10 Ways Major League Baseball Teams Win on Social Media

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There may still be a little chill in the air in some parts of the country, but spring has arrived and so has one of the biggest rites of this time of the year, the beginning of the Major League Baseball (MLB) season.

And while MLB may be showing its age a little as the oldest of the four professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada, having been around since 1876 (the National League) and 1901 (the American League), respectively, it is still very popular.

Tickets are sold by the millions. Broadcast rights are valued in the billions. And social media is helping the sport to offset the fact that younger people today are less inclined to follow it than the generations before them.

Teams are using Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and other online communication channels to engage with their fans and promote their players, leveling the playing field like never before between brand and consumer.

Getting an autograph from your favorite ballplayer may have been the thing back in the day, but now it is getting him to like what you tweet or even better, having him agree to appear in a selfie with you.

Of course, not every team can make the playoffs, but there’s no reason every single one of them can’t win over their fans on social media during the course of the long, 162-game season.

Only a few days or so into the 2017 season, here are 10 different ways Major League Baseball teams were using social media around Opening Day earlier this week and what brands of all shapes and sizes can learn from these teams.

1. Branded Hashtags

Including their own branded hashtag, #LetsPlay, in this picture of Giancarlo Stanton on Instagram (as well as in the caption), the Miami Marlins and their fans have a communal way of identifying themselves.

First RBI of 2017? None other than @giancarlo818. ⚾️💪 #LetsPlay | #LetsGoFish

A post shared by Miami Marlins (@marlins) on

2. Special Moments

Big events should be covered from all angles for distribution to your audience both live and afterwards, as the Boston Red Sox did here in this video of the New England Patriots participating in their Opening Day ceremonies.

3. GIFs

A nine-inning baseball games take around three hours to play, but a home run like this one by Cesar Hernandez takes just a few seconds to happen. And thanks to this great GIF shared by the Philadelphia Phillies on Twitter, you can experience the excitement over and over again.

4. Slideshows

If these pictures are any indication, #AstrosOpeningDay was a heck of a good time for fans and players alike. A series of pictures like this is not only an innovative way to revisit the biggest moments of a special event, it’s a great opportunity to put your fans in the spotlight, the people who practically live and breathe your brand.

5. Special Offers

Social media makes it possible for marketers to act in the moment, which is just what the San Francisco Giants do here on Twitter, offering followers and fans a clever deal on tickets to commemorate Madison Bumgarner’s two home runs and 11 strikeouts in the first game of the season.

6. Joint Promotions

Like other MLB teams, the Chicago Cubs, winners of the 2016 World Series, are being promoted on these limited-edition Budweiser cans. Who can you join forces with to extend your own brand’s reach on social media?

It's officially baseball season. Grab your #Cubs can and hold it high. #ThisBudsForYou

A post shared by cubs (@cubs) on

7. Behind-the-Scenes Views

Give your audience on social media an up-close and personal look at how you do business. Show them the human side of your brand like the Toronto Blue Jays do in this collage of pre-game photos on Facebook.

8. Iconic Shots

A picture is worth a thousand words and some pictures are, well, priceless. Here’s a great picture of a great team with a simple, two-word caption. Capture your brand at his best and share that moment with your fans on social media.

Picture perfect #OpeningDayLA.

A post shared by Los Angeles Dodgers (@dodgers) on

9. Video Highlights

In this case, the last play of the ball game is worth over 1,000 likes and more than 300 retweets for the New York Mets, not to mention a nice 6-0 shutout of the Atlanta Braves in the teams’ season opener.

10. 360-Video Montages

The Minnesota Twins knock it out of the park with this ridiculously cool, 360-degree video montage of their Opening Day win, fireworks included, of their Opening Day 7-1 win over the Kansas City Royals.

Note: This post, “10 Ways Major League Baseball Teams Win On Social Media,” was originally published on ClickZ on April 10, 2017, here, and on LinkedIn on April 18, 2017, here.

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