[Ed.: “I Have An Idea…” is a series written for College AD by the author of Brands Win Championships, Jeremy Darlow.]
“Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change.” – Stephen Hawking
Look, I get it. You’re “old school.” You don’t like ‘Twitbook’ or ‘Facechat’ or whatever clever amalgamation you so-called traditionalists like to use to marginalize social media. The problem is, when you say things like that, the people that will shape the future of your program, the youngest generations, are laughing at you, not with you. Whether you like it or not, this is the world we’re in. The world is mobile. The world is social. The world is Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat. Learn their names because you’ll be gone before they are. In the second quarter of 2016, Facebook was up to 1.6 Billion active monthly users (Source: Facebook). Leading into this year, upwards of 90% of 18-29 year olds used social media, while it was recently reported that Americans spend over 20 minutes a day on Instagram alone. (Source: Sprout Social). And, oh by the way, much of this engagement with social media is being done via mobile phone. As of April of 2015, 98% of 18-29 year olds owned a cellphone (Source: Pew Research Center).
The thing that kills me is that so many coaches avoid technology, when in reality it can make their jobs much easier. Social media today provides programs with real-time feedback, access to every recruit in the country and a platform to tell a differentiated brand story at any point in the day, week, month or year. So why then? Why are so many hesitant to leverage the tools they have in front of them? Now is not the time to “stick to your guns.” Because while you’re reading the morning paper, the coach across the street has already retweeted and dm’d every kid on your recruiting board. Twice.