Why Coaches Should Follow Tweetin’ Pete

USC football coach Pete Carroll gets social media.  If, for some reason, his job there falls through, I think he would make a pretty solid social media coach.

Probably the most popular of Carroll’s Web 2.0 efforts is his Twitter account, which boasts over 100,000 followers.  He doesn’t ghostwrite his Twitter, like many coaches his age might, and sends out tweets on a consistent basis.  The Communiqué Public Relations Blog notes that Carroll leaves out pointless tweets about what he’s doing, focusing instead on relevant issues that his audience cares about.  For example, he announced his starting quarterback via Twitter and also posts thoughts from practices, meetings, and games.  More recently, he has shared updates and video on the return of Stafon Johnson, a running back who suffered a severe throat injury earlier in the season (see screenshot below).

carroll tweets

The Bleacher Report also discusses Carroll’s use of Twitter and says that his posts let his friendly, energetic personality shine through.  In addition to meaningful tweets about football, Tweetin’ Pete, as one reader dubbed him, entertains his readers by posting his “song of the day” (#SOTD) and other trivia.

What really impresses me, though, is how Carroll integrates different platforms of social media unlike few other sports figures I’ve seen.  His homepage has links to his Twitter account, his Facebook page, and the official USC blog.  He has a YouTube channel, Pete Carroll TV, where he has posted six video blogs and over 100 other videos.  Like a true social media pro, he tweets and links to new videos as they are posted.  Some are inspirational, some include thoughts on games, and others are anecdotal, such as his plea to good friend Will Ferrell to join Twitter.  Below is one example in which he discusses Stafon Johnson’s surprise visit to a team meeting following his recovery.

Pete Carroll sets a great example for coaches interested in joining the social media conversation.  According to the CPR Blog, even CEOs could take a few pointers from Tweetin’ Pete.

2 Responses to “Why Coaches Should Follow Tweetin’ Pete”
  1. Beth Feather says:

    I think this is so awesome that coaches are using social media. I have a friend who coaches swimming at GW. Over the summer I got a notification that I was being followed on Twitter by GWSwimming. I had forgotten about my account and to be honest when I got the e-mail I had to search high and low to find my password to get onto the actual site. Since then, I have been back on Twitter and enjoying it.
    My friend Tweets about alumni things, congratulations to the team, links to the sports page on GW.edu and the most important, to recruit potential swimmers. It is another thing that people looking at the school can go to and see what the team is like and what they are doing in and out of the water. This was a cool idea when I first heard about it, and now seeing that other coaches are doing this I think more should jump on this bandwagon!!

    • Adam Dove says:

      It sounds like your friend is using Twitter pretty effectively!

      It’s interesting that you mentioned recruiting. I found a few articles about how social media are impacting recruiting and they discussed some legal issues involved. The NCAA banned text messaging recruits a few years ago, but emails are allowed; Twitter seems to be a gray area between the two, party because you can set your account to post tweets from your phone like a text message. As of now I don’t think there are any NCAA restrictions on contacting a recruit directly with Twitter, but it’ll be interesting to see if any rules are made.

      Even aside from contacting recruits directly, I think Twitter can be a great recruiting tool by simply showing followers, who may happen to be recruits, the coach’s personality and sharing other information about the program.

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