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UCB Roundtable: Social Media Director For A Day

Posted on December 10, 2012 at 7:05 AM
Filed Under: St. Louis Cardinals | United Cardinal Bloggers
Pardon the lack of activity around here.  Between the lack of Cardinal actions and the holiday season, it's tough to make the time to sit down at the keyboard.  I know I haven't weighed in on Randy Choate, but there's not really much to say.  The Cards needed another lefty and they got one.  Choate's struggles against righthanders is worrisome, especially if Marc Rzepczynski has similar problems, but he can lock down the lefties.  We'll just have to wait and see if Mike Matheny did some thinking on bullpen management in this offseason.

Also, if you are wanting more of my biting wit and knowledge of my background, the StanGraphs guys featured me in their first attempt at getting to know the UCB.  Lots of fun to be had over there, assuming you have as much fun reading as I did answering.

However, one of the things I've been neglecting is getting up the transcript of my question to the United Cardinal Bloggers last week, which finished up our month-long roundtable.  By time you get to the end of something like that, it's tough to come up with a good and unique question.  I'm still not sure that I did it, but at least I asked something.  My query tied in with the fact that this group is a social media construct.

"If you were the Cardinals' social media director for a day, what would you do?"

Answers after the jump

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Daniel Solzman (Redbird Rants): Things are going great. I would love for us bloggers to be able to obtain 2013 media guides prior to the season from the team as opposed to paying for them. I've been able to interview so many minor leaguers this season, including some of the top round picks in this year's draft, but I would like to be able to arrange for phone interviews with some of the guys on the major league roster. If it happens, great. If not, oh well.

Wes Keene (Keene On MLB): Some other teams have created secondary Twitter accounts where they can do things MLB might frown on. Yankees have a PR account, the Giants have a stats account, and the Diamonbacks have @DiamondBackers, a fan takeover account where extensive commentary on the game is encouraged. The Cards should look into implementing one or more of these types of "extra" accounts to make their Twitter presence be less "vanilla".

Dennis Lawson (Pitchers Hit Eighth): I would turn everyone loose to actually interact with fans. The SF Giants won both the World Series and the social media battle as well. The level of interaction with their Twitter account is both personal and spontaneous without completely canned messages. It's almost like a real, live person or 4 are behind the scenes typing on a keyboard. So lifelike, yet so "official" as well. I'd also wire Hrabosky up with a microphone and send him to have a few drinks with Mike Shannon. Then I'd request that Shannon do his "choo choo" sounds again, because who doesn't want to hear Mike Shannon make train sounds?

Mark Tomasik (RetroSimba): If I were Social Media Director of the Cardinals for a day, I'd find a way for as many members of the organization as possible to engage directly with customers. Those organization members should include everyone from the principal owner to the team executives to players to managers/coaches and stadium personnel. Each would find an interested targeted audience that would bolster their customer loyalty because of the direct social media engagement.

Bill Ivie (I70 Baseball): I'll echo Mark's answer a bit. Don't just provide information, interact. Over the last few months Ang and I have had times where we were unhappy with a company. When we Tweet about it (tagging the company in the Tweet) we generally get a direct and honest answer, or a request to contact someone at the company directly. Utilize the account to interact, address fans, and run your business with another point of contact. So, as Mark said, get as many people from the organization in touch with as many fans as possible.

Wes Keene: Not to be disrespectful to anyone in the organization, I know they work very hard - but it is very hard to be interactive when 80% of your tweets come from New York. Step 1 to becoming interactive is getting control of your own social accounts. I suspect the difficulties in doing so are why some teams have taken the steps I mentioned in my original response.

Mary Clausen (MLB Voice): I love the Cardinals twitter info that we get, I think they see the importance of nuts like us. Finally! I too think it would be good for us to get our hands on a media guide.

Chris Mallonee (Birds On The Bat 82): If I was given job of social media director for a day...I know this sounds self-serving, but that's not my intent. I would love to see the Cardinals get more of the "voice of the fan" into their social media. Retweet fan comments/pics during games, have contest for blog post submissions that could be featured on the team main website, etc. I think those things could really bring about a great goodwill among the fans that they can be seen and heard more prominently in Cardinal nation.

Christine Coleman (Aaron Miles' Fastball): I agree with what Chris said -- I would love to see more real interaction on the Cards social media fronts and especially on Twitter. Other teams do it, as I saw the White Sox were giving away an autographed Chris Sale picture yesterday via Twitter and the Pirates are giving away VIP passes for their Pirate Fest every day this week. That's the whole point of social media, right -- interaction? Not just one-sided communication? Get the fans involved, respond to them and make it more a real community. Easy to do, just takes time and starting the interaction.

Matthew Philip (Fungoes): I would pattern my responsibilities after what Daniel does for the UCB. The group projects, the regular communication and the appreciation for what we do should all be hallmarks of that position. Practically speaking, I'd make sure that social media was a two-way street, and rather than merely pushing out information for bloggers to consume or further push themselves, I would involve the blogging community -- say by retweeting UCB members' tweets and promoting what we do.

As usual, the group pretty much cleaned up against this batting-practice fastball.  I don't disagree with anything they are saying above.  I know there are some restrictions in place due to MLB, but anytime you can actually have a conversation or acknowledge the fan base in a social media setting, it's a positive thing for your organization.  The Cardinals have taken some major steps in that arena in just the past couple of years.  I have no doubts that they will continue to learn and adjust to the social media arena in the years to come as well!

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