In a world where social media is key to the overall entertainment a team provides, the Toronto Blue Jays are lagging behind
If you’re a Blue Jays fan, or a fan of baseball no matter the team, social media plays an important role in fandom. Gone are the days of rushing to a television to watch the game, missing innings because of traffic, and the radio being the only other option to get the score and find out who did what and when.
Today, the platforms to keep up with teams are endless. Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, Periscope to name a few, are popular interactive options for fans looking for real time experiences interacting with the teams they follow so closely. For the teams themselves, these are important tools to increase fan engagement and to increase a fan base. Many teams across the MLB have embraced this, realizing the changing dynamics of fan engagement and some are quite good at it. The question is, how does the Blue Jays organization stack up? Are they really using these tools effectively?
This season has been tough. The expectations for the Blue Jays was high, coming off of two seasons of postseason action, action that brought in throngs of new fans to the team. They were brought in by the excitement of winning baseball. With the Blue Jays having a less than ideal start, and a record of 11-20, keeping those new fans and keeping the dome filled has to be on the minds of the Blue Jays front office. With double digit losses already and it’s only the beginning of May, the excitement has to come from somewhere. This is where social media can, and should, pick up the slack.
If you are a Blue Jays twitter follower, you have seen the community of Blue Jays fans interact, and not just during game times but throughout the day. The comments, jokes, questions and memes flow at a constant rate and despite the obvious trolls that appear from time to time, it is a great place for fans to get news and have a laugh, or alternatively lament the goings on of their team.
Blue Jays social media has a unique opportunity to turn the excitement of the last few seasons and the many fans it attracted, to an excitement about the Blue Jays themselves. Unfortunately they haven’t quite capitalized on this opportunity as of yet. Blue Jays twitter was trolled a few weeks ago by the Angels twitter when they tweeted an “are you awake?” tweet in the wee hours of the morning in a long, extra inning pacific coast time zone game.Half hour later the Blue Jays responded…
— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) April 22, 2017
Yes, it was after 3am, and the fans on the east coast who were still watching were waiting for that response and certainly breathed a sigh of relief when it finally came.
Maybe that was the turning point for Blue Jays twitter. There is no question it has been better of late, but is this it? Are there other fan engagements to be had through social media?
The opportunity is there to make a great fan experience happen. Tweeting out lineups and game times are all fine and good but it’s the memes that make people laugh and get people talking, especially during off days when the absence of baseball is keenly felt. The Rockies twitter does this,
— Colorado Rockies (@Rockies) April 23, 2017
as does the Reds twitter,
"Sometimes there's so much beauty in the world, I feel like I can't take it, and my heart is just going to cave in." pic.twitter.com/Qwg8jBjbWt
— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) April 23, 2017
and the Cubs twitter,
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) May 8, 2017
— Andy (@_rallycap) May 7, 2017
— Andy (@_rallycap) April 26, 2017
The gif work over at Blue Birds on the Third, by Ate Daryl is just awesome! Check out the latest HERE.
Blue Jays twitter is now becoming filled with commentary, pictures and memes. The problem is, the Blue Jays twitter handle needs a few lessons on fan interaction to truly become the tool the organization needs it to be.
In an age where attention is fleeting, the Blue Jays need to be better. They need to interact with their fans in a truly engaging way. Answering questions, tweeting greatest moments in between games, having player profile tweets, play of the game polls and contests etc. would go a long way in keeping fans who are losing interest in what is happening on the field continue to follow their team and learn more about them and the game.
In short, make the fans part of the game everyday, even in the offseason. Use that time to get fans excited about the upcoming season, give a glimpse of the player life outside the ballpark, showcase the charitable work and causes they support. Radio silence in this day and age shouldn’t happen. It’s time for @bluejays social media to rise and bring excitement to ward off the fall of the new fan. No one wants to go back to the days of a half empty dome, no one wants to face a financial inability to field a winning team. The opportunity is there, the window is open, what is left is for the Blue Jays to capitalize with a truly fan friendly engagement strategy.
*Featured Image Credit: C Stem- JFtC
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Catherine Stem is a Blue Jays fan and writer who has combined both of these great things by writing for Jays From the Couch. Through all the ups and downs of baseball, all aspects of the game are explored. Keeping a close eye on the Blue Jays Triple A team, the Buffalo Bisons has also become part of her make-up.