By Angel Gonzalez, Strategic Partnerships, Athletes

One of the best ways to connect with fans on Facebook is to start with great content. Sharing photos and videos, responding directly to fans and communicating with them in an authentic voice are all key ways to drive engagement. Fans of the the New England Patriots’ Tom Brady and Atlanta Falcons’ Devin Hester responded positively to a couple of Facebook posts recently, and I’d like to go into detail about why they worked.

Patriots’ quarterback Tom Brady made a clever post to Facebook for Throwback Thursday. He found an old college resumé, snapped a photo of it, and posted it to Facebook with the caption, “Found my old resume! Really thought I was going to need this after the 5th round.” Of course Brady never needed it after the Pats drafted him in 2000. The post received more than 50,000 comments, likes and shares in just 24 hours. It went viral in the news media, too, with outlets from ESPN to Esquire talking about his pre-NFL career. This post drove fan engagement because it was Brady speaking in an authentic voice, and sharing something very few people (if any) had ever seen. The resumé lists jobs Brady held in his youth, and offers a glimpse into where his career was heading if the 2000 NFL Draft hadn’t worked out for him. Also, holding the document gives the post a personal touch.

After the Falcons’ Devin Hester broke an NFL record on Thursday night with a 62-yard return touchdown, the star receiver took to Facebook to thank his fans. His lengthy post received more than 30,000 comments, likes and shares in five hours. Hester had the space to express himself, thanking not only his fans, but also coaches, teammates and family members who have helped him along the way. The post was timely, authentic and you can hear Hester’s voice clearly as he speaks directly to his fans, and supporters on Facebook responded in a positive way.