Youngstown State University will play for the FCS championship this Saturday. I've worked at YSU for about 11 years and I'm a huge fan. Many students who have passed through my classes are also students, so I enjoy cheering them on. As a former student-athlete, I know the commitment many of them make to their studies and their teams.
Whether you’re headed to Frisco, Texas, for the game, watching it at Covelli Centre with other YSU fans, or watching at a sports bar or at home, you can watch it “together” with fans all over the world thanks to social media.
Sometimes that’s easier said than done.
Knowing the right social platforms, addresses and hashtags to use during the big game will be just as important as the content of your posts.
Case in point (and I’m a little embarrassed to admit this): Last year I posted a dozen tweets at a social media conference before I realized I was using the wrong hashtag.
It was an honest mistake. I inverted two letters. Ironically, I was tweeting out reactions to cool new social media skills. I don’t have a big ego, but I was really surprised no one was retweeting any of my posts. At the very least, someone should have been favoriting my witty one-liners.
And then I figured it out. It sounds silly, and maybe a little vain, but instead of connecting with other conference attendees, I was out on my own social media deserted island.
It was lonely.
Thanks to YSU’s sports information department, fans have a clear set of addresses and hashtags to use to connect with other fans.
“In athletics, we’re excited to use our social media platforms to give our fans information and images leading up to and at the title game,” said Trevor Parks, YSU’s sports information director.
YSU fans near and far are preparing for the big day, making travel plans, buying new clothes and memorabilia, planning parties.
Add “checking YSU’s social media platforms” to that list.
“We’ve seen a dramatic increase in our social media followers over the past month, and we hope to have a strong week to give them insight into the big game, our program, players, and coaches,” Parks added.
Parks also provided a rather comprehensive list of hashtags and platform addresses for following YSU.
For example, you can always use the tried-and-true hashtag #GoGuins (short for “Go Penguins”). Parks noted two more important hashtags:
I’m wondering how many YSU students will be using that last hashtag on the 22-hour bus ride to Texas.
On Twitter and Instagram, fans are encouraged to follow the @YSUsports and @YoungstownStFB and use those address when posting tweets and pictures.
Facebook users can like and follow pages for “Youngstown State Penguins” and “Youngstown State Football.”
Snapchat users should add ysusports.
Want to learn more about YSU’s opponent, James Madison University? Check out @JMUFootball on Twitter and follow them on Facebook at “JMU Football” and “JMU Sports.”
Dr. Adam C. Earnheardt is associate professor and chair of the department of communication at Youngstown State University in Youngstown, OH, USA. He researches and writes about social media and technology, sports and fans.