Lions football shows it knows the value of social media
I think it’s pretty safe to say that if you’re reading this, you’re at the very least somewhat familiar with various social media websites—Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and the like.
When it comes to sports, Twitter has probably done more than any of the other popular social media sites to revolutionize the way fans interact with their favorite teams. And fortunately, we’re right in the thick of the whole revolution here at Columbia.
In what I believe is part of a campaign to help rebrand the program, the football team has dramatically upped their social media presence in the last few months with the arrival of head coach Pete Mangurian.
The coach has a Twitter account, a Facebook Fan page, and a WordPress blog where he’s written about changes in the team’s attitude, as well as named the newest Lions. Additionally, there’s a Columbia Football Twitter handle and Facebook Fan page that have both been giving updates on the offseason.
You may wonder, what’s the value of this? To me, it’s a fantastic way to have first-hand interaction with people that before may have been largely inaccessible to the general public. It’s also a way to increase transparency, and inform a very large network of alumni of the program, parents of players, and general fans of Light Blue football as to what is going on.
As a social media aficionado, I love it.
I first started to get into Twitter last year, and now it truly is something that I find hard to live without. I love being able to ask a beat writer a question if I’m out and can’t catch the game for myself, or tell an athlete I think he or she had a good game.
Of course, there are way too many people that take advantage of the direct connection to athletes—or anyone, for that matter—and use Twitter for abusive, childish name calling under the guise of anonymity. But where on the internet isn’t that a problem these days?
But another important aspect I like about a social media outreach is the way that it can inform people. My beloved Cleveland Indians started a serious social media outreach last year through their Twitter page, and I was able to score tickets a few times with great deals just for their followers.
Yet it was also great to see their outreach grow with certain players having a “Song of the Day,” the bullpen proclaiming themselves the #BullpenMafia, and manager Manny Acta’s “Victory Cigar” picture after each win. And Q&A sessions with players and coaches are also undeniably valuable for keeping the fan base involved, informed, and made to feel like it matters.
So where will the Lions football social media outreach go from here? I don’t know that I see Mangurian having a song of the day or whipping out a victory cigar, but whatever they do, I expect that it will have a very positive impact toward the attitude and culture in and around the program.
And with the Blue and White scrimmage and BBQ this Friday, I’m sure we’ll see a lot of social media activity from the program in the days and weeks to come.
Myles Simmons is a Columbia College sophomore. He’s pretty tired today since he stayed up watching the Tribe roll the Mariners last night. West coast swings are tough on everybody.
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