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Packers Defensive End Mike Neal On Social Media [Interview]

Date published: September 12, 2013
Last updated: September 12, 2013

Social media can be an extremely powerful tool for marketers and the brands they work with; they can create brand awareness as well as drive leads and conversions. But what if you’re the product and you need to market yourself?

Green Bay Packer's defensive end Mike Neal was kind enough to sit down with us and explain his point of view on social media, the Internet, and being a professional athlete.

1. What was your first social media account?

My first one was [on] BlackPlanet. It was like a cross between MySpace and Facebook. BlackPlanet ended up evolving into something way more once Facebook came around, but at the time it was very similar to MySpace and Facebook.

2. What’s your favorite social media outlet?

Quite honestly, I do not like social media. But…one that I am more familiar with and… use more would be Twitter.

3. Why Twitter?

I think it’s just easier. You can communicate with a lot of people like you can on Facebook, but you don’t have to create a Web page and upkeep that. And the way people contact you is very limited. It just makes it easier to maneuver through a website like that.

I think when you get into [certain] websites, you give people access to your personal space that I don’t think you should. You can share, but some people get too caught up in sharing every aspect of their lives on the Internet which can cause you to have no privacy. This could cause conflict with your personal life or with anything, even your mental [health]. With Twitter, you can call the shots more.

4. Is Twitter the only social media account you have currently?


5. What do you use Twitter for?

More or less for personal branding and keeping my name out there. I believe that Twitter is more useful than other social media [sites], because, at the rate people tweet, you can hashtag almost anything. You can see trending topics, and see what companies are doing.

Like Nike, they are always launching new stuff about new clothes that they have, new shoes that they may have. I follow Coconut Water because I’m really into their brand, so to be able to have contact with them actually allows me to contact people and work things out. Like with Coconut Water, I was able to get things for free because I was promoting their brand.

6. Whose online presence do you like the most?

The Rock every so often has some good tweets. I also like some of Joel Osteen’s tweets but I don’t think there is anyone I would call my ‘favorite.’

7. Are there any sports accounts in particular that you follow?

I normally don’t like to follow sports things. For me, being a professional athlete and going through the things I’ve had to go through, I like to stay away from the media side of it. I do believe that there are a lot of negative connotations associated with those sites. You know, athletes are human beings and I don’t think we have enough privacy as it is, and so I hate to read stuff through social media that have negative connotations. So I don’t follow those.

8. How often do you check your Twitter account?

There are days where I [check] it out all the time and see what’s going on in the world. And then there are times when I can go months without checking, to be quite honest with you.

9. What would you want to say to young professional athletes?

My advice would be, don’t tweet your [personal] life. Don’t wear your emotions on your sleeve. Never tweet or discuss your goals on the Internet because then if people know your dreams they can shoot them down. Don’t give people the opportunity to do that.

Mike's skeptical take on social media is refreshing. How do you use social media to promote yourself or your brand? Tell us in the comments.

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