Tag Archives: responsiveness

atlanta braves hit a home run on twitter.

If you’re looking for the potential to do awesome things on Twitter, look no further than the Atlanta Braves account, @Braves (huge tip of the cap to Joe Glad for the lead). In their use of social media, the Braves show responsiveness, creativity, awesome fan-friendly engagement and organization-wide buy-in.

Braves wish fan happy birthday

Many of us monitor our “brands” online, and the Braves are no different. But they take it a step beyond. Consider the above photo, learning of a fan’s birthday and having one of the Braves hold up a whiteboard sign of birthday greetings. Or when learning of a young fan (I assume) coming to his first game, tweeting a player’s message of welcome (below). Or when a fan tweeted a picture of a Turner Field cake she made for her father’s birthday, @Braves retweeted it, the image enjoying more than 1,000 views.

Hard to top that in terms of engagement. You get the feeling the organization loves fans as much as the fans love the Braves.

They keep the stream going with more functional news tweets (nightly lineups) or event-based in terms of near-live photos. The Braves stumped for reliever Billy Wagner to make the last-chance vote for the All-Star team, but they’ve also tweeted in support of charity. While @Braves racked up more than 23,000 followers, the account — unlike, say, Oprah — actually follows back a fairly healthy chunk of nearly 1,000 fans.

In addition to their responsiveness in identifying tweets and finding ways to pleasantly surprise their fans through creative engagement, I’m also impressed with the organizational buy-in. If you can get players, broadcasters and management to join in the greetings and Twitter games, that says a lot. While I don’t know how big the team’s Twitter-related staff is, I can tell that the support for it must come from very high for so many parts of the operation to happily play along.

However the Braves do it all, one thing is clear: Their use of Twitter is a home run. We can all draw ideas and inspiration with how they cover all their bases.




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with activism, social media is not a waiting game.

Recently, New York State announced a mind-boggling move to close a number of state parks and historic sites, including Oswego’s Fort Ontario. Fort Ontario played a role in the French & Indian War, Revolutionary War and War of 1812; housed nearly 1,000 refugees, mostly Jewish, from World War II Europe (the only haven of its kind); and serves as a key community resource for folks of all ages and interests. That activists would want to use every tool available — including Facebook — to try to save the fort came as no surprise.

The first to jump was a high school student, who created a group that is a truly grassroots campaign. A local official contacted the person saying she also was working on something but was waiting for approval. The student accepted her request to become an administrator, and she later contacted everyone when she had the more official page set up. Where, to her credit, she did plug the other effort.

My reaction, however, was: Waiting for approval? To set up a Facebook page? I understand wanting to gather official partners and settle other organizational details, but with a cause where people are ready to act, [s]he who hesitates is lost. If there’s a hot topic and a ready audience, they aren’t going to wait for committee meetings, mission statements and the trappings of how we used to do business.

The results? As of early Tuesday, the student-created group is community-driven, with a wide variety of people constantly posting emotional comments, links and photos. Number of members? 4,314. The organization-created page is almost completely administrator-driven. Community comments and interaction are less frequent. Number of fans? 2,050. A journalist friend of mine astutely observed that, in the Web 2.0 world, an unofficial presence, for whatever reason, sometimes has the opportunity to become more trusted and engaging than an official effort.

It sets up a fascinating study in communication dynamics, but I also wonder if it will dilute efforts, no matter how friendly the two are. There’s a reason, after all, why you don’t see two chess clubs, two weekly student newspapers, two Jewish Student Associations on most campuses. While one would hope the efforts complement each other, in the go-go 21st century, busy people may prefer one place to visit, one entity through which to focus efforts.

Don’t get me wrong: If you’re a college, company or other permanent presence, you should indeed take the lead of online branding. You have every right to make sure you know what you’re doing before you go all-out on a social-media campaign. But if a cause comes up and you sit on the sidelines while someone else sounds the horn, you’ll see that social media is not a waiting game.

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