more about your Belgian waffles.
But while sharing with fans may seem like a good idea, many athletes end up having a negative experience on the site. That's because there are several common mistakes that athletes make on Twitter, and those mistakes can cause serious damage to even the biggest star's reputation.
It doesn't have to be that way. So if you're a professional athlete who's thinking about joining Twitter, read on for some simple guidelines that will help you ensure that your time on the site is beneficial for both you and your fans.
Launched in 2006, Twitter is a web site that allows hundreds of millions of users from around the world to look at pictures of a whale being carried by birds. On rare occasions, the site also allows users to share short updates called “tweets” with their followers.
By tweeting, you can keep fans up to date on what's happening in your career. Think of it as being just like getting to know your fans in person, except without all the paternity suits.
When to tweet
Fans are fascinated by the inner workings of professional sports, and especially love to get updates from inside the stadium or arena. However, use discretion to make sure you are only sharing information at appropriate times.
Good: Just finished warm up. Feeling good about our chances in tonight's game, and know that we will all give 100%.
Bad: In locker room. Team doctor says that despite the concussion symptoms, I should be fine to get back out there and banana toolbox salamander.
Worse: Leading the offensive rush across the Maple Leafs blueline. Hey, look, here comes Dion Phaneuf, I wonder if he'll want to [CONNECTION LOST].
What to tweet
Sports fans are fascinated by the day-to-day lives of professional athletes, so they'll appreciate updates about just about anything you happen to be doing at a particular moment. For example, you could tweet about what you're having for lunch. Just be aware of any unintended messages you may be sending.
Good: Just ordered a pizza, which is my favourite food because I'm a regular guy just like you.
Bad: Just ordered crowned rack of lamb, which is my favourite food because I'm like a million times better than you.
Worse: Just had my chef prepare my favourite meal: Baby seal heart wrapped in bacon, wrapped in $100 dollar bills, which are then wrapped in bacon.
Unfortunately, you will occasionally encounter users who are aggressive or obnoxious. While Twitter does have a “block” feature, using it is considered a breach of etiquette and will make you appear thin-skinned and petty. Instead simply send one of your bodyguards to their house to kill them.
Typos are common on Twitter, and generally aren't considered a big deal. If you realize you've made some, a simple apology and explanation will suffice.
Good: Sorry for all the typos. I'm not used to the keyboard on my new phone yet.
Bad: Sorry for all the typos. I haven't had to pay attention in any academic course since I was fourteen years old.
Worse: Sorry for all the typos. It's hard to type when your fingers are all swollen from years of HGH.
When communicating online, users will often use abbreviations and acronyms. This is especially true on Twitter, where every character counts.
For example, one of the most common abbreviations is “LOL”, which stands for “laugh out loud”. When used properly, it indicates that there is something about the previous statement which you found humorous.
Good: The sick child I'm visiting in the hospital just told me his favourite knock-knock joke. LOL.
Bad: At training camp watching Albert Haynesworth try to do a sit up. LOL.
Worse: And then I told Jim Gray that I only made up my mind that morning. LOL.
The world of Twitter can be confusing for beginners. By following these simple guidelines, you can make sure your time on the site is an enriching experience for both you and your fans.
And when in doubt, remember the one golden rule for professional athletes on Twitter: Just look at what Chris Bosh is doing.
Then do the exact opposite.