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ACC Best Practices: Maryland Uncovers the Connection Between Twitter & Recruiting

From Digital Hoops Blast, via LinkedIN and Andrew Pawlowski.

This blog is all about inspiration.
We’re going to spend 3 days elevating best practices from the squads that make up the Atlantic Coast Conference. And then we’ll talk about how to make that even better…

What makes something a best practice? This isn’t about the most intricate experience. It’s about looking at the world from your consumer’s point of view and delivering something that hits it right smack on the head. In the case of colleges, I’m treating the primary consumer as that prospective student athlete.

Cool?

Let’s move.

It seems fitting that today is here. Yesterday, we covered the details at the bottom of a website (check what Duke does, here)… And today we will flip that around with the top navigation. Let’s move to the Maryland Athletics website, here. As you can see in the image below, they hit us front and center with a For Recruits header.
That’s where the magic happens.

First of all, let’s zoom into that menu, below:

Maryland Positions Twitter as a Recruiting Tool. We have long identified that Twitter offers the potential for prospective student athletes to stay in contact with coaches. But if you look at the majority of sites, they instead offer Twitter under “Fan Zone” or “Multimedia” or, maybe, “Social Media”. And I’m a believer that you identify your audience and speak to them. Maryland makes this very clear.

I clicked into Twitter, and come to Coach Gary Williams’ page, here. Coach Williams does a great job here – he’s up fairly often, and is conversational and relevant. Scroll through it and you’ll see he gives props to former players (Greivis Vasquez, Steve Blake, and Landon Milbourne recently) — signaling that he doesn’t forget you once you leave Maryland. Just solid all around.

How could this be better? Make this the first thing on the menu. Twitter crashed the recruits menu, the mission now is to move it to the first thing we see.

You can follow this blog, via the Digital Hoops Blast Facebook page (linked here) or on Twitter — @pawlow34.

One thing Andrew doesn’t mention is that perhaps an even better use of this comes from “down the hall” at the Comcast Center… Brenda Frese and her staff have, arguably, the Nation’s #1 recruiting class in 2011 and 2012 may be equally as good.  There is no secret that Frese has long been known for her masterful art of recruiting and her staff is tremendous.

The custom UMD Women’s Basketball site (many schools are doing this now) is really, really good.

I follow many coaches “Tweets” out there and the primary difference between the ones flowing out of College Park and the rest is I don’t just here about:  “It’s a beautiful day in (you fill in the college town), or ” Heading to workouts, it’s a great day to be a (fill in mascot of your choice.)” and the best is “just had a great (fill in meal based on time of day) at (fill in local sub, pizza or food spot) AWESOME!”  Don’t get me wrong, there is still plenty of that… every staff does that, it’s a given.  Follow Coach Frese on Twitter, you’ll get the idea.

I haven’t personally done a “Best of Twitter College Basketball Review,” maybe that is something that is out there.

Anyone with input and links to really good uses of Twitter forward them via comments section and we will share.

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