On the November 3rd edition of 60 Minutes, the program featured Alabama head coach Nick Saban. 60 Minutes was granted rare access to the football team’s practices and behind the scenes. It was a look at what makes Alabama so successful, namely, the coaching philosophies and strategies of Nick Saban.
The team chant is “Get your mind right.” You’ll hear Saban shout at his players, “Do it again,” in an effort to make sure that they do their job the right way, perfectly. He talks about creating a standard of high achievers. The part which I loved the most was his talk about “The Process.” He teaches his players to, “Ignore the scoreboard. Don’t worry about winning. Just focus on doing your job at the highest level – every single play. The wins will follow.”
Nick Saban challenges his players to “play every play of the game like is has a history and life of its own.” He enjoys seeing his players take “pride in performance.”
While I had many flashbacks to the life lessons I learned from my tough-as-nails softball coach (a.k.a. “Dad”), I also kept thinking about how Nick Saban’s process could be so easily applied to our communication and what stories and messages we share with the world through social media.
If we approached every tweet, every post, every photo, every video with that same mentality, just think about how awesome our messages would become. If we stopped for one moment before we hit the send button and asked ourselves out loud, “Is this the best tweet of my life?” I wonder how quickly we would achieve more positive and purposeful communication? What examples could we set for others to follow? What pride in our performance might we gain?
Nick Saban may be on a quest for perfection on the football field, but his players know that it’s not just all about the game. He makes them better people. I have often said that we can tell a lot about our society by what and how we communicate. What we say to each other (in person and online) demonstrates the state of our community and how we treat each other, what level of respect we have for our fellow humans and how we feel about ourselves. If we focus on communicating at the highest levels (every message is your absolute best), then I believe we will grow communities of people who are nicer, kinder and more compassionate. We will be better people. And the wins will follow.
The full 60 minutes segment is included in the following video…
If for some reason the video doesn’t load, you can watch it here: http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=50158430n
To watch the 60 Minutes Behind The Scenes on this story, follow this link:
This segment was also an extraordinary look at a truly amazing and inspiring man.
“Think carefully about the first impressions you are making on your future college classmates. You don’t want to be the person on the Class of 2017 Facebook page whom everyone else talks about when they gather, in person, for the first time.”
Sound advice, I found in this article posted to the NY Times. In addition to all of the other wonderful advice provided by author Nikki Magaziner Mills, this comment should serve as great motivation for high school graduates to take care with what do AND what they post this summer. Your future roommate will certainly look you up on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and any other network you share your life with, just as you will look to learn more about them. What impression are you giving? Will they be excited to be roomies, or have you given them enough material that they are dreading the year with you? What do you want them to know about you?
No doubt, this summer between high school and college is a special one. Take time to enjoy every moment, to strengthen the bond with your hometown friends, your family and loved ones. But also take some time to prepare for your new life and think about how you want your first year at college to play out.
Summer is the perfect time to get in the habit of behaving and communicating responsibly. Post photos and updates that let your future classmates know who you are and what type of friend you’ll be come fall. Start conversations with them now, so that you won’t have to break the ice at a time when a gazillion other things are new, exciting and a bit overwhelming. Show your new college buddies why they should look forward to being in your social circle. Establish good relations now. These may very well be people you have in your life for a very, very long time.
“We’ve always behaved badly; now we can do it in front of the entire world.”
Something to think about as you grow into adulthood and take some major steps this summer toward your college career. One “behaving badly” tweet, photo or video can and will precede you. Don’t let social media be the cause for your freshman-year dreams to go “poof.” Use social media to get started on the right foot. Have fun, stay positive and tweet with purpose!
What a week for news in San Diego! There were three news stories which affected teens and university students this week, where social media played a heavy hand in getting “caught.”
Don’t set up meetings on Facebook.
Students at Abraxas, Mission Hills, Poway and Ramona high schools, and were able to buy narcotics, according to sheriff’s officials. The variety of drugs purchased included heroin, cocaine, marijuana, oxycodone and hydrocodone. Wow. That’s some pretty serious stuff for high school! Are you wondering how the authorities track some of these sales? You guessed it. Social Media. The students arranged many of the drug deals over social media.
I now know what Twerking is!
Before I saw this new report, I had no idea what “twerking” was. I’m not sure what to do with this knowledge, but I now know what this suggestive butt-shaking is all about. And this twerking story also revolves around social media. Scripps Ranch High School students found themselves in very hot water after one student decided to share a student-produced twerking video on YouTube. A few problems with that? The video was made on campus and with school equipment.
I say many, many, many times in my social media sessions, “Nothing is private.” That speaks to things you choose to record or allow others to record (and even things you didn’t know are being recorded). It certainly applies to the things you post online.
A series of bad decisions led to this video getting made and posted to YouTube. This is not only a “think before you tweet” lesson, but a “think before you do.” What purpose does any of this serve? How will college admissions officers judge this video, and the decision to be in the video? This is another example of a misguided use of social media, and decisions which will only hurt these students in the long run.
Train students to use social media responsibly.
Even at the college level, students made a poor choice this week when it came to posting photos on Instagram. Members of the Alpha Chi Omega sorority at CSU San Marcos posted photos of themselves dressed like Latina gang members. Apparently the photos were taken during a retreat.
A few things are disturbing, in addition to the blatant cultural disrespect. A friend of one of the Alpha Chi Omega members said, “We can’t nit-pick every little thing, because there’s a lot more worse things that could happen.” This tells me that many students might think this is “no big deal.” The other problem is that the news report ends with,
“A spokesperson for CSU San Marcos told 10News no disciplinary action will be taken against the sorority, but that extra diversity training will soon be offered to all students, especially incoming freshmen.”
Where is the social media training? These students will continue to do “stupid stuff” on social media if they are not taught the impact their actions have online. Yes, they need to be more culturally sensitive, however, they need to be more responsible with their communication via social media. I’ve spoken with fraternities and sororities who made similar mistakes on social networks and were disciplined by the university. Part of their requirement to lift sanctions? Learn how to use social media more positively and for better purposes.
These three news reports differ drastically in what actions occurred, however, what they all have in common is that our San Diego high school and university students have a grave misunderstanding of how social media can work against you when you do not behave responsibly online. I’m sure all of these students thought that they wouldn’t get caught, either. And that’s a behavior that’s even more disturbing. Our young adults need to understand that what they do online is just as serious and just as REAL as what they do offline. Behaving badly online is not something you can get away with. Your actions in both realities will catch up to you. I’d like to see more of our students truly understand that.
A big THANK YOU to all of the participants in the February 12th “The Role of Social Media in College Athletic Recruitment” event. I’m pictured here with speaker and Longboard Marketing Partner, Randy Rovegno as well as Terrence Griffin of L.E.A.D. and Lincoln High School Athletes. These student-athletes walked away with a different mindset and approach to social media after hearing from NCSA Recruitment Professional, Carmen Bucci, San Diego Hall of Champion’s Jesse Lovejoy, Sports Illustrated Senior Writer, Jim Trotter, Randy Rovegno and myself.
The coaches, parents and athletes received lots of information about the recruitment process and how to take advantage of social media to boost your image. It was a wonderful evening and I wanted to thank everyone again for all of your insight and expertise and lively discussion. Stay tuned for more social media for student-athlete sessions soon!
Hello Instagram web profiles. It’s great to see you! Did you know that you can now view Instagram photos online? Previously, you could only browse via your mobile device. Since Facebook’s purchase of Instagram, many have wondered if we would see a web version. While it is nice to be able to view the photos in a larger format, the web version is more limiting than the mobile app, it does give us reason to review our privacy settings and re-strategize our activity.
Initially, I was excited to see Instagram online. But one much needed feature for the web profiles is a search function. I have found myself looking at my phone and the web simultaneously to pull up usernames and view photos. The hashtag feature is not live yet on the web version, so you cannot click a hashtag to view photos tagged with that topic. Essentially, you have to know the username in order to view photos. You can click on the people who have liked or commented on your photo and view their gallery, follow them from the web, as well as like and comment on their photo. However, you cannot view the list of your followers nor who you are following. One item to note, if your account is already private, then it is private online, too. If you want to change this setting, you’ll have to go to your phone to make your account private.
I will say that it was really nice to be able to type comments on my big keyboard, versus plucking away on my iPhone. I also find it much easier to delete spam comments and report users on my phone than online. If you try to do it online, you have to enter your e-mail address as well as the username (which you will need to copy and paste) and then you will be notified after you submit the details that “Facebook will send you an e-mail shortly” (which they never do). At this point in time it appears that web profiles are simply a way to view the photos in a larger format. It does not appear that they want users to move away from their mobile devices. (And why would they after Instagram surpassed Twitter in daily active users?) It will be interesting to see how they develop the features for web profiles.
What’s significant for users (both brand and individuals) is that you can now promote your web profile and allow more fans to see your photos. This means more eyeballs looking at your strategically uploaded images. And if you had no strategy prior to this web profile launch, then it’s a good time to think about what photos (and graphics) you want people to see. Businesses can take advantage of this medium to promote product, events and services, as well as share the company culture. You can streamline your photo strategy by using Instagram to feed your Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, for example. Individuals can paint a picture of their hobbies, interests and character. This is essential for students, student-athletes and those in search of employment. When admissions officers, athletic scouts, and hiring managers stumble across your Instagram account, what will they find?
If you want to take a look at my Instagram profile, click HERE. I use this account to feed my personal website and therefore have several of my favorite travel photos uploaded. Let me know what you think of the Instagram Web Profiles. I’m curious how/if you are using the new feature. Please leave a comment below! Thanks!
In a recent interview with UTTV, I was asked what student-athletes should consider when using social media. We only had time to review the top 5 do’s and don’ts for social media, but these tips are pretty essential to being successful online. This advice is suitable for both high school and college athletes, but students in general can find some applicable tips here, too. Let’s start first with what you shouldn’t do.
1. Use foul language, smack talk, gossip or bully.
These actions speak to your character. Is this who you really are? Is this how you want to be remembered? Probably not. Clean it up and have respect for yourself, your teammates and every other player in your sport.
2. Post photos of yourself with alcohol if you are under 21 years old.
Again, you will be seen as a liability. If you are under 21 and drinking, you are breaking the law. Your photo is evidence of this. Posting party photos will do nothing to help you in the long run. You put your parents, teachers and coaches in the position to discipline you.
3. Post personal information like telephone number or address.
A friend of mine told me that his 16 year-old son was so excited when he got his driver’s license, that he posted a picture of his license online. Doh! Identity theft remains a huge problem! Posting your name, address and documents numbers, like your driver’s license, only makes it easier for thieves to target you. Are your parents on vacation? Great! But that’s not something the world needs to know. Don’t post nitty gritty details that welcome problems into your life.
4. Post rap lyrics, racial or sexual comments.
This may be a very cool trend right now, but as coaches, the media, the public and potential employers look at your social behavior, they may or may not understand that what you’ve posted is song lyrics. They may take those words and opinions as yours. A lot of rap lyrics use foul language (see #1) and are racially or sexually explicit. When you post rap lyrics like this, you are connecting yourself with those words and that image. Listen to all the rap music you want, but refrain from quoting the songs on your social accounts. Most of those who look at your posts just aren’t that cool to get it.
5. Friend people you don’t know.
When you friend or follow someone, you associate yourself with them and everything they post and share online. If you don’t know the person, don’t allow them into your circle of friends on Facebook. You can set up the subscribe feature on Facebook so that people you don’t know can enjoy your public posts (see #1 below). Before you follow someone on Twitter, check out what types of tweets they post and make sure they are someone you want to be associated with.
Since Beaming Bohemian promotes positive and purposeful communication, we’ll end with a list of things you should do in social media.
1. Understand the settings, functions & features of the networks you’re on.
If you take the time to do this, you will be better equipped to control the content you share. You can take advantage of certain features to promote yourself, but also to keep other conversations more private. When you understand how each network truly works, you will be more effective in your communication with these tools.
2. Allow your parents to help you.
If you are a high school student, this is a time when you really do want your parents to assist you. Their guidance in your communication style and strategic planning will help you be more successful. And it opens up the conversation in your family about how social media can help you, as well as hurt you if you make mistakes (see #3 above). You can help your parents better understand what networks are available, and your parents can help you network with recruits and with your personal marketing plan. Make this a family project.
3. Take care with who you friend & follow.
Point #5 above touches on this. But in this positive piece of advice, I’d like you to pay more attention to who you friend and follow and be more assertive in your practices. Actively look for people on Twitter that are coaches who you want to meet or people who will boost your profile. Be strict about your friending procedures on Facebook to better protect your account. Build a following and network that will advance your efforts to get noticed by college coaches or hiring managers. It’s nice to be friendly and subscribe to a #teamfollowback concept, but if you have spammers, bots and shady characters following you, you really, really do not want to follow them back. Get comfortable using the “block” and “report spam” features.
4. Make your bio work for you.
It’s a good idea to brand your accounts so that there is a consistent look and presence across all your accounts. Use the same picture for all your accounts. Your bio can work for you if you let it. For example, if you are a high school student-athlete, try posting, “Junior at Valhalla High School. Second baseman looking to play for a DII school out of state.” If you are in college, try, “Third year at UCSB, playing water polo and studying Communications. Can’t wait to work for Google.” You get the idea. Let people know who you are, but also how they might help you network. Both of these examples are far more effective than others I’ve found:
Ballin’ is a habit
Baconators & tea. Tie dye & toboggans, I give a thumbs up. Pure momma’s boy. Up is my favorite movie. I enjoy back dimples.
Put the wind in win some, lose some; the star in starting over.
5. Have a plan for posting photos and news for public view.
In a nutshell, be strategic. You need to think in the long term and how you can use these social communication tools to get you into the college you’d like, to build your professional profile and to get you hired after college. All trends point toward college coaches and recruits using social networks as part of their recruitment process. If you are fighting for a spot on the team, matched up against another with equal talent and skill, your online profile will come into play. What will it say about you? When the hiring manager looks for you online after they’ve reviewed your application (3 out of 4 hiring managers do), what will they find? If you’ve taken the time to build your personal brand, to plan out some content and strategize your communications, athletic and employment recruiters will quickly understand that your are a quality candidate and that you care about your online profile. Your professionalism will be noted.
Ultimately, it is never too early for social media users to get in good habits. If you are going to participate online, think in the positive and have a purpose. You can use social media to aimlessly converse and chit chat, or you can gain a competitive edge and make these tools work in your favor. I hope you’ll be proactive and take the time to communicate well.
You’ve all read by now that California Governor, Jerry Brown, signed the SB 1349 bill, which prohibits public and private universities from requiring students or prospective students to disclose their user names or passwords to social-media sites. The governor’s office says the law “is designed to stop a growing trend of colleges and universities snooping into student social-media accounts, particularly those of student-athletes.”
This is terrific news. What a wonderful way to urge athletic departments to take a pro-active approach to social media. It changes the department strategy from monitoring what student-athletes say to educating student-athletes how to use social media in a positive and purposeful way. It takes the program from crisis prevention mode to leadership academy.
Athletic programs which provide student-athletes with social media education, are working to improve their players’ communication skills. This type of education can help athletes understand how to build their professional profile, act with self-respect and encourages them to cross-promote other sports, and be positive examples, leaders in social media. It is very much like media training and preparing them for print and television interviews. But social media has a much more immediate and expansive impact than traditional media. Social media permeates every aspect of a student-athlete’s life.
Empowering student-athletes, as well as coaches and staff, to serve as brand ambassadors will have a far more positive impact on loyalty to the department, willingness to achieve specific goals and will produce a much higher ROI. Educating the entire department can effect not only what staff, coaches and athletes say, but when implemented with strategy, can impact ticket sales, community outreach, donor cultivation and improve recruitment efforts. No matter what goal a department may have, communication strategies, which integrate social media, can work to achieve those goals. Monitoring social media does not drive revenue. Enabling staff, coaches and athletes to embrace social media and actively use these networks, uplifting them as brand ambassadors will drive revenue where needed.
It was former student-athlete and Michigan quarterback, Kirk Cousins, who said at the NCAA Convention in January 2012, that the more support they were provided as student-athletes, the more they wanted to give back to the program. And that’s key. Many athletic programs forget that their student-athletes really want to serve as good representatives of the university and are searching for ways they can respond to that demand. When you choose to monitor your athlete communication, your are essentially telling them that you do not trust them and they are not capable of handling the responsibility of representing the university. That’s not a message well-received by students. And fortunately, it’s not a message they will have to hear any longer.
I’m thankful that California stepped up as a leader on this topic and passed the SB 1349 bill. There is no benefit to operating in a reactive mode and positioning your department as big brother over student-athletes. These “kids” are young adults who are attending an academic institution and are keen to learn how to improve their lives. Athletic programs can serve to enhance the academic experience student-athletes enjoy by providing social media education. These are life and leadership skills that effectively make them a better, more well-rounded player and more able to contribute significantly to the athletic program.
Beaming Bohemian consults with university athletic departments to establish social media guidelines, educate staff, coaches and student-athletes, and implement smart communication strategies which work to achieve specific goals. Every athletic department is looking to drive revenue. Beaming Bohemian can help you take advantage of social communication tools to do just that. Contact us at 619.244.2400.