Recently, I saw the San Francisco Giants play at AT&T Park. You might not realize that the Giants have their very own Social Media Cafe, where you can see tweets about the game scroll across giant screens and see their awesome command center. Here are some of the ways I found the Giants’ social media effective, and some ways the Giants can improve your game as Social Media Managers (“SMMs”).
Engage Fans Before They Reach the Game
While waiting for our friends to arrive, my friends decided to visit the Giants clothing store in the park. I tweeted a picture of some t-shirts (below). And @CafeSFG not only heard me, but replied! So my experience of them being awesome began before we even got to the game. How awesome is that? For SMMs, your blog can be a way to “warm up” your possible clients before they meet you in person. If you need hints on engagement, you might want to read my post on being engaged and tweeting texts versus links.
— Carol Stephen (@Carol_Stephen) April 12, 2014
The reply tweet from @CafeSFG, below.
— The @ Cafe (@CafeSFG) April 12, 2014
If you visit the the San Francisco Giants’ Cafe at AT&T park, you’ll notice a few things. You can walk right up to their social media team and talk to them. As in, “Hey, thanks for sending me that tweet!” accessible. They sit in a room, where you can see all the hashtags and accounts they’re monitoring on a huge screen. And you can get an idea of what it would be like to work there, how quickly the tweets fly by, and how fast-paced the job really is. As an SMM, how accessible are you to your fans? Meeting fans in person is always the best way, but if you can’t do that, then how about Google Hangouts on Air, responding to people on Twitter, or meeting people at conferences?
Allow for Spontaneity
If working for the Giants isn’t the most spontaneous social media position in the world, I’m not sure what is. Fans tweet and post Instagram pictures, which the team reposts, replies to, and favorites. Chosen tweets and Instagram pix appear on the big screen, so you can see your own words and pictures “up in lights” as it were. Sometimes being an SMM is the extreme opposite of spontaneity, with all the scheming that goes into planning posts, creating good content, and choosing images. But having spontaneity is what makes the job interesting, and for me, is what makes me want to get up and do it all over the next day.
Let Your Fans Create the Content
When your fans have interesting things to say, why not let them? When there is passion and excitement about the game, why not allow those opinions and images to flow freely? If you’re at all familiar with the success of ICanHazCheeseburger, you know that letting fans create content is a win times a million. Although this article about the popular cat meme is from 2008, I love the explanations (along with the charts and graphs).
Give Them the Right Drink
On a cold night, give your fans a hot drink. The Giants’ cafe has hot coffee, chocolate, and pastries from Peets Coffee. Are you giving your fans the right drink?
Create Branded Clothing
The Giants have worked with brands such as Victoria’s Secret to create their soft, beautifully designed and branded clothes. And I’ve heard the Giants are about to sign a deal with ZipzShoes for co-branded footwear. Maybe you don’t have a huge budget, but many places let you make one or two pieces at a time (including Zipzshoes).
— ZIPZ® Shoes (@Zipzshoes) April 15, 2014
Tweet from Zipzshoes saying they’re working with the Giants (guess who their first customer will be?)!
Let Your Fans Share the Spotlight
When a fan shares a really great photo on social media, that photo gets reshared on the big screen. At a Giants’ game, fans are watching taking pictures of their team, but also watching to see if that picture they took will show up and get reshared. Here are some tips on creating a good retweet, by the way.
Be A Leader
If you haven’t noticed by now, I’m a huge fan of the Giants in more ways than one. They really knocked it out of the ballpark with their social media engagement. While creating their own cafe and engaging with fans may not be the only things causing them to sell out their games, those things do cause many fans to want to return. What are you doing to knock it out of the ballpark for your clients?
Give ‘Em Fireworks!
Not just fireworks, but fireworks! The SF Giants’ fireworks display was bigger and better than many displays I’ve seen on the fourth of July. You can walk outside the ballpark onto the dock and see everything overhead–one of the best displays I’ve ever seen. Again, maybe you don’t have the budget for a fireworks display, but how about an unexpected gift? Flowers and chocolate, anyone?
Be a Winner
Last, but not least, the SF Giants won the game! Of course they did! What are you doing to create a win for your fans or business?