Jack Martin // Aug 3 2012
Since moving downtown to the Smith Tower, Portent has been getting a lot more social in Seattle. So when we saw that the Mariners were hosting a Social Media Night on August 1st, we grabbed our smart phones and headed over.
Many sports organizations have been early adopters of social media, and the Mariners are right in the thick of it. That’s why we weren’t surprised to see a special offer to chat about social media with Mariners players, broadcasters, and staff. The details of the event:
[emailA pretty good deal for a pack of social media fanatics like us. We arrived at the pre-game event to find a few big screens featuring a rolling feed from Twitterfall following the night’s hashtag #MarinersSocial.
After some warm up tweets, the panel of Mariners rolled in and we chatted for half an hour about social media. It was a blast.
Our own @SocialDoug has been dying to convince the Mariners to close the roof early in the season to allow more homeruns, and he finally was able to share his thoughts with the people who need to know.
While no one actually answered his question (and the pitchers weren’t too excited about making homeruns easier), the discussion prompted the hashtag #closetheroof on Twitter.
— Seattle Mariners (@Mariners) August 1, 2012
Kind of social. Only around 100 of those ticket-buyers chose to attend the pre-game event. The other reason Social Media Night didn’t live up to its name is just like Snoop
See, Snoop Dogg (Social Media Night) went to Jamaica (Safeco Field). During his trip, he realized he wasn’t really Snoop Dogg (Social Media Night) at all, but a different, more focused version of himself – Snoop Lion (Twitter Night).
What the above paragraph communicates
extremely clearly is that the only type of social media we found at the Mariners game was Twitter. Though the Mariners event page proclaimed “Calling all Facebookers, Tweeters, Instagrammers, [and] Pinners,” only Twitter had a presence at the game.
[emailoptin type="social"][/emailoptin]The Mariners have active Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Google+ pages, but none of them mentioned the Social Media Night at all. So let’s just call it what it was: Mariners Twitter Night.
Which is fine, but it’s hard not to see the potential for Social Media Night.
There were a few “fastest tweet” competitions that yielded some prizes, and the boards featuring the event’s hashtag tweets was cool, but the night had a lot more room for social integration. We came up with our own ideas for what we’d like to see at the next Social Media Night.
Let’s get those pinners in on the fun, too. Create a scavenger hunt of the best places and things at Safeco field. Make users pin pictures of their seat view, their waffle fries (famous as Safeco), and document their strike speed. Users can tag pinned pictures with a hashtag to make it easy for the Mariners social team to find and give prizes.
I spend three hours whipping my t-shirt around my head and looking fabulous in my jeans – but was I featured on the jumbotron? Not even a little bit.
Have fans tweet their seat number and get those pro cameramen to track them down so I can finally have the pleasure of looking at myself on a large screen.
The pre-game event was all about social, but as soon as the game started, Social Media Night came to a complete halt. When they finally mentioned that it was Social Media Night, I had almost forgotten. There was a lot of opportunity to get fans more engaged during the game. I mean, there’s like one pitch every five minutes – we won’t be overwhelmed if you suggest we do something else as well.
This could work across all social networks, allowing people without a Twitter account to participate. Just have fans post their game pictures for the Mariners social team to find, and feature a handful between innings. Done and done. Everyone is happy and social.
Edit: I’m told they have been known to do this at games already. But if it went by so fast that I missed it, maybe they could do it a little more?
Building an event around social media is tough – and we’re really glad the Mariners did it.