Everyone knows the San Francisco Giants dominated the Detroit Tigers on the field pulling off a rare World Series sweep, but which team won the battle for social media supremacy? Once again the Giants are champions.
At the conclusion of the World Series this weekend, San Francisco has more fans talking about the Giants on Facebook (640,936) than any other American sports team or league page. The Tigers ranked 5th out of all baseball teams with 151,331 fans talking about the team on Facebook.
Game 1 was highlighted by San Francisco third baseman Pablo Sandoval’s three home runs. According to Major League baseball, the words “Pablo,” “Sandoval” or “Panda” (his nickname) were included in 20 percent of the game’s 813,000 total social media comments.
The Giants also managed to match President Obama’s social popularity with a near-maximum Klout score of 99.
What’s the Giants secret to success?
The Giants focus on characters and stories by turning individual players into a brand. This strategy turned San Fransisco athletes into baseball’s beloved super-heroes. Whether it was Sandoval, the teddy bear-like third baseman who is belovedly called “Kung Fu Panda” for his resemblance to the cartoon character, “The Freak,” pitcher Tim Lincecum or ”The Beard,” injured closer Brian Wilson – the Giants created characters their audience could relate to.
San Francisco also utilized its fair share of traditional and not-so-traditional hashtags this postseason. Non-baseball followers on Twitter were probably scratching their head over why #panda was trending so highly on Wednesday night. As comeback victories became a trend, for example, the team began adopting the hashtag prefix #Rally, which saw a number of spinoffs from #RallyEnchilada to one of the team’s official Game 2 hashtags #RallyBum.
Take a lesson from the reigning champs and apply the following guidelines to your social strategy:
- Focus on creating characters and stories your audience can relate to
- Be flexible and responsive to current trends