By Jordan Johnson
As the social media movement grows exponentially, Twitter, an online social networking and microblogging service, is one site that has risen to profoundly influence the media world. This influence has even led programs across college campuses all over the country to utilize it in many different ways.
Recently, many programs and departments at North Central College have jumped on this Twitter bandwagon, including a great majority of the athletic department. Clark Teuscher, Director of Sports Information, with the help of multiple staff members, runs NCC Cardinals (@NCC_Athletics), the official Twitter feed for North Central College Athletics.
“It’s been a very versatile tool for us in terms of being able to just give people the facts and the kind of information that generates out of the department,” explains Teuscher. “Information on the account can be anything from results to schedule changes to directing people to newspaper articles or other publications that feature North Central athletes or alumni.”
Teuscher emphasizes how new strategies for drumming up support include an access to in game updates, specifically with a current limitation to championship events.
Along with a variety of information, having this Twitter account has also allowed the department to reach out and maintain standing relationships with multiple audiences.
Teuscher describes how “Twitter is really popular with current college students. Depending on the numbers you look at, anywhere between 60 and 80 percent of people ages 18-24 are on Twitter on a daily basis. That is not something we can afford to ignore.”
In this wide range of audiences, Teuscher also explains how the expansion has currently reached alumni, parents of athletes, and even coaches who utilize Twitter as a promotional tool which can help with prospective students.
The softball program at NCC is among the many sports who have currently utilized Twitter to its full potential.
Graduate Assistant Coach Holly Roadruck and Assistant Coach Lauren Schramm talk about how beneficial the account (@NCC_softball) has been to the program.
“Twitter has allowed us coaches to interact directly with our fans,” explains Roadruck. “It gives us instant access to what they want to know in a quick amount of time.”
Schramm, the main tweet contributor, describes the feed as “extremely easy to maintain. I can tweet pictures and videos. I can give live stat updates and shout outs to supporting alumni, parents and fans. This gives our followers a little behind the scenes action; things that aren’t usually seen at the forefront, but still form connections and relationships for the program.”
A large chunk of the advantages from Twitter relies heavily in recruiting. As Roadruck highlights, “We do abide by rules and regulations. We are not allowed to follow recruits or directly tweet at them.”
However, with “a raised level of enthusiasm for the college’s athletic teams,” as Teuscher puts it, prospective students are bound to notice and pick up on this sense of community, thus helping in their consideration to become a Cardinal athlete.
Currently, the official North Central College athletic department Twitter feed has the largest following in the CCIW conference, with a following up to a little over 1,200, and continues to expand and grow its network through this useful and essential social media tool.