Minor League teams should take a page from MLB’s playbook and harness the power of social media to engage their fans.
Baseball is back and it’s no surprise MLB has been all over their social media channels by engaging fans with a fresh team of MLB Fan Cave members and a large social media presence for every team.
It’s easy to have a good social media presence when you’re an MLB team with a big budget and some well-known players. But what about MiLB – you know, Minor League Baseball? Minor League stadiums and teams rely on their local community to show support and are sometimes reduced to the most grassroots levels of marketing when it comes to budget time.
That’s where social media comes in. Sports fans are already accustom to following their favorite MLB teams and players, why not their local minor league team?
Enter the Richmond Flying Squirrels. Richmond is lucky to have them – as the nearest MLB stadium is 2 hours away in Washington D.C. The Flying Squirrels are a Double-A affiliate of the San Francisco Giants and boy do they know how to connect with their audience by harnessing the power of social media! Here are some ways they connect with fans via social media.
Flying Squirrels Insider
The Flying Squirrels have their own YouTube Channel where they post a special broadcast that gives fans an inside look at the team, its players and game breakdowns. Fans who can’t go to every game but want to stay “in the know” about their local team can check out the latest videos on YouTube.
Flying Squirrels on Twitter
The Flying Squirrels have a good team of Twitter handles that help spread the word about the team.
@gosquirrels is the official team handle. It posts game updates and Flying Squirrels news.
Well.. it was looking good.. Squirrels were one strike away but Altoona ties the game in the 9th, 1-1 and now, a rain delay. #WentNutz
— Squirrels Baseball (@gosquirrels) April 17, 2013
@LazeRFS is the Twitter handle for the Richmond Flying Squirrels Radio Broadcaster. He tweets game day updates and roster moves.
Last night I introduced the term Snodgrass as a verb. 2night the definition: To dominate the competition. T-Shirts in the works.
— Jon Laaser (@LazeRFS) April 16, 2013
@tweetparney is the Twitter handle for Todd Parnell – the Vice President and COO of the Flying Squirrels. “Parney” tweets pictures, interacts with fans, and promotes the team with his quirky updates.
@gosquirrels will return home Thursday for another 7 game homestand, including 2 Fireworks, Soup Nazi, RIR Night and another education Day!!
— Parney (@tweetparney) April 12, 2013
Yep, they have a Pinterest account. They’ve got boards for RVA families, Flying Squirrels gear, Flying Squirrels players and even a special board for their mascots: Nutzy, Zinger and Parker! Their most active board is the community board they have set up for other Richmonders to pin their favorite things about Richmond.
Flying Squirrels on Facebook
Ballpark Nutz page
Not only do the Flying Squirrels have an official Facebook page for their team – they’ve started a Facebook page to build momentum and talk about something very important to the team’s future: a new stadium. The Squirrels have been rallying support for a new stadium that will be closer to downtown and accommodate more people with more seats, more suites and more concessions. They’ve done a great job enlisting fans to not only ‘like’ the page, but also engage in discussions regularly.
Nutzy the Flying Squirrel
Nutzy doesn’t have a Twitter account – but he does have a Facebook fan page! This is because the Squirrels know the best way for fans to connect with their lovable mascot is on Facebook through pictures and updates.
Should minor league teams emulate what the Flying Squirrels have done here? Yes and no. What’s important about the success of the Squirrel’s social media is that they know that their fans are diverse and they’ve created channels to reach out to each type. And that is what other minor league teams should emulate.