How the San Francisco Giants Hit a Home Run with Social Media

It wasn’t too long ago when sport industries were confounded by the openness of social media and the ability for fans and players to share experiences in real time. Now of course, times have changed and teams in every sporting league imaginable are experimenting with social media to improve relationships and experiences with fans. The San Francisco Giants are among the sports teams that are leading the way for a new genre of engagement and community building.

2010 was a whimsical year for the San Francisco Giants. Not only did the team win its first World Series in 54 years, it was the year that a new Giants story started to unfold. Pablo Sandoval, Brian Wilson and the beard, Tim Lincecum, and the rest of the team started to win together and social media emerged as a digital stadium where fans around the world could not only watch how the story unfolded, but also become part of the story.

Bryan Srabian is the team’s first director of social media and he joins me on this episode of Revolution to share the story of why social media is part of the team’s official roster. As Srabian shares, sporting events inherently social. The Giants are empowering their fans to participate in more than just the game, together, Giants and fans are creating digital events that are always on before, during, and after games and seasons.

“The city of San Francisco really started to bond together. They were telling this amazing story right in front of our eyes. My role was watching through the eyes of fans from all over the world.”

 

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The End of Business as Usual is officially here…

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  • Anonymous

    as we learned in 2010, a couple of times every 50 years the giants do something right that doesn’t involve steroids.

    • http://www.briansolis.com/ briansolis

      oh wow…

  • David Doolin

    Baseball is best way ever to play hooky in the afternoon.

  • Anonymous

    Brian, enjoyed this interview. Most of our digital consulting is in radio where we are launching brand advocate programs with stations. Bryan’s comments about how teams have been famous for broadcasting, rather than allowing the fans to have a voice echoes the traditional radio mindset. Things are changing, the fans want a voice, and it can be so additive to the experience. Thanks for some great insights into a brand doing it right.

    • http://www.briansolis.com/ briansolis

      Thanks for watching and for the great comment!

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  • Tom Maynard

    I found it interesting that the social
    media explosion only started a few years ago. In reality, we are only at the beginning
    of the social media revolution. All teams now have a social media presence in
    some fashion because it is a great way for fans to connect to the team and to
    the players. At this year’s All-Star game, players were live tweeting from the
    dugout for the first time in history. I think this trend will continue not only
    in baseball, but all professional sports in America. Social media provides a
    way for the fans to really connect to the team and the players in a more personal
    way than ever before. Kudos to the Giants for being a part of the social media
    revolution instead of trying to catch up with everyone else.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/andrea.cornelison Andrea Cornelison

    You really made some great points in your blog. Social media has really begun to change in the past 10 years. I find it awesome that the players are able to really connect with fans through social media sites now. You get a good feel of who a person really is through a social media site,and are able to connect with people in different states.

  • KoriSkinner

    Brian, tell Bryan it’s the garlic fries and craft beer…that’s what I snap and post when I go to a game (along with the fabulous view of both the field and the Bay from most any seat in the house, of course). Go Giants!

    • http://www.briansolis.com/ briansolis

      #garlicfries FTW!

    • http://twitter.com/citylifematt Matt Saunders

      I just say the Disquis notice about a reply to my comment below, which led me to read this comment, and now I want garlic fries… great. Here’s to hoping they have them at fanfest next week! :)

    • http://www.briansolis.com/ briansolis

      me too!

  • http://twitter.com/citylifematt Matt Saunders

    The only thing that could have made this any better is a star wars reference… Then all three of my nerd obsessions would’ve collided. Giants, Social Media, Star Wars. Great post both Brian and Bryan rock.

    • http://www.briansolis.com/ briansolis

      Love this comment!

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  • http://kenekaplan.wordpress.com kenekaplan

    Two guys talking up their game. “Hey Bryan, how do you work your magic?” “Well, Brian, I think you know the answer, but I’ll tell you anyway.” Good interview and feels like you two inspired one another to up your games. It was good background for this interview with Bryan Srabrian, where he talks more about technology touch points that are engaging fans, including dynamic ticket pricing http://j.mp/Umhab0.

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  • Joey Lee

    Being from Atlanta, I think the Braves should adopt a similar social marketing gameplan to engage their fans and form a stronger community. Even though I’m not a Braves fan, it’d be nice to see the city come together as a whole and perhaps win the WS, because Atlanta and its fans really deserve one.

ABOUT ME

Brian Solis is a digital analyst, anthropologist, and also a futurist. In his work at Altimeter Group, Solis studies the effects of disruptive technology on business and society. He is an avid keynote speaker and award-winning author who is globally recognized as one of the most prominent thought leaders in digital transformation.

His most recent book, What's the Future of Business: Changing the Way Businesses Create Experiences (WTF), explores the landscape of connected consumerism and how business and customer relationships unfold in four distinct moments of truth. His previous book, The End of Business as Usual, explores the emergence of Generation-C, a new generation of customers and employees and how businesses must adapt to reach them. In 2009, Solis released Engage, which is regarded as the industry reference guide for businesses to market, sell and service in the social web.

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