All social media eyes on 11-1 Seahawks

Posted Dec 6, 2013

Golden Tate talks about how social media has affected his life and career as a professional athlete.

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to generate national headlines simply by completing a sentence?

Seahawks wide receiver Golden Tate is no stranger to the impact that social media has on not only a person, but the career of a professional athlete. Tate joined Twitter just a few days before the Seahawks selected him in the NFL draft.

“Times sure have changed, you’re constantly under a microscope,” Tate said during a brief chat we had this week. “Early on I did it for fun. Now you must remember that what you put online will be there forever.”

First off, remember, I am a fan. But I am also a public relations and social media professional. I have seen countless instances of tweets going awry. But for athletes like Tate, there’s tremendous opportunity from social media. Tate now has nearly 120,000 followers on Twitter, but he’s also on Instagram and you can find quite a few Facebook pages dedicated to him.

The motivation to be active on social media has been an easy one for Tate, despite having to be tolerant of the vitriol that people can direct at him.

“I want the fan base to know more about me than I just run up and down the field,” Tate said. “It’s a blessing to be put in a situation and have people respond to what I put. We have hundreds of thousands of fans that see a picture.”

Being active on social media can pay off for athletes, often times literally. Tate recently posted a picture on his Instagram account that he says earned him a year’s supply of Skittles. No word on if Marshawn Lynch took them all.

The opportunities that athletes work for can often present themselves on social media as well. Tate said that he met his marketing agency because it reached out to him on social media. He also promotes his appearances through Twitter, which help him connect with fans.

Tate said he is thankful for the opportunity to interact with fans on Twitter. He spoke of people sharing tips with him while he visited Cabo San Lucas during the bye week. He spoke of the times he has met fans in restaurants who thank him for replying to them on Twitter. He spoke of the times when he has to set aside the negatives and focus on being himself.

“Not everyone thinks the same way you do and that’s not right or wrong. It’s just different,” he said. “You just need to understand that people are different. But sometimes you can’t express who you are because you know people will take it the wrong way.”

That emphasis on making a genuine connection in the face of ensuring that your perception is reflective of reality is one that he, and other celebrities, face perpetually. Tate noted that sometimes he sees the negativity, but that can’t be a place he directs his energy. This realist perspective is something I admire as some of the comments that people choose to post are ignorant at best and borderline criminal at worst.

You can follow Golden on Twitter at @ShowtimeTate. And Golden, next time you want to go out crabbing, there’s always room on my boat.

All eyes on us

The NFL’s best record.
The World Record for loudest fans.
The first team to clinch a playoff spot.
The opportunity to make a statement to the world.

The Seahawks accomplished quite the checklist in the process of dismantling the New Orleans Saints on Monday Night Football 34-7. And all eyes were on the Seahawks in the process.

In fact, “Seahawks” appeared in 408,301 tweets on Dec. 2, which was game day. It looks like a large part of the reported 15,500,000 viewers were impressed by what they saw.

Tweets mentioning @Seahawks were also quite impressive as 92,280 tweets circulated on game day.

The player of the game was a tight race, at least according to Twitter. @DangeRussWilson chalked up nearly 60 tweets for each of his 310 passing yards (18,378 mentions) while @RSherman_25 had 5945.5 mentions for each of his two pass deflections (11,891 mentions).

A few other numbers from game day: 

  • 55,494 mentions of #NOvsSEA
  • 80,569 mentions of #MNF
  • 32,222 mentions of @Saints
  • 39,218 mentions of #GoHawks
  • 2,479 mentions of @Earl_Thomas