The sports world thrives on social media. Sports journalists use social media sites to gather quotes from players, coaches, and owners that may be less filtered than a PR approved statement.
Athletes may use social media as a way to interact with fans. By showing an entertaining side and positive image through social media, an athlete's fan base and popularity can soar to new heights.
First year Tennessee head coach Butch Jones has become very active on Twitter since joining the Vols in December. Jones, along with members of his staff, has embraced the social media craze in ways not seen by previous UT coaches.
While following the guidelines of the NCAA, Jones and his staff tweet about recruiting, Volunteer pride, and all things Tennessee athletics. Although he may not have originally been Vols' fans first choice, his interaction with the fan base and sheer optimism is definitely helping Jones' popularity grow.
Social media will definitely help Jones keep a positive image amongst UT fans if his team can prove to be successful on the field. More importantly, however, his activity through Twitter will play an even larger role in recruiting.
Despite an impressive win-loss record, Jones is hardly a "Big name" coach that will automatically reel in the "Big fish" prospects. However, Jones has many tools in his arsenal which will benefit him on the recruiting trail.
The Tennessee brand, despite a lack of success in recent years, is big enough to gain at least some interest amongst players. The SEC factor, a brand new football facility, and potential playing time at multiple positions also benefit the Vols greatly.
Butch Jones @UTCoachJones
Been a productive morn in the office, now back to the #RecruitingGrind! 11:45 flight to Spartanburg, SC! The #Pathto7 starts Feb 6th! #VFL2013-1-24 16:18:59
But the use of social media may become one of Butch Jones' most important factors in recruiting. If his name has yet to sell itself, social media may be the best way to develop notoriety.
High school prospects are very active on Twitter, sometimes even declaring for a school through the website. Seeing a coach who is also very active may paint a favorable image for Jones to undecided prospects.
Also, with coaches only being allowed a certain amount of time to converse with players, Jones' pro-Tennessee tweets may give the Vols an advantage to pitch their program nationally.
As Butch Jones continues to put the final touches on his first recruiting class with Tennessee, there is little doubt that his activity through social media will play a major role in his success in Knoxville.