Social media isn’t hard to understand.
It’s an extremely powerful tool for many people and organizations. You tweet. You post things on Facebook. You have followers and you hope in the end it helps you.
It can also hurt, though, when you don’t utilize social media, especially when you are in a situation like a professional sports team looking to draw fans.
Some teams get it; some don’t seem to.
It’s even more important the higher you climb the ladder, such as in baseball terms. I expect more out of social media in AA than I do with A teams. Same with AAA over AA, and so on. It just makes sense. Usually there are more people working for the organization and that should hopefully mean the ability to do more with social media.
And what should you use social media for? Everything.
Game updates. Announcements. Postponements. Weather news. Promotions. Photos. EVERYTHING. When fans tweet at you with photos or good things — re-tweet them! People LOVE seeing their tweets re-tweeted and looked at.
Why is this all important? Because fans follow, like, share and all that. It happens. I do it. Others do it. It’s free advertising.
For example, this was one of my recent tweets where I tweeted at the BMets:
— P.J. (@softball29) May 30, 2016
I thought that was kind of worthy of a re-tweet. And believe me — the BMets are not the only team in this boat. It’s not easy to keep up with all of it. I’ve tweeted cool photos for other teams that never seem to get seen (teams can also favorite a tweet — it’s easy to do), and I know others who have done the same. So that isn’t something just on the Mets here, so this is something across the board in my eyes. Fans tweet at teams and such with the hopes of getting a re-tweet or something along those lines. Find a way to do those things as it’s good and free PR.
As many of you know, I go to a lot of baseball games during the summer. When I do, I usually follow the teams where I’ll be going. I do that to keep up to date on the teams and what they are doing and offering.
Again, some teams are better than others with social media. Look at teams like the Lehigh Valley Ironpigs (AAA) or Hartford Yard Goats (AA). Look at some independent teams, like the Bridgeport Bluefish or Lancaster Barnstormers. Look at MLB teams.
Seriously, this isn’t rocket science.
Then there’s the Binghamton Mets. This is a hit-or-miss team because, at times, we get updates and all sorts of things. Then they’ll go days without any game updates, only having a few things about upcoming specials or something like that.
I hate to talk about things like this but the BMets are one of two “local” pro teams for me. The other is the Tri-City Valleycats in Troy (short-season Single A). I have a 10-game mini-pack for the BMets and I plan on getting a six-pack for Tri-City, despite each being an hour or so from home. I like to support “local” teams because I don’t want them to disappear.
But when the attendance is low in one place, you have to look at the big picture.
I’m writing this on Sunday night (June 5). I just saw a tweet from the Altoona Curve saying the team lost to the Binghamton Mets today. Good news for the BMets.
Then I went to look at the BMets feed on Twitter. The last time the team tweeted anything with a result or update was June 2. So since going on a road trip, there has been 11 tweets. One had the June 4 lineup, but outside of that, it was just random tweets, including a couple of retweets.
The irony is one of the tweets was this one:
— Binghamton Mets (@bmets) June 3, 2016
I can’t make this up.
So I went to Facebook, thinking maybe there’d be something more. Nope. The last time there was anything about a result was June 1. Since then, there’s been five posts total.
The BMets, right now, are second-to-last in attendance in the Eastern League. Through 25 openings, they have announced an average of 2,100 fans per game. I’ve been to four games. Of those games, one was an announced sellout. The other three were announced at more than 1,200 – but one game I counted the fans (seriously) and there was 200. Now, it was absolutely freezing, but I’m just saying.
The only team below the BMets? The Hartford Yard Goats who haven’t played a legit home team this year amid a new stadium that isn’t finished yet. So their “home games” have been at Dodd Stadium, the home of the Single-A Connecticut Tigers, or a “home” game at the other team. They’ve averaged 1,257, though if they ever get to play in a new stadium, that number is sure to jump.
Why does all that matter?
Because you need to get people to the stadium. On Facebook, the official page of the BMets has more than 23,000 likes. Their Twitter account has nearly 11,000 followers.
Use it. It’s free. Get people seeing and liking and sharing. Post photos. Post videos. Use it during games with updates. You need fans to look at it as a source of news.
This is frustrating to me because I want this team to succeed. I don’t care if they change their name (as they are working on) or stay the BMets – it’s an affordable place to watch Double A baseball each summer. It’s a great place to watch. The people who work there are friendly.
I work with social media. There are platforms I don’t probably utilize as much as I should, but I’m in a different sector, so to speak. It’s still a work in progress where I work because we have a smaller base of people, and you have to watch where they are getting the news to be able to make sure you use the right platforms.
Is this a foolproof thing? Absolutely not. But it can’t hurt. It’s free advertising. Utilize it. Even if it means giving that work to a summer intern or something. At this level or professional sports, it’s something that should be a strong part of the marketing plan.
It’s my hope as the summer goes on, the BMets and other teams will continue to improve with social media. It’s a great platform and tool to use — all teams should do all they can to use it to the best of their ability.
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