Every morning while fulfilling my caffeine and Instagram fix, I look forward to the daily posts from one of the 273 people/brands that I follow on Instagram more so than the others – the San Francisco Giants. Whether it be showing off embarrassing baby pictures of the players, highlighting San Francisco’s freaky fans, or capturing some of the best moments in the history of the greatest American tradition, the San Francisco Giants’ Instagram never ceases to amaze me.
While I’m slightly partial to my morning Instagram ritual, their Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Tumblr, and branded application are not to be ignored. The Giants not only lead the pack when it comes to social innovation and engagement, but they’re the OG’s when it comes to implementing it – they were among the first teams to adopt Instagram and Google+, quickly recognizing the wide demographic of their quirky, rabid fan-base, and ensuring they solidified all avenues of outreach and communication. When it comes to Twitter, they own it just as much as they do their World Series rings. In 2012, the team’s hashtag #sfgiants ranked fifth in the sports universe. Coming in behind #nfl, #nascar, #mlb, and the Olympics.
The Giants are continuing to step their social game up, and are creating an ‘in-store’ experience for their fans while at the ballpark. They’re implementing charging stations for phones and tablets, and a creating a social media center for displaying the best user content at the games, as well as increases Wi-Fi capabilities for handle the crowds. The Giants are truly setting the social stage for athletics teams, and there’s a lot to be admired and learned from their social presence and commitment. The Giants have figured out the secrets to blowing up on social and continuing to dominate when it comes to social athletics: knowing their audience and effectively leveraging user content to create buzz and excitement for the team. They not only tap into nearly every social platform, but they have mastered displaying their user content on their social channels, and finding ways for their fans to continue to stay engaged, whether on their phone or at the game itself.
Without the fans, there wouldn’t be a team. So why not use them as a marketing asset? When a beard, a belt, and a panda get together…watch out! It’s a social media force to be reckoned with.