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Volume 26 No. 136
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Social Studies: YES Net's Meredith Marakovits On YouTube Series

Chatting en route to George M. Steinbrenner Field on her off day to catch the debut of Yankees P Gerrit Cole, YES Network Yankees clubhouse reporter Meredith Marakovits (@MMarakovits) is gearing up for another season. One change is her recently launched, yet-to-be-named YouTube video series in which she chats with writers and broadcasters who cover the team about baseball, dating, singing and more. Marakovits, who has been with the RSN since '12, said of social media, “I like it to be light and I like it to be fun. I will use social media to get news out there. But that isn't always my goal with social media. I want to maybe portray a different side, whether it be more personality or behind the scenes.” Fans have enjoyed Marakovits’ exploits with Yankees radio analyst Suzyn Waldman when they and the team are away from The Bronx. Marakovits: “She is a riot. I love hanging out with Suz.”

SOCIAL SNAPSHOT
Must-followsAnimals Doing Things. I watch a weird amount of animal video. It’s just like cute animal videos. They just make me smile.
Favorite app: Pandora, Uber with all the travel. OpenTable is my best friend on the road. Starbucks for mobile ordering.

Average time per day on social media: Last week, I averaged 3 hours, 44 minutes on social networking sites. 

Approach to social media:
I wouldn't say that I sat down and came up with a strategic plan or approach. For me, it's just trying to find ways to interact with fans. Maybe provide them some additional content that they're not going to see on the YES Network or they're not going to see somewhere else. I'll do Q&A sessions. I'll kind of let people into my life a little bit. And I think it humanizes me not just as somebody that's in your living room 162 days out of the year, but they know a little bit more about me. Going into it, I didn't necessarily realize just how many people follow and how many people are engaged with that content.

Adventures with Suzyn Waldman:
She and I just started going out a little bit on the road and started doing some adventure stuff. I'm somebody that can't sit still and I'm not one that's just going to sit in my hotel room. And going into last year, she said, "I need to do more stuff like you do." And I said, "Okay, I'm going to hold you to it." So we did a couple of adventures, Niagara Falls was a fun one. I think the people really enjoyed that content of us in the Maid of the Mist. We have a couple of things planned for this year.

New YouTube series:
I've been wanting to do more on social media in general, and I just didn't know what to do, so I decided to do something a little bit different, a little bit more relaxed. People are interested in the YES Network folks. Maybe they'd be interested in some of the people that cover the team as well. So there's obviously some Yankees components to it, but it's more kind of getting to know the people behind the scenes that write about the team on a daily basis. It's been pretty well-received. So that's been fun.

Naming rights:
Still no name, still no sponsor. It is a very low-budget production shot in my kitchen. But honestly I think that kind of makes it more fun because it's not the highly produced content that you often see on linear TV; it's more of a guerrilla style. I'm shooting it off my iPhone, I'm editing it on my laptop. And then the added element -- I don't know why I decided to start this -- but my home is located a little bit further away from the ballpark and where a lot of these writers stay for Spring Training. So they have to drive about 30 minutes to come see me, to do this "show." I'm like, "Oh, I really need to find a way to thank them for coming out." So I've been cooking almost every time somebody comes over. I've been thinking desserts, cooking full meals all as a thank you to my colleagues for coming over.

Keeping the pace into the season:
My goal during the season would be to do three a week, with maybe some additional content, some one-off videos, whether it be an adventure with Suzyn or breakfast with a fan or something like that. I'd like to do more produced pieces. Still probably shot with my camera phone, but you know, a little bit different, not just kind of sitting somewhere and interviewing a fellow beat writer or whatever. It's a lofty goal, but hey, maybe somebody will really like this and maybe chip in for some production costs. Right? And I can hire an intern or somebody that's still in college to help me out a little bit.

Best and worst colleague on social media:
Michael Kay is engaging because he has a large following. He's more present on Twitter and he is on Instagram, although we're trying to get him more into Instagram. David Cone doesn't post a lot, but he views everything. So he's engaged in the sense of, he knows what's going on and he knows what people are saying. The worst? Oh man. Somebody who's going to hate me, though. I don't want to do that. You know who else is really good? Jack Curry is really good getting news out there. The worst? Well, I don't even know. I think Paul O'Neill has a Twitter, but I don't think he has an Instagram. Forget about Snapchat or TikTok or any of that stuff.

If you know anyone who should be featured for their use of social media, send their name to us at jperez@sportsbusinessdaily.com.