Social media has become a large part of everyday life for teenagers and recruits, according to
App State softball coach Shelly Hoerner.
In order for teams to be effective on the recruiting trail, they must learn to change with the times
and Hoerner understands that.
“We use Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, everything to try and get our information out there.... We put a lot of stuff out there (to interest people) and being new here I’m really trying to get this
program revamped and so every little thing that we’re doing we put out there,” said Hoerner.
Matt Ginipro is the head coach of the volleyball team at Appalachian and he uses social media
in similar ways. Hoerner mentioned that Ginipro may use social media better than any other
coach on campus.
“I’m the social media guy. We use the four main platforms of social media (Twitter, Instagram,
Facebook and Snapchat). When we made the decision to use social media for recruiting I read
a whole bunch of articles on how businesses were using it to promote themselves and I tried to
pick and choose from some really good ideas and learned really quickly the right way to use
Instagram and Twitter,” said Ginipro.
The head coach of the women’s soccer team at Appalachian Sarah Strickland uses Twitter,
Facebook and Instagram for the team, but mainly Twitter and Facebook for recruiting. The
difference for Strickland is she uses social media as an outlet for recruits to reach her rather
than her using it to reach out to the recruits.
“We use Twitter and Facebook to let recruits know where we are and stuff like that. We like to
use it in recruiting just to make sure that with recruits, we stay on their mind. We don’t directly
message them but will put stuff out there that they will see,” said Strickland.
Hoerner, Ginipro and Strickland all said that they use Twitter as a platform of information. They
use it to let recruits and others know just what they are doing or if they have an event coming
Strickland said that she likes to hand over the social media account to some of her players
because they would be able to relate with recruits more than she would would because of the
age and since most of her players use social media regularly.
“The girls will do a Snapchat takeover or an Instagram takeover and really just give that
gameday experience,” said Strickland.
The purpose of this exercise, according to Strickland, is to give recruits an insight to the
program through a players eyes, rather than just as an onlooker or from a coaches perspective.
Hoerner uses the same technique as Strickland and has her players do Snapchat takeovers on
Ginipro uses Instagram in a similar way to how Strickland and Hoerner use Snapchat.
“I like to use Instagram to post images and videos of practices and games and to try and keep
recruits involved,” said Ginipro.
All three teams do have rules to follow when it comes to using social media in a recruiting
The rules for all three teams are very similar and are set by the NCAA. Some of the main ones
include: no typing at recruits if they are younger than a senior in high school (you can’t send
them a message over social media), no typing about a recruit, can’t retweet kids that are
younger than seniors, and you can’t post about off season workouts.
“The NCAA is slowly catching up to the use of social media… it’s a thick rule book but one
we’ve got to follow,” said Ginipro.