MLB Takes a Swing at Social CRM Strategy

Social CRM Strategy


Take me out to the ballgame.  Actually, take me out to a White Sox ballgame, preferably when it is 75 degrees.

After enjoying the first official week of Major League Baseball; with all my White Sox alerts and new app downloads, I’ve realized how well MLB works at its CRM throughout the season.  Major League Baseball (MLB) really wants to hear from the peanut gallery, to try and understand their fans and meet their expectations, because otherwise they risk losing them.

How Teams Implement A Social CRM Strategy

A decade ago, interaction with fans was limited to phone calls and mail — teams had a website, but its focus was selling tickets and posting news and features.

Nowadays, fans can follow the tweets of players, “like” behind-the-scenes photos a team posts on Facebook, comment on a manager’s moves on blogs, purchase new merchandise and get updates on weather for the first pitch.

It’s safe to say the MLB knows their fans can’t put down their smartphones, tablets and laptops and that they expect an intense electronic relationship with their favorite baseball teams. Fans want personalized updates about seats, food, promotional contests, player transactions and the score of tonight’s game – so, as a result, teams use every social CRM tool to provide that connection. The Business of Sports writes, “MLB’s 30 teams use a digital framework provided by MLB Advanced Media, the interactive and Web wing of the league.  Each team contributes content to many social media channels: Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Google Plus. Pinterest, the content-sharing network that has attracts a lot of women, is the latest social channel to catch baseball’s eye.  Social CRM tools permit a level of interaction that teams have long wanted, allowing for a back-and-forth dialogue with fans outside of the stadium gates.”  Overall, teams hope that by communicating through the various social media outlets, they can better know their fans and build a loyal customer base, win or lose.

Social media channels not only allow teams to build a bridge with its fans, but they also enable the team to further its marketing program—and customer experience management strategy—by offering ticket packages, charity events and giveaways through posts and tweets, according Mary Beck, the Senior Vice President of Marketing Promotion for the MLB network.  Most importantly, some might argue, is that fans offer instant feedback and opinions on those marketing programs – which brings MLB to the point – ensure the fans come back each time to enjoy what is happening on the field.

Tracy Weinstein