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Teams Increasingly Make Video-Sharing App Vine Staple Of Social Media Initiatives

With MLB teams increasingly looking to up their social media game, Twitter’s year-old video sharing app, Vine, could be in for a big season in the sport. The app allows users to send a six-second, compiled video loop of different snippets in time. Since its debut, the app has become a staple of many sports teams’ social media arsenal due to its simplicity, ability to seamlessly show different moments around games and its propensity to produce viral content. Social media managers across the league are looking not only at ways to get more creative with the app, but potentially boost revenue with it as well. Royals Dir of Digital & Social Media Erin Sleddens said, “Since last season was really the first year in which Vine was available, it was kind of an experimental year with it.” Up to this point, overarching themes that many MLB teams have been using for Vines include highlighting off-the-field events, catching players in their pre-game routines such as batting practice and showing other behind-the-scenes moments. MLB’s official Vine account, for example, shared a Vine earlier this month in which a baseball was captured at landmarks all around Sydney ahead of the Dodgers-D-Backs series. The postcard feel of the video helped it become the league’s second most retweeted Vine.

SUPPLY & DEMAND
: Vine has become an ideal medium to share the behind-the-curtain scenes fans increasingly demand. Giants Dir of Social Media Bryan Srabian, who adopted Vine for the team right after its initial release, said, “That’s what has been the most popular way for us in capturing those moments that might be that one or two hours before the game, might be behind-the-scenes at Spring Training, might be a way for us to unveil a bobblehead or something else in the office.” Another attractive aspect of Vine for teams is that its videos are so short that, at six seconds, it appears to have hit a timing sweet spot in a world in which attention spans tend to be short. Yet another attractive aspect of Vine is its seeming penchant to elicit higher rates of social interaction. Srabian said that he has not specifically tracked interaction rates to see if one social medium has attracted more than others, but added Vine is “not only easy for us to upload and share; it’s easy for the fan to consume, so it would make sense that they have a higher rate.”

INTEGRATED PLANS: MLBAM Social Media Coordinator Erik Reitmeyer has been behind many of the league’s more popular Vine videos, including its viral first in which he took a baseball completely apart. He said now that Vine is becoming more of a mainstream app, the organization will be looking to further integrate it into MLB’s and teams’ homepages this upcoming season. He added, “This way, our fans that don’t have a Twitter or don’t have a Vine can still see our content.“ Sleddens predicted scripted Vines may be a theme this season and added of the Royals’ upcoming strategy, “We plan to continue to use it for creative storytelling, maybe personalized messages from players and other behind-the-scenes stuff to connect fans with the team.” Srabian said of the Giants’ plans, “There’s a huge opportunity in that it’s a very interesting kind of viewer that looks at Vine. There are a lot of different ways that you can tell a story on it, so we’ll go a little off brand and just experiment.”
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