The Social Media Seven: 10/2 - 10/8

By: Parth Shah, @shah_parth_

Tampa Bay's graphic design team has been on fire recently. Read more below! Photo credit: @TBBuccaneers

Tampa Bay's graphic design team has been on fire recently. Read more below! Photo credit: @TBBuccaneers

Welcome to another installment of the Social Media Seven! We've got a lot to cover in this jam-packed edition of the week's best social media strategies, posts, and content, so let's get started!

1) Boston Red Sox

It's not every day that you get to say goodbye to a legend of the game in the way you want to. Playing his final regular season home game at Fenway Park, David Ortiz was honored in a tremendous ceremony by the Red Sox. Living in Boston, this past year has been all Big Papi, all the time. The social media team has been hard at work complimenting his final season on the field, and his final weekend in Boston did not disappoint. The Sox put together wonderful video footage to hype up the weekend and to pay respect to their icon. They tastefully frame the positive qualities of David Ortiz and his importance to the game of baseball. They also were able to clip part of his speech, dedicated to acknowledging the fans, which does wonders on social media. Part of the job is giving followers what they want and empowering them, which is what the Sox did successfully. It's a bittersweet time in Beantown.

2) University of Michigan Football

With Twitter introducing their Moments feature a few weeks ago, many teams and organizations have been experimenting with the new tool (including Front Office Sports bringing the fire on Saturdays). Michigan's social media team is always innovative, with Adobe Spark and now with the early mastery of Moments. Check out their Twitter moments for Wisconsin last week (here) and for Rutgers this week (here). It already looks like they've gotten a good feel for how to compile and curate game-specific recaps on Moments, finding a happy balance between personal and others' tweets and under/over-doing content. It's a great start to a feature that will only continue to grow in popularity on Twitter, and it will be interesting to see the creative new strategies and innovations teams employ in the coming weeks and months. 

3) Buffalo Bills

The Bills have been flying high in recent weeks, knocking off the Cardinals and Patriots, two top teams, in consecutive weeks. While many of their fans believed, ESPN's analysts all picked against them, something that the Bills' (social media) team took to heart. In back-to-back weeks, they were able to have their own fun with the victories, taking sarcastic jabs at the analysts' picks. Content like this, especially that does not need to be created and just presented with context, can be successful, as seen with these examples. Fans are able to get excited and feel proud of their team, while also appealing to the younger demographic that appreciates poking fun and being sarcastic. A+ one-sided banter, Buffalo.

4) Los Angeles Dodgers

On the west coast, the Dodgers said goodbye to an icon of their own. Vin Scully, a legend in the booth, called his last game to end the regular season, against the team he grew up watching and sprung his love for baseball. The social media team created a classy, touching farewell video to one of the nicest men in baseball, a true embodiment of his personality and character. The Dodgers did really well in not only respecting his legacy, but also offering up a beautiful representation of who Vin Scully is. Try watching it without getting goosebumps, it's not possible. Thank you for an incredible 67 years of passion for the game.

The video team, hard at work, also put together a hype video looking back at the regular season and building excitement for the MLB Playoffs. Content like this generates enthusiasm within a fanbase, something that is easily spread with easily shareable content. Video is king. Finally, the Dodgers have been capturing and sharing victory high-fives, something that seems incredibly simple yet is almost always successful. It's a great way to convey good feeling and positive sentiment within a fanbase, an aspect so crucial in brand loyalty and strength. #WeLoveLA'sSocialMediaTeam!

5) Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Tampa Bay digital graphic team put together a masterful graphic to highlight Mike Evans' stand out game the previous week. The cool part? That image, as a still, isn't even it! The graphic is a click-and-rotate 360 degree image shared on Facebook. Check it out and play around with it here! This is the first time that I've seen something like this in social media, and the Bucs executed the graphic to perfection. The image looks sharp, clean, and distinct. Most importantly, it is interactive by nature, automatically engaging with fans more directly than other methods. The only drawback is that it is a Facebook-only feature as of now, so it wasn't able to be shared on Twitter, where many teams engage with fans. However, it is a tremendous leap in the interactive graphic aspect of social media marketing, and I am sure it is only the beginning of many, as teams try this out for their own. 

6) Portland Trail Blazers (via Fieldhouse Media)

The Trail Blazers were highlighted by Fieldhouse Media for their success using Instagram Stories, with their creative usage of the medium to share a "mix of pics, highlights, storytelling, and informing." Teams are starting to share more often on the platform, and becoming more creative in how they tell stories on their, well, stories. As the NBA season tips off, teams will be taking their accounts behind-the-scenes, courtside, and more to provide cool, non-traditional perspectives to fans. Engagement is the name of the game in social media sports, and finding different ways to reach fans is a must to stay a leg above the competition and therefore the clutter of marketing messages. Kudos to Portland for succeeding in a rising yet still unconventional method of social media. 

7) University of Washington Football

The Washington Huskies have taken college football by storm this season, dominating opponents and rising all the way to #5 in the national rankings. The excitement continues to build in Seattle, as the Huskies dismantle teams week in and week out. Capitalizing on this successful period in UW football is crucial for the program and the university, so the social media team is hard at work promoting #PurpleReign. The team put together two fantastic pieces of content in lead-up to Saturday's game against Oregon, one showcasing their own cool uniforms for game day and the other a nice promotional video that stimulates the hype currently surrounding the program and their increasingly anticipated matchups. It will be interesting to see how much steam UW continues to carry as the season goes along, and if the program is able to capture more fans and build a long-term, stable and successful program in the Pacific Northwest. 

Thanks for reading! See you back here this time next week? Of course you will. 

Until next time, a quote to consider: "In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years." - Abraham Lincoln

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