With the Fall Classic beginning tomorrow at Fenway Park, all eyes are on Major League Baseball. The World Series is one of the most anticipated events in all of sports and in the age of social media, that means for a few nights this month (and some in November,) the Twittersphere will be abuzz with all things baseball. Therefore, we thought it would be fun to take a look at how MLB has been gearing up on social media for the Series, as Boucher + Co. begins looking at social media strategies of MLB and other organizations.
Twitter – With over 3.2 million followers, MLB has done a fantastic job growing their fan base on Twitter and it’s easy to see why people are interested in following them. Major League Baseball does a great job mixing up their content, as they post everything from general baseball news, historical World Series photos and of course, real-time Tweets such as this one:
They are currently pushing the hashtags #Postseason and #WorldSeries and they are likely to trend worldwide when the games start. They also pay attention to the players that make the league, as several superstars such as Jon Lester of the Boston Red Sox and Matt Kemp of the Dodgers received retweets from MLB. Even pre-World Series, the MLB is receiving a great deal of engagement, as they are averaging a couple hundred retweets for each post. They also post a ton, with over 50 posts per day. And that’s on an off day.
Due to their penchant for posting stellar content, use of real-time social media and high engagement levels, we give MLB an A for their Twitter use.
Facebook – The MLB fan page boasts over 6.3 million “likes” and receives thousands of “likes” and comments on the majority of the their posts, which range from images, to sponsored contests and videos. They incorporate hashtags into many posts, pushing the same ones they advocate for on Twitter, furthering their reach and engagement. The images and videos posted are extremely candid shots. In some cases, they give a behind-the-scenes look at the players and some of the biggest postseason moments, enhancing the fan experience. They also manage to sneak in a product post every once in a while. For example, linking to LCS gear right after the Cardinals clinched the series proved an effective strategy, as fans were more inclined to purchase merchandise. While the MLB social media team uses Twitter to interact more with teams and players to give fans a more complete experience, the Facebook page focuses more on sparking debate and fan conversation. Both are appropriate strategies for the respective channels, as long as the audience responds well to it. The content is top-notch, and so is their rating: A
Google+ – Major League Baseball has over 2.9 million followers, yet engagement is noticeably low, despite mainly having the same content as Facebook. MLB also posts less frequently on Google+, making it pretty obvious that they would much rather concentrate their energy on Facebook and Twitter. In terms of hashtag use, MLB uses the same ones that they push on Twitter and Facebook, thus putting forth a consistent brand strategy across all social media channels.
I commend MLB for being active on Google+ when other leagues simply aren’t (we’re talking to you NFL and NBA) but the effort could be improved, especially during the pinnacle of the MLB season. For this reason, I’m giving them a B.