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.

Blogger Outreach Part Two and Reviewers Retreat Takeaways

Welcome to Reviewer's Retreat 2012 at Great Wolf Lodge, Presented by Pampers

Reviewer’s Retreat 2012: Product Review Conference

As mentioned in our last post on blogger outreach, blogs have grown to much more than what they started out to be. Not only have they increased in number and scope, but the line between blog and website has blurred (i.e., trying to count the similarities between The Huffington Post and USA Today‘s online version could give anyone a headache).

People turn to blogs to seek recommendations. Companies who wish to reach out to bloggers should do their homework to figure out which bloggers would be a good fit for their brand. When looking for the best blogs for your campaign, numbers aren’t necessarily everything. A high number of unique visitors doesn’t always translate to reader trust and loyalty in the blogger’s recommendations.

To enhance our understanding of bloggers who actively partner with brands, DVL attended Reviewer’s Retreat. Hosted by Cecelia Mecca of Cool Baby Kid and Bridgette Duplantis of The Not-So-Blog, the event brought bloggers together to discuss issues facing those who conduct product reviews. It also welcomed a few company and agency representatives to grow relationships between bloggers and brands.

DVL’s social media manager met and greeted bloggers we’ve worked with in the past and engaged with others we hope to work with in the future.  Check out some of our top Twitter takeaways from the event and DVL tips regarding blogger relationships, social media usage and event highlights:

BLOGGER RELATIONSHIPS

Bloggers are busy. If one campaign didn’t pique their interest, try again until you know for sure they’re uninterested.

Be strategic about who you pitch.

Don’t be afraid to ask bloggers questions, either. Keep the dialogue going even after the campaign has ended.

Appointing official brand ambassadors can be a great “next step” in blogger relationships – as long as they’re the right fit.

Exactly. Don’t just have a blog, Facebook page and Twitter account to spew content. Listen to what your followers are saying and then react accordingly.

ALL-AROUND SOCIAL MEDIA TIPS

There must be effort on your side to foster the relationships with your consumers.

Check with them on how best to communicate.

In person, people want to be looked in the eye. Create an atmosphere online and with your responses that makes them feel the same thing in the digital world.

You don’t *have* to be on every social network. Do an audit to see what will/does work best for you.

A great tip that translates to branding as well. Make sure your brand stands out from others in the social media sphere.

Planning and branding for the future: Always think ahead. Not just about why this post/message/tweet works now, but how does it fit in the overall brand and planned strategy.

More of a personal tip – be careful what you choose to share online of family and friends.

Include text on “pinnable” images to better stand out.

Tweet cleverly – and make sure each tweet has enough room for others to retweet you.

A great wrap-up post from the Pinterest session.

Natural lighting is typically best.

RANDOM #REVRET12 HIGHLIGHTS

The pre-event excitement was evident!

All attendees received a swag bag of partnering brands’ products.

“President’s address” from the retreat’s founders.

Interacting online is fun, but nothing beats meeting face to face.

Thank you for having us!

Wishing @BridgetteLA and @CoolBabyKid a successful event in 2013!

Check out the official Reviewer’s Retreat 2012 Pinterest board and listing of attendees’ wrap-up blog posts.

Watching Pinterest with Interest

One online community generating significant buzz these days is Pinterest, the “virtual pinboard” that has attracted more than 1.5 million invitation-only users since it debuted in 2010.

Whether it is recipes or recreation, fashion or football, home décor or homepages, that piques your interest, the site indulges with limitless opportunities to “pin” images to customizable boards that can be viewed and repinned by other users.

While all sorts of conclusions can be drawn about why Pinterest has taken off, it is the visual nature of the site that is worth noting.

As Mashable describes it, “the browser experience is ideal for the small attention spans of web readers — almost no text, almost all pictures.”

Almost no text? Almost all pictures?

For PR professionals who have built their businesses and reputations on wordsmithing, that notion is a little scary. However, the trend toward visual communication is here to stay, and our business is changing accordingly.

To be successful, everything from the basic press release to internal communications needs to be brief and supported by strong imagery. Words must be impactful but sparse.

And if it’s virtual, it better be visual.

Whether Pinterest is the web’s Next Big Thing remains to be seen. However, the site does pinpoint an important fact: visual elements are an increasingly vital part of delivering your message and defining your brand. Pinning down the right images to complement carefully crafted words will be worth the investment of time and creativity.