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Using Social Media as a Female Athlete

Exclusively for our Advancement Zone community, our trusted social media expert, Adam Kelly - shares his tips and tricks on how female athletes can effectively utilise social media to build their brand.

My name is Adam Kelly and I am Head of Digital at Tap Sports. I’ve worked with top tier male and female athletes over the last 10 years. Creating digital strategies and building their brand on social platforms. I was asked to present at the Women’s Sports Alliance Athlete Advancement Series last year and enjoyed all the questions and discussions throughout that day. It’s a real pleasure to be asked to contribute to the WSA Advancement Zone this year.

What are the key Do’s and Don'ts of using social media as a female athlete?


  • Plan ahead where possible and think before posting. In today’s society we are judged on the content we post more than ever. Once it’s posted on social media, you can’t take it back.

  • Be authentic. Fans and viewers want to see you on your good and bad days.

  • Collaborate with people both inside and outside of your echo chamber to reach new audiences.

  • Social media is an investment, it takes time. Make sure you understand the ‘purpose’ of your social media. Don't just commit to it for the social vanity of more followers or brand deals.

  • Inspire a generation by showing what you are passionate about.

  • Show what makes you unique.


  • Don’t engage with trolls, they are not worth your time.

  • Don’t work with brands for a ‘quick buck’. Understand the brand and see if they represent the same values as you do. Aim to build a longer term relationship.

  • Don’t forget the small stuff… make sure to check the thumbnail looks right in your profile and double check your captions in case of any errors.

  • Don’t just copy content because it’s trending, make it relevant to you.

  • Don’t heavily filter content. I worked with a top female athlete and she made a point of never putting any filters on her to change her looks, as she didn’t want her younger female audience to feel they need to do the same.

Should content across all platforms be the same or are there specific types of content that should be posted on Instagram vs Twitter?

You should treat all social media platforms differently and play towards their algorithms.

  • If you post a TikTok, you shouldn’t post the video on Instagram with the TikTok watermark as it’ll reduce the reach of the post.

  • On an Instagram post make sure to fill up as much of the screen as possible. Instagram favour content that fills up as much real estate on the platform as possible.

  • On Twitter, vertical videos can be cut disproportionately, so change the dimensions to square or horizontal (16:9)

How can a female athlete best utilise TikTok / Instagram to build her brand?

The main thing about building a brand is consistency. Frequently posting on your social media platforms will help to reinforce who you are, to your audience. With social media platforms, not all of your fans will see your content in their feed. To increase this you need to be posting more frequently.

What’s more important, the quality of the post, or the quantity of the posts and why?

Even though quantity of posts are important to the social media algorithms, if your content is good quality and interesting to your followers, it will be picked up and shared which will result in the post performing better.

What is the best kept hidden secret function of Instagram?

For me, the ‘save’ feature on Instagram, it’s in the bottom right hand of a post. When you see something that is interesting or content you want to use as a benchmark, press the save button and it will automatically save the post in a private section of your profile to view. This way, when you’re looking for inspiration on your next post, the previously saved content is easy to find.

What is the key to writing an Instagram / TikTok caption?

Always make it relatable and consistent to you and your personal brand!


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