MLB Continues Building Social Media Buzz During World Series

Baseball bat hitting ball in slow motion: MLB's social media efforts: Twitter, Trends, CampaignsGame 1 of the World Series generated the second-most social media comments in postseason history, according to MLB.com. Mentions of Pablo Sandoval (“The Panda”) accounted for 20 percent of the 813,000 Facebook and Twitter comments, thanks to the athlete’s historic three-homer night. No count yet on how many mentions the infamous Barry Manilow reference from FOX announcer Tim McCarver received.

Social chatter during sporting events is expected to increase, as the number of sports fans who use social media to follow leagues, teams and players has almost doubled since 2011.

This postseason has been very successful for the MLB’s social media efforts, having generated twice as many social media comments by Oct. 10 as it did during the entire 2011 division series. This could be in part to the MLB’s expanded online presence and digital campaigns. Nearly every team now has its own Facebook, Twitter, GooglePlus, Pinterest, Instagram and Tumblr account, as well as check-in services.

In an effort to make its fans feel more engaged (and in turn get more buzz about baseball), the MLB has run online campaigns such as #MLBmembersonly, #FlyWitness and Pictober (#postseason). One of the most successful social programs is the MLB Fan Cave – a physical venue that hosts athletes and other celebrities whose interviews, antics and musical performances are shared online.

If the Giants’ and Tigers’ social networks and online buzz were analyzed to predict an outcome of the World Series, the winner would be the San Francisco Giants. According to Sysomos, the Detroit Tigers’ social mentions are at about only 2.3 million, compared to the Giants’ 2.75 million, which account for 54 percent of the conversation. The Bay Bombers also have a larger social following (as of Oct. 26, 2012, 9 a.m.):

Detroit Tigers
• Facebook: 1,118,742 likes
• Twitter: 183,242 followers

San Francisco Giants
• Facebook: 1,586,853 likes
• Twitter: 340,691 followers

No matter who comes away with the Commissioner’s Trophy, it’s apparent the MLB is winning with many of its fans when it comes to social media. The platforms are changing the way not only the MLB connects with fans, but players, too. Athletes talk directly with their fans, respond to their questions, encourage engagement and even retweet followers’ messages – which is as good as an autograph for many people nowadays.

If you want to find out if your favorite athlete is on Twitter, check out Tweeting-Athletes.com.

Managing the “Madness” in the Office

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. If you’re a college basketball fan, you know exactly what I’m talking about – March Madness. And with some of the best games happening during business hours, how will you stay updated? If it’s by streaming the games online, you may end up in hot water with your stressed out IT co-worker.

A survey conducted by Modis, a global provider of information technology staffing services and the second largest in North America, recently reported 42 percent (of 500 IT specialist surveyed) say March Madness historically has impacted their network.

Of those affected, 37 percent report their networks have slowed down, while 34 percent report March Madness activity has essentially shut down their networks for a period of time.

That is madness.

If you don’t want to be responsible for crashing the server (and making enemies at work), social media can help you. You know your old college friends will be posting status updates on Facebook. You may be able to get away with checking your phone for bracket updates and visiting Twitter during that afternoon meeting (follow your favorite team, @marchmadness, @ESPN and @CBSSports, to name a few). And those buzzer-beating highlights will be posted to YouTube before you know it. Finally, even more mobile devices will have access to the live games this year (might not want to tell your boss that one).

Employers may worry about a lack of focus and productivity from workers during this annual distraction. However, according to a study by outplacement firm Challenger, Gray and Christmas, they should embrace March Madness “as a way to build morale and camaraderie.” As long as deadlines are met and customers are happy, March Madness can be a positive distraction that helps enhance internal communication.

So, don’t get down if you’re stuck in the office. From tip-off to the “One Shining Moment,” you can track the madness wherever you are.

Internet Advertising – Are You Being Followed?

Recently, I found out via Facebook that one of my friends was engaged. Her ring was beautiful, and she shared that the ring was “conflict free and eco-friendly.” I was fascinated with this concept so I “Googled” the company her ring was purchased from – Brilliant Earth. I read all about its mining process and how it certifies its jewelry as conflict free. While I was fascinated by this process, I became even more fascinated with what happened next. I started noticing Brilliant Earth ads were following me from website to website, often featuring the rings I had looked at while visiting their site. It didn’t matter if I was on MSNBC, ESPN or checking my Yahoo mail. There were Brilliant Earth ads everywhere I looked.

I did some research and discovered that Brilliant Earth was tracking me. It had collected data from my computer while I was on their website about my browsing habits, and if I had made a purchase from them converting to my shopping habits. This is a process called Ad Tracking.

Brilliant Earth is not the only company participating in ad tracking. I have been followed by shoes from Zappos and countless other advertisements from websites I have visited.

The Federal Trade Commission recently proposed “Do Not Track” for internet advertising. This would allow people to choose whether they want internet companies to collect information on their browsing habits, as well as information for other marketing purposes. As a consumer, it feels very big brother to see a pair of shoes I looked at two days ago staring at me while I read today’s headlines. I am truly torn about internet advertisers tracking my shopping and browsing habits. As an advertising professional, I think Ad Tracking is a wonderful thing. The advertiser can learn so much about the shopper, their habits and help them find products that fit their needs.

Internet Advertising is one of the fastest growing advertising opportunities today and technology is changing rapidly. I will be curious to see if ad tracking is something that stays or goes as time moves on. For now, I am heading to Zappos so that cute pair of Cole Haan shoes can follow me around for a few weeks.

To learn more about the FTC’s proposal please visit Ad Age.

News Travels Fast

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News has always been know for traveling fast – and with today’s emerging technology we appear to be headed toward breaking the sound and light barrier.  Who would have thought years ago when CNN and ESPN introduced the continuous “crawl” at the bottom of the screen with breaking news and scores that someday we would turn our home pages into a similar crawl with RSS feeds, Tweets and Diggs.

Never has news traveled more quickly than last week surrounding the reports of Michael Jackson’s death.  The rapid buzz resulted in a Twitter overload and temporary shutdown.  Google searches were so overwhelmed the system viewed it as an attack on the Michael Jackson name and temporarily sent “error messages” and began requiring “captchas” to complete search requests.

I, like most, immediately went to my own Twitter account to see what the media had to say about the reports.   While only TMZ reported Jackson’s death, every other major news source in the country continuously updated their tweets as the story played out over the next few hours.  Following the initial report from TMZ, I also visited Scoopler to watch the “real time” conversations taking place online.  Scoopler updates were scrolling at a record pace as the online frenzy continued to reach record numbers.

Ready or not, this is the future of how quickly news will travel.

Click here to read story of Twitter crash

Click here to view Michael Jackson conversations on Scoopler