SBD/May 29, 2013/Franchises

A's, Giants Embracing Twitter In Effort To Amplify Marketing, Fan Engagement Efforts

As Twitter continues gaining traction, the MLB teams “in whose backyard Twitter was founded have worked to harness its potential for marketing and fan engagement,” according to Matt Kawahara of the SACRAMENTO BEE. Giants Dir of Social Media Bryan Srabian said that when he started in ’10, the team’s Twitter account “had about 3,500 followers,” whereas it currently has over 430,000 followers. Srabian said, “One thing I've learned is how social media is that two-way conversation. Obviously we're going to answer as many questions as we can. But for me the important part is listening to fans.” Srabian noted that the Giants “plan to hold a social media night on July 26 and give away a ‘Marco Scutaro rain globe’” -- a concept “posited on Twitter by a fan.” The Giants also plan to open a social media café “in what used to be a Build-A-Bear workshop in center field.” Srabian: “Worst-case scenario, it'll be a place to get a cup of coffee and charge your phone.” Meanwhile, A’s Marketing & Advertising Manager Amy MacEwen said that the club uses social media to “engage and ‘activate’ fans.” MacEwan said that prior to a giveaway next month involving a gnome in the image of P Grant Balfour, the club will “hide ‘giant gnome posters’ around the area and tweet clues to their locations.” MacEwan: “We value reach a lot. When our followers start retweeting, they're becoming brand ambassadors." Both Srabian and MacEwan said that their respective teams “don't pressure players to use Twitter, though they recognize the appeal for fans.” The A’s “often ask fans inside the Coliseum to post pictures of their view or food.” A’s Senior Manager of Digital Marketing Travis LoDolce said that the club has “tweeted in-game photos of concessions stands with no lines and watched as fans flocked to that stand” (SACRAMENTO BEE, 5/26).

TOP MLB TEAMS ON TWITTER AS OF MAY 28
RANK
TEAM
FOLLOWERS
1
Yankees
903,516
2
Phillies
761,298
3
Red Sox
471,603
4
Giants
430,257
5
Cubs
241,694
22
A's
114,533


BAY WATCH
: In S.F., Ann Killion wrote the A’s-Giants rivalry “would be more intriguing if both teams really hated each other or mocked each other, but we have to leave that to the front offices.” The truth is the Giants “don't think much about the A's, at least not while they're still safely ensconced in Oakland.” And the A's “enjoy hosting the Giants because they are guaranteed a big crowd every time.” A’s C Derek Norris said, “When there's 13 people in the stands and you get a big hit and you hear the claps in the dugout, it doesn't really encourage you. When we pack the house, we feed off of that." Though the A's "aren't selling out regularly, there is some carryover from last season's theatrics.” The A's are “drawing better than they did a year ago, when they had managed only one sellout before hosting the Giants” during interleague play in late June (S.F. CHRONICLE, 5/28).

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