On February 7, 2016, Sporting News asked, “Did Marshawn Lynch just announce his retirement on Twitter?”
Yes. Yes, he did.
A man of few words, Marshawn Lynch took to Twitter to broadcast the (at the time) end of his career by simply posting a “peace sign” emoji and a photo of a pair of football cleats hanging from a telephone wire. I can’t imagine a more perfectly designed declaration of retirement for an athlete known for his refusal to answer questions from the media. Would it have been authentic for Lynch to hold a press conference? Not at all. Would it have made sense to write a longwinded social media diatribe reminiscing on his career? Not for an athlete who keeps his private life private. Would it have been genuine for Lynch to suddenly change his laid-back, playful tone and personality? It’s just not who he is. Peace sign. Hanging cleats. Goodbye, football. Perfect.
The results reflected the execution as Lynch’s tweet generated over 200,000 retweets and over 200,000 likes. Right story, right platform. Compare that to the 21,000 likes Baltimore wide receiver Steve Smith received on an Instagram post hinting to his own retirement. Right story, wrong platform.
Match your story and content with the right social media outlet and watch as your news spreads. Pick the wrong space and watch it fade into obscurity.