By @TimCary, CBSSports.com Social Media Editor
CLEVELAND Indians: INSIDE THE SOCIAL SUITE
When the Cleveland Indians opened the Wi-Fi enabled “Tribe Social Deck” in left field for the 2010 season, the team recognized it needed a way to reach out to fans in social media spaces. Fast forward to 2011, and it’s obvious the plan worked. The online response to a dedicated area at Progressive Field for those active on social networking sites was such a success that the Indians set aside an entire suite for that purpose this year.
And the attendees were the ones getting the word out.
“Every bit of press coverage that was generated about the Tribe Social Deck in 2010 was generated from our attendees,” Rob Campbell (Coordinator, Digital Media) told CBSSports.com. “We never issued a press release outside the initial application, and it was never officially mentioned by the Indians outside Facebook and Twitter.
“It’s really a testament to the power of social media and the attendees.”
This year’s incarnation, the “Social Suite,” featured both indoor and outdoor seats. Fans applied for tickets at Indians.com: “We have an online application where we ask their basic information, how they use social media and then we offer them the opportunity to share with us a little about themselves: why they want to be in the Social Suite, what their favorite Indians memory is, that sort of thing,” Campbell said. 140 characters or less, of course.
The Social Suite has a robust waiting list during the year, but the Indians work to allow as many fans as possible the opportunity to experience a game there. The team also monitors online discussion about the Indians and Cleveland and reaches out to people individually with invitations to the suite.
Campbell said he hopes the Social Suite will cater to specific groups even more in the future, so those with a common interest outside the Indians can enjoy networking at Progressive Field.
A Social Suite invitation often includes more than just a game ticket. Past attendees have had the opportunity to take advantage of unsold VIP packages for batting practice, watching postgame fireworks shows from the dugout and more.
“Our underlying motive is just to give the best experience possible, utilizing everything Progressive Field has to offer,” Campbell said. “If we’re not sold out of a package on that particular night, it works to our benefit to have those who are influential in the social media landscape come down and enjoy that experience.”
Follow the Cleveland Indians on Twitter at @Indians.
Other MLB Teams That Rock at Twitter
Arizona Diamondbacks: @Dbacks
Strength: Overall balance. Does everything well.
Sample Tweet: “"Goldschmidt" is trending nationwide. #AbsoluteBlast #BeatSF”
Boston Red Sox: @RedSox
Strength: Fan Interaction
Sample Tweet: “http://twitvid.com/NSBNN - Watch this short video and identify this current @RedSox player using #B4Sox”
Minnesota Twins: @Twins
Strength: News breaking
Sample Tweet: Cool fact: Twins Season Ticket Holders donated nearly 2,000 tickets to kids in need through our partnership with @TixForTots #giving
Seattle Mariners: @Mariners
Strength: Quality game updates
Sample Tweet: "On behalf of everyone in the Mariners organization, a heartfelt thanks for your support this season. 181 days until the 2012 Opener..."
Texas Rangers: @Rangers
Strength: GM Chats
Sample Tweet: “Getting ready for Jon Daniels with Texas Twitter Tuesday. #texastwittertue”
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