Battle of the Mile High Teams
In this post, I will be comparing the social media presence of two organizations across multiple platforms – including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat and LinkedIn – to observe effective use of social media as well as to recognize and find solutions for ineffective uses of social media.
The organizations I am going to compare are the Denver Broncos and the Colorado Rockies. I am both an avid baseball fan and social media user, and because I enjoy following my favorite team, the Cleveland Indians, on their social platforms, I liked the idea of watching and learning from other professional sports organizations.
The Rockies’ current 25th Anniversary logo, used on Facebook and Twitter. Source: Twitter.
Social Media Content
The social platforms that the Broncos have provided links to on their website are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube and LinkedIn. The Rockies are more established on several different platforms, consisting of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, Google+, Pinterest, Tumblr and LinkedIn.
Social media presence:
The Rockies have a large number of followers on all of their platforms, from 920,000 on Facebook, 525,000 on Twitter and 294,000 on Instagram to 3,000 subscribers on YouTube and Pinterest, as well as 26,292 followers on Google+. These numbers pale however to the Broncos’: 4.3 million likes on Facebook, 2.65 million followers on twitter, 1.1 million on Instagram and 11,464 subscribers on YouTube.
On Twitter, the Rockies have branded themselves simply in their bio:
“We are a Major League Baseball team.”
This is short, sweet and to the point about who they are as well as a clever way to preview their brand of tweets as kind of witty, funny and kind of cheeky.
The Broncos’ Twitter bio reads:
“Twitter home of the three-time Super Bowl champions: XXXII, XXXIII and
On Instagram, both organizations simply have their name, a website linked, and a hashtag they track in their bios.
Both teams use the logos pictured above for their user icons on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. However, the Rockies use a different “classic” logo on YouTube, Google+ and Tumblr and a Spring Training themed logo on Pinterest. The Broncos also use their above-pictured classic logo as the icon on their YouTube page.
The Rockies’ current 25th Anniversary logo, used on Facebook and Twitter. Source: Twitter.
The Rockies’ logo used on Youtube and LinkedIn. Source: YouTube.
The Rockies’ logo used on Pinterest. Source: Pinterest.
The Rockies are currently using a different header on Facebook than on Twitter (the former is a photo of third baseman Nolan Arenado and the latter is an aerial photo of the city of Denver), while the Broncos are keeping their “Tradition” header consistent between both of the platforms.
Rockies third basemen Nolan Arenado is pictured in the Rockies’ Facebook header. Source: Facebook.
An aerial view of Denver, Colorado is used as the Rockies’ Twitter header. Source: Twitter.
This “Tradition” header is used on both the Broncos’ Facebook and Twitter pages. Source: Facebook.
Purpose for each platform:
On Facebook, the Rockies post videos, game recaps and news. Twitter is often used to post the same videos, but is also used primarily to give updates about scoring and game plays. The Rockies post at least once a day on Instagram; their posts are normally a photo from their MLB Photo Blog or other photos from games and of players. Instagram is not used for constant game updates and the captions are kept short, tagging players and often using emojis and hashtags.
The Rockies’ YouTube appears to not have any posts more recent than a year ago; Tumblr has posts with gifs of great plays and noteworthy achievements, but doesn’t boast as many notes (the Tumblr version of likes or retweets) as their other social platforms and the posting seems to be sporadic. On Google+, the Rockies’ most recent posts talk about Spring Training, not too outdated compared to the YouTube, but still outdated by about a month.
The Broncos utilize their Facebook and Twitter in much the same way as the Rockies. Yet, as it currently baseball season, the Rockies have much more to post about every day (the Broncos are not posting game updates in their off-season). Instead, the Broncos are posting about the NFL Draft as well as off-season updates about the team and peeks into players’ and team activities.
Similarly, on Instagram, the Broncos are posting pictures to hype up a new season, showing babies and dogs in Broncos gear and advertising merchandise; these posts keep user engagement up while there are no games being played.
They also appear to upload videos to their YouTube account regularly.
The Rockies use their LinkedIn account to post about job openings and even game tickets, while the Broncos seem to have taken an approach which includes posting news stories about the team.
Over the time I reviewed the teams’ presence on social media platforms, I added them on Snapchat, but did not see very much in the way of updates to the team’s Snapchat stories. Instead, I saw them using their Instagram stories more.
Advice & Inspiration
After reviewing these teams’ use of social media, I think that each organization has some effective uses of social media platforms, as well as some areas where they could improve their use.
- The Rockies have a well-established voice on Twitter, advice given in this class blog post about Twitter; their tweets all fall within a certain tone (matching the one set in their bio) and tweet everything from give game updates to daily news and fun videos. Additionally, they use the app as a PR channel to respond to fans.
- In this BBC article, Mark Frankel, social media editor for BBC News, says that brevity, clear language, humor/light touch, judicious hashtag and a good pic and link are what make a good tweet. I see the Rockies using all of these in their tweets, especially humor and photographs, which keeps not only their following fans engaged, but even attracts followers who are not actually Rockies fans (like me…).
- On their most popular platforms (Facebook, Instagram and Twitter), the Rockies certainly create a cohesive brand image and post regularly to keep their audience engaged, as this Forbes article talks about.
- Even though it is currently the NFL’s off-season, the Broncos are keeping up with their social platforms. In just the past day, they have tweeted and retweeted seven tweets on Twitter. Mark Frankel, in the same previous BBC article, encourages journalists to tweet as often as they can and as much as “is sustainable.” Even though the Broncos are a sports team and not a journalist, the concept applies well to them as well.
- The Broncos only really have a presence on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, YouTube and LinkedIn; each is used for a specific purpose and caters to a different need relating to their public, as this article talks about.
- With these major platforms, with the exception of not seeing any Snapchat stories, the Broncos keep their platforms up to date and do not bother with extra things like Pinterest and Google+, which they do not necessarily have need for when connecting with their audience.
- My criticism for the Rockies is mostly all about the platforms they are present on, but are not using, especially when the branding does not fit the rest of their image. For Pinterest, Youtube and Tumblr, the Rockies should use the same logo and should post more often, or get rid of their presence on the platform completely. I think they could benefit from keeping all their social media presence small but powerful on the few they are one, similarly to the Broncos.
- We have debated in class about how influential Snapchat really is and whether it will survive, but while the Rockies have a Snapchat account and while the app is still being used, I think they should update their story more often, even if they only post the same thing they are putting on their Instagram story, along the same lines as Mark Frankel’s “tweet as often as you can” concept.
- On Pinterest, I like the theme the Rockies have going, with boards related to their mascot Dinger, Rockies gear, Coors Field, eating venues within their park, and Rockies players, but none of the boards have been saved to more recently than a year ago, which makes the account less appealing to anyone who might want to follow it. If it is not being updated, followers have no real need for it. As an active Pinterest user myself, I know that I would be much more interested in an active account (again, the “tweet as often as you can” concept).
- Although it is interesting to see LinkedIn used as more of a social networking and news sharing site as we started talking about in class, I think that it still has a lot to offer as a networking site when it comes to searching for jobs. I like that the Rockies do post about job openings and encourage applicants on their LinkedIn and think that the Broncos could do the same, even if they want to retain the news-sharing aspect.
- In this Poynter article, it is pointed out that Instagram truly is an ideal platform for showing off stunning photography (though it is a bit of a no-brainer). However, I think that this is something the Rockies do quite well that the Broncos could do a bit more of, like utilizing Instagram’s multiple picture feature and showcasing more photography of games, players, fans, etc.
- Just as ads on Snapchat are currently outperforming ads on other platforms, like the Rockies, I think the Broncos could use a stronger presence on Snapchat, because it is at the moment still a very powerful platform that could be capitalized on better for as long as Snapchat remains so.
Social Media Presenters
In class, we had the opportunity to listen to some different social media managers present on how they manage the social media of the organizations they work for. It was really interesting to hear about the job from someone who does it every day, and even to see the concepts they talked about pop up on the social media pages of these professional sports organizations.
Anna Rader, Digital Media Coordinator of Wyoming Public Radio, talked about how often she posts on the WPR Facebook page – approximately once every two hours – compared to how often NPR posts on theirs – closer to once every 30 minutes.
I see the Broncos currently posting every few hours on both Facebook and Twitter, but the Rockies posting every few hours on Facebook, but even more often as needed on Twitter since they are in the middle of their season.
Jessica Romero, from Laramie Main Street Alliance, talked about how they bring in new guests every week to run the keep the Downtown Laramie Instagram fresh and updated with great photography of Laramie . This is not the exact same concept used by professional sports organizations who can afford to have photographers on staff, but the concept of keeping a feed fresh and filled with photos is obviously utilized by both organizations on their Instagrams.
Both teams also post videos on Facebook and Twitter to bring an extra layer of interest to their accounts, reminding me of how Jessica talked about the video profiles done on downtown Laramie businesses.