Padres Look to Improve Social Media Presence

Social Media. Sometimes we love it. Sometimes we hate it. But one thing is for certain, it definitely isn’t going away any time soon and, if used correctly, could be an excellent marketing tool to help promote your business.

It’s actually the perfect tool for Major League baseball teams. It’s free to access, the potential audience is growing by the day and with all the different platforms, the options are endless.

In seasons past, I have been less than impressed with what the Padres have produced. A Twitter account and Facebook page that had little to no interaction with the fans, a Vine account that had 6 videos for the entire year of 2013, but a pretty solid Instagram feed. You can’t fault the people running the accounts back then, because it wasn’t in their job description. That all changed this off-season when the team brought in Jesse Agler (which you heard here first).

Before we dig in too deep, let’s take a look at what Jesse walked into.

Twitter

Team Followers MLB Rank League Rank Division Rank
Diamondbacks 119,399 27 12 3
Dodgers 456,092 5 3 2
Giants 565,439 4 2 1
Padres 106,450 30 15 5
Rockies 119,396 28 13 4
Brewers 171,708 19 10 5
Cardinals 424,216 7 5 1
Cubs 318,497 11 6 2
Pirates 218,184 14 9 4
Reds 274,085 12 7 3
Braves 453,640 6 4 2
Marlins 108,219 29 14 5
Mets 238,353 13 8 3
Nationals 165,098 21 11 4
Phillies 805,954 2 1 1
Angels 155,059 25 14 4
Astros 124,423 26 15 5
Athletics 161,088 23 12 3
Mariners 167,299 20 10 2
Rangers 365,554 10 5 1
Indians 184,937 17 8 3
Royals 163,564 22 11 5
Tigers 390,163 9 4 1
Twins 192,946 16 7 2
White Sox 178,755 18 9 4
Blue Jays 392,281 8 3 3
Orioles 198,933 15 6 4
Rays 155,864 24 13 5
Red Sox 725,734 3 2 2
Yankees 1,082,762 1 1 1

Facebook

Team Likes MLB Rank League Rank Division Rank
Diamondbacks 424,176 28 13 5
Dodgers 1,920,111 5 3 2
Giants 2,027,623 3 1 1
Padres 499,020 26 12 4
Rockies 641,415 22 11 3
Brewers 730,159 16 9 4
Cardinals 1,714,080 7 4 2
Cubs 1,995,672 4 2 1
Pirates 644,615 21 10 5
Reds 842,157 13 7 3
Braves 1,569,328 8 5 1
Marlins 382,418 29 14 4
Mets 810,526 14 8 3
Nationals 309,751 30 15 5
Phillies 1,450,734 10 6 2
Angels 794,611 15 7 2
Astros 573,502 23 12 4
Athletics 504,671 25 14 5
Mariners 693,131 18 9 3
Rangers 1,812,861 6 3 1
Indians 703,127 17 8 4
Royals 442,417 27 15 5
Tigers 1,510,530 9 4 1
Twins 898,217 12 6 3
White Sox 1,304,678 11 5 2
Blue Jays 676,854 19 10 3
Orioles 653,128 20 11 4
Rays 549,944 24 13 5
Red Sox 4,386,587 2 2 2
Yankees 7,082,900 1 1 1

Instagram

Team Followers MLB Rank League Rank Division Rank
Diamondbacks 53,656 20 10 3
Dodgers 448,645 1 1 1
Giants 326,927 3 2 2
Padres 36,670 28 15 5
Rockies 43,195 24 12 4
Brewers 41,205 26 13 5
Cardinals 135,165 6 4 1
Cubs 71,727 16 9 4
Pirates 74,473 14 7 3
Reds 79,487 9 5 2
Braves 194,283 5 3 1
Marlins 38,626 27 14 5
Mets 72,647 15 8 3
Nationals 47,793 23 11 4
Phillies 78,612 12 6 2
Angels 75,673 13 7 3
Astros 34,219 29 14 5
Athletics 78,808 10 5 2
Mariners 65,831 18 9 4
Rangers 104,252 8 4 1
Indians 50,590 21 11 3
Royals 41,691 25 13 4
Tigers 116,917 7 3 1
Twins 31,470 30 15 5
White Sox 54,165 19 10 2
Blue Jays 70,296 17 8 4
Orioles 78,718 11 6 3
Rays 48,060 22 12 5
Red Sox 276,130 4 2 2
Yankees 347,701 2 1 1

Vine

Team Followers MLB Rank League Rank Division Rank
Diamondbacks 4,438 27 14 4
Dodgers 39,763 2 1 1
Giants 32,019 5 3 2
Padres 2,938 28 15 5
Rockies 5,171 24 12 3
Brewers 8,333 19 11 5
Cardinals 35,390 4 2 1
Cubs 15,693 9 5 2
Pirates 8,696 17 9 4
Reds 9,047 15 8 3
Braves 30,220 6 4 1
Marlins 4,828 25 13 5
Mets 10,662 12 7 3
Nationals 8,465 18 10 4
Phillies 14,987 10 6 2
Angels 642 30 15 5
Astros 1,677 29 14 4
Athletics 9,337 14 7 2
Mariners 7,428 21 10 3
Rangers 21,735 8 4 1
Indians 11,329 11 5 2
Royals 7,049 22 11 5
Tigers 22,175 7 3 1
Twins 7,782 20 9 4
White Sox 8,944 16 8 3
Blue Jays 4,682 26 13 5
Orioles 10,202 13 6 3
Rays 6,983 23 12 4
Red Sox 57,559 1 1 1
Yankees 38,736 3 2 2

So the Padres currently sit in 30th for Twitter followers, 26th in Facebook likes and 28th for Instagram and Vine followers* and are well below league average in every number? Ouch. That’s not good.

*The Astros and Angels just started Vine earlier this year, while the Padres started in April 2013

With that said, I have seen a drastic improvement in each of the platforms’ content this year. Stuff like #AskCash, where, in a possible MLB first, Padres pitcher Andrew Cashner answered fan tweets from the dugout live during a game. Then getting the surprisingly entertaining Huston Street to join Twitter and unleash his hilarious #spyonCarlos campaign. Add to those, the flurry of entertaining Vine videos, my favorite of which is this:

https://vine.co/v/MAPeHbEwU2B

And let’s not forget about the upcoming Padres Social Hour show, where Social Media will play a big part of the format. Teams like the Padres need to think outside the box when it comes to things like this and they seem to be headed in the right direction. In fact, Padres Chief Marketing Officer, Wayne Partello, informed me that “the (Social Media) efforts have just started.” Keep in mind that followers don’t sprout up over night, but if they continue to focus on these improvements their presence will eventually grow. Now lets get cracking on those new brown uniforms Wayne.

Rick posts as RJ’s Fro at Padres Public every Thursday….unless it’s not Thursday.
I Tweet. I book the Face. I have even plussed the Google once or twice.

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  • kevintheomanharris

    maybe it’s the one you posted (work is blocking it), but my favorite vine was the snapping fingers to switch from day game to night game.

    In general I’ve noticed a difference and I like it. There are more pictures and whatnot.

    • Lonnie Brownell

      My work doesn’t block Vines, and I don’t see it. Using Chrome’s dev tools, inspecting the source, I see nothing between the two paragraph blocks. So I’m guessing your publishing stuff thought better of the embed and knocked it out. Or something.

      • SDPads1

        I apologize, for some reason Word Press is not being very friendly in regards to the Vine video. I can’t even go in and just add the link. The finger snapping is definitely one of my favorites, but the first that stood out to me as “we are putting some real effort into this” was the baseball unraveling and that’s what I posted. It was fine in the preview but when it posted something happened. Weird.

  • Lonnie Brownell

    There’s a pretty strong correlation between team salary and position on these lists. Makes sense, I guess–teams that spend a lot on salary probably do so across the board, paying for bigger and better social media staff.

    Looking at the Twitter list, there are only 8 teams who’s payroll rank differs from their followers rank by more than five spots.

    The Padres are right at that five delta–and the wrong way, -5 (e.g., underperforming socially compared to payroll).

    Hats off to the Braves and Pirates, who have positive deltas of 12 and 13 respectively, and sad trombones for the Diamondbacks and Angels, who’s deltas are -10 and -18 (!).

    • SDPads1

      Great stuff Lonnie!

      • Lonnie Brownell

        Back at you, Rick!

    • Dustin

      Good stuff, but I’m wondering if the amount of Twitter followers/Facebook likes/etc. doesn’t have more to do simply with overall market size rather than payroll, since payroll and market size are pretty well correlated to begin with. Could be some combination of both, of course, along with other things.

      Further, though, I wonder if any teams really spend all that much on a social media staff, as they typically don’t seem to invest all that much in lower-level front office employees in general. Either way it would probably seem like pennies compared to the major league payroll, and something that any team should be able to afford quite easily.

      Also, great piece Rick, really cool to see the data on all the teams.

      • Lonnie Brownell

        Yeah, indeed that payroll/market size correlation obviously exists. However, there is some correlation, one would think, to number of followers and how good you are at social media. Thus the Padres attempt to up their game, garner more views, and put butts in seats.

        Or so goes the theory.

      • Dustin

        Yeah, it will be interesting to see if the Padres are able to significantly improve these numbers with their increased social media efforts.

      • So long as they don’t go the Dodgers route and break out the tired Anchorman references it should help. Engaging content is the key.

  • Shaqapopolis

    I don’t follow the Padres twitter feed, because I don’t want score updates throughout the day. Really if they never did a score update, I’d probably be more app to follow them. I follow Corey & Mike Dee along with some bloggers, so if it’s something I need to know about the team, chances are it will show up in my feed. Of course I don’t like following habitual tweeters, the Padres had (with re-tweets) 30 yesterday, that’s just too much in my opinion.

    • SDPads1

      What about adding a hashtag to the score updates that way if you don’t want to be bothered with that you can mute the hashtag? I think a lot of people are in the same boat as you in regards to habitual tweeters. It just tends to clog up your feed and while you are interested in the team it could become overwhelming.

  • ballybunion

    Maybe it’s not such a bad thing that the Padres are not doing well in social media. I was reading James Lileks, who asked his 12 year old daughter if she had a Facebook page, and she answered “REALLY, Dad!” Lileks mentioned that response, typical of her age group, was a good indication of Facebook’s future. It appears Facebook is growing among the over-50 crowd, but the under-40 demographic is leaving in droves. That might be just a marker of Facebook’s future, but it might also presage the future of ALL social media. As far as Facebook is concerned, a number of baseball sites are asking for ‘likes” on Facebook (Bleacher Report is relentless), but do they realize the most important demographic is turning away?