retweeted 140K times in less than 24 hours.

The key takeaway from Biles’ social media presence is that it is sometimes okay if your content is not completely polished — as long as it is authentic. In fact, audiences may engage more with an unpolished yet relatable post than they would with a perfect promoted post.

No. 3: Serena Williams

Serena Williams demonstrates dexterity and agility in both her tennis game and her social media game. It is this multi-dimensional approach to social media that has made her a powerful presence, off the court as well as on it: Williams has more than 4.8 million Facebook Fans and 6.6 million Twitter Followers.

Olympic Tennis Player on Social Media

On any of Williams’ social channels, you might find her not only playing tennis but also dancing, laughing, posing in haute couture (or a bathing suit), capturing a pet on video, interacting with friends, posting an inspirational quote or simply reflecting on the past and future. Like executives in a boardroom, Williams is all business on the court.

On social media, however, Williams showcases her softer, playful side. Thus, the lesson we can all learn from Williams is that social media is the perfect place for brands to unveil their other dimensions, helping them further appeal to and engage with current and prospective clients.

Outperform Your Competition

By following the lead of three of the greatest athletes the U.S. has ever known — on social media — you can ensure that your business outperforms the competition. Just remember to: be social, using all the tools at your disposal; be authentic; and be willing to share what it is that makes your business or brand unique. For more information about winning on social media, feel free to contact us!

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