When the Houston Rockets knocked off their rival Dallas Mavericks several weeks ago in the NBA playoffs, the Rockets’ social media manager put out a snarky tweet that included emoticons of a gun and a horse.
Needless to say, he’s now the former social media manager. Not much of a surprise to the Mariners digital marketing manager Nathan Raushenberg.
“Common sense is obviously a very important part of this role,” Raushenberg said.
Not that Nathan hasn’t been tempted himself to get a little snide or smart-alecky on social.
But that’s not the Mariners way. And they’ve had plenty of opportunities to figure it out, since long-time Vice President of Marketing Kevin Martinez and the team made social media a priority in 2009.
“We really established four pillars of social media, first and foremost what are fans talking about,” Martinez.”
Then, they engage. It’s not uncommon for the team to respond to fans. A recent study found the Mariners directly respond to fans on Twitter far more than any other team.
A growing movement online led the team to bring back a version of their old uniforms for Sunday home games this season.
“You do have to be more nimble than ever before in understanding where the audience is and who the audience is,” Martinez said.
That’s primarily Raushenberg’s job. He and his assistant spend countless hours on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, especially on game days. With so much information, pictures and video at their disposal, it’s a delicate balance figuring out how much to post.
“I don’t want to overwhelm somebody’s feed,” he said. “I want to respect the fact that they followed us. I try to space things out as much as I can. There might be times where there is so much going on that I can’t share something.”
And he admits there are times he’d like to share his own thoughts, especially when the Twitter trolls come out.
“You have to be very aware of their existence and thinking about how somebody could use a snarky reply and that rears its head if the team is struggling,” Raushenberg said.
But at the end of the day, Martinez said the goal of all their social media activities is simple — give the fans a voice.
“They’ve always had a voice, I just think the fans voice is louder than ever and it’s a great opportunity to try and give the fans exactly what they want,” Martinez said.
Unfortunately, there’s one thing they can’t give the fans on Twitter or Facebook — more wins. The guys on the field have to take care of that.