On Wednesday May 16th the Chicago Cubs hosted their inaugural Social Media Night. Fans who purchased tickets were invited to a pregame social media panel at Wrigley Field’s Captain Morgan Club. And by social media, we obviously mean the discussion was Twitter heavy.
The panel consisted of Chicago Bears kicker Robbie Gould (@RobbieGould09), (more on his night here) Cubs.com writer Carrie Muskat (@CarrieMuskat) and Cubs Public Relations and Marketing Specialist Kevin Saghy (@Cubs).
Each person was given a swag bag that included a Cubs “social media” t-shirt, a copy of Vine Line magazine, a teeny foam finger, a voucher for a hot dog and a multi-card set of Cubs “Social Media Series” baseball cards featuring Cub players that are on Twitter.
“We looked at a lot of other teams, what they do and how we could differentiate themselves. We wanted to do something really interactive, then do you a unique giveaway” Saghy said.
“That’s where the baseball cards came in. I’ve never seen a professional baseball team do the social media themed baseball cards. Our ticket office came up with that idea, and as a kicker we got a lot of them autographed. So everyone that came here today actually got an autographed card.”
Mine was Ian Stewart.
“It just kind of ties into our theme of we want to provide value for following us, we really do care about fans and it’s something that we take very seriously, and hopefully we were able to portray that today.”
Kevin said that he and his team read every single tweet and message they receive through Twitter, and they often respond.
1. Deliver the core values of the Cubs
2. Get to know their key influencers
3. Listening and engaging
4. Offer something of real value to the fans
5. Financial benefit
Carrie Muskat approaches social media from a professional, not a personal perspective as she’s a reporter for the Cubs and an employee of MLB. She said her main uses for Twitter are sharing team news and stories, following other Cubs reporters and blogs to get the latest team/player news and following current players who tweet. Her tweets appear on Cubs.com.
“Twitter has totally changed our jobs cuz it’s 24-7 now. Paul Maholm announced his signing on Twitter,” Muskat said.
The Cubs have seen increased Twitter volume since merging from @cubsinsider to @cubs.
“We reply to everything that we can, and we have a monitoring dashboard where we’ll able to summarize, qualitatively and quantitatively tweets and we can then we can go to our management team and say this event was really popular, or say this is the number of tweets we got for this campaign versus other campaigns,” said Saghy.
“We’re just getting much more sophisticated in our measurements basically.”
September 17th versus is the next Cubs Social Media night. A contest will be held, and one follower from the next event will get the chance to throw out the first pitch before that game.
Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net, an official Google News site generating millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Walter Football.com, Yardbarker, MSN and Fox Sports
A Fulbright scholar and MBA, Banks has appeared on live radio all over the world; and he’s a member of the Football Writers Association of America, U.S. Basketball Writers Association, and Society of Professional Journalists. The President of the United States follows him on Twitter (@Paul_M_BanksTSB) You should too.