Sporting events have become huge for social media — the World Cup generated more than 3 billion interactions on Facebook alone. With the attention from fans, marketers work hard to gain all the traction they can before, during, and after the event. The San Francisco Giants are an excellent case study in how to sports teams can use social media.
During the last World Series, The Giants were the clear winners on social media. There were 1.3 million mentions of the team during the series, and the top influencers at the time were all Giants related Twitter accounts.
Bryan Srabian, director of digital media for the Giants, works hard to hold on to the team’s social success. He manages the team’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Vine, Linkedin, Snapchat, Pinterest, and Tumblr accounts, among others. In an interview with Recode, he explains how the team’s early adoption of social media could be a big part of its current social success.
Srabian told Re/code:
A few years ago, I definitely think we were ahead of the curve. Twitter was literally down the street. We had Wi-Fi at the ballpark, we had maybe 90 percent of our fans with mobile devices in 2010. The environment we were in was perfect for it, and our job was to step up and deliver.
By creating a space to interact with fans, the Giants were one of the first teams to take advantage of the mobile revolution. However, other teams have started to follow suit. While the Giants dominate, they’re no longer alone.
Srabian also track social sentiment, which allows him to react dynamically to the Giants’ audience. He noted:
I think it’s important for you to understand what your fan base is going through. You also want to know the sentiment because that dictates your strategy.
Much in the same way the Giants decide on ticket prices by viewing the social engagement around special events — “Star Wars Day” for example — companies could learn a lot by understanding how their fans engage with their content. Perhaps the most important lesson Srabian has to offer: don’t forget you’re in the content and engagement business.
Our job is to create content on a daily basis. There’s a different hero, a different story every night. It can be grueling if your fans are not engaged. You have to have that marathon view.
Images courtesy of the San Francisco Giants on Facebook.