Social Media

People across the county are going crazy for the World Cup, but I’ve always been more of a Wimbledon girl myself. This year there’s a new side to the game (and no, I don’t mean the record-breking marathon match) – growing numbers of tennis stars are on Twitter.

Top players like Andy Murray, Serena Williams and Andy Roddick are tweeting their thoughts and giving followers the inside scoop on life as a sporting star, but is there anything you can learn from them?

Your Personal Brand Is Important

Sports stars of any kind live or die on the success of their personal brand, relying on their reputation to bring in lucrative sponsorship deals.  Twitter is another way for them to maintain an active profile and build their personal brand.

The success or failure of your company is unlikely to depend on your personal brand in the same way.  But if you’re a small business owner, or plan to tweet on behalf of your company, you do need to think carefully about how you are going to present yourself on Twitter.

Your Company Brand Is Important Too

I ran a quick search to find out if Roger Federer is on Twitter.  I found this profile:

Roger-Ferderer-on-Twitter

Aside from the lack of tweets, this Twitter profile failed to impress me or convince me of its authenticity.

Why is that?

Federer is known for his slick sense of style, the standard Twitter background is not what I’d expect from him.  It may just be that he never got the hang of this particular social networking tool, but who knows?

The lesson for all you business people is that you need to reflect your brand on your Twitter page if you’re representing your company.  Create a branded background, use your bio, and keep sending out relevant tweets containing company news, industry news and interesting things to do with your field of expertise.

You Need to Network

Even tennis players network – tweeting to their fans and other tennis stars.  @andy_murray may have over 160,000 followers, but that doesn’t stop him from responding to fans, bigging up his bro @jamie_murray and running competitions to keep his followers happy.  Similarly @andyroddick with over 280,000 followers regularly retweets content and sends messages to his fellow tennis players.

Twitter is a social network, if you’re going to get on board and start using it you must connect with your peers, colleagues and customers.  It’s a great way to promote yourself, but without those connections you’re shouting in an empty room.

More than that, by engaging on Twitter you establish trust and build your credibility.  If the Federer profile had a few messages to and from other players I’d have been more willing to believe it was genuine.  And when you’re working with social networks people have to believe in you.

So there’s just a few tips you can pick up by following the world’s top tennis players – have you got any great advice of your own?

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Katie Saxon

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