Not a week goes by where there isn’t a news story about a celebrity making lewd, inappropriate, or racist comments via social media and the ensuing backlash. In the last few years, social media is berated for the lives it ruins due to the decisions of individuals posting very polarizing thoughts, but how often do you hear a success story that happened through social media? Not very often.
Prior to late 2014, not many people had heard of Odell Beckham Jr. Following his one handed catch against my beloved Dallas Cowboys, Beckham Jr. garnered over 640,000 mentions on Twitter regarding that impossible catch over the course of a few hours. Within a matter of days, his Twitter following went from roughly 84,000 to 149,000 (a 77% increase). Since then, Beckham has become one of the NFL’s most mentioned players and has amassed a Twitter following of 819,000 as of this writing.
This is not a one off story.
Other players such as Marshawn Lynch (formerly of the Seattle Seahawks) and Dez Bryant (Dallas Cowboys) have made the rounds on social media for show stopping plays and performances in the 2014 and 2015 seasons. Similarly in the MLB, players David Ortiz and Mike Trout who set records in 2014 for longest home runs. Even the World Cup furthered the attention of the general public towards different stars, namely Lional Messi (Argentina) and Clint Dempsey (USA). The pair were two of the most mentioned players throughout the course of the World Cup with Messi garnering an astonishing 8.6 million Instagram followers.
Even today, many still believe that social media is just another waste of time with no real value, given that most headlines regarding social media are less that favorable. In reality, however, social media can be a stepping stone for those who use it correctly to help project positivity and further their career.