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Category: Branding

Being The “Voice Of The Fans” Helps Ravens Reach One Million Instagram Followers

By: Ed Moran, Front Office Sports 

Baltimore Ravens Director of Social Media Garrett Downing remembers 2011 as a turning point for his department.

At the time, the Ravens’ social media accounts comprised of only Facebook and Twitter. Instagram was still relatively unknown to the masses – as was Snapchat.

Now with the conclusion of the last decade rapidly nearing, Baltimore has shown how its social media strategy has evolved. On October 24, it reached one million Instagram followers – a jump from roughly 734,000 in July 2017. Doing so makes the Ravens one of 18 NFL teams that have hit that mark on the Facebook-owned platform.

“One thing that we’re seeing is that [social media] is in many ways the biggest window of opportunity that we have to connect with our fans at a vast level,” Downing said. “Certainly there are games and there’s nothing that replaces the game atmosphere and being there on a Sunday and seeing and feeling a Lamar Jackson touchdown run.”

“But at the same time for people that aren’t able to be at the games – what they can do is they can follow us on social media,” Downing added. “They can stay connected with the team and we take seriously the importance of reaching, cultivating, and growing our fans on a day-to-day basis.”

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Beyonce and the VMA’s: What can we learn?

The news that Beyonce’s pregnancy announcement sparked the largest spike ever in Twitter activity—far more than major news or sporting event—prompted this reaction from many people: “What is wrong with society?”

I heard that response about five times today. I saw it on Twitter about 100 times.

The reality that Beyonce’s “baby bump” could lead to 8,868 tweets per second (TPS) seemed shocking, especially when the final minutes of the women’s World Cup Final generated 7,196 TPS and breaking news of terror leader Osama bin Laden’s death lead to 5,106 TPS.

Social media’s ‘most influential’ sports journalists

On Twitter, we use each person’s number followers as a way to keep score.

It seems simple: More followers = larger audience = better reputation = more influence.

But it doesn’t necessarily work that way. What does a follower count really reveal? It’s good for stroking a Twitter user’s ego, but beyond that, the translation of followers to social influence is difficult to quantify.

Twitter’s most followed sports journalists

In today’s age of sports journalism, some of the characters covering the games have become just as big of stars—if not bigger—as those competing on the field.

Television gives journalists national exposure from plenty of eyeballs, and social media allows for them to interact and build relationships with global fanbases. Twitter, specifically, provides some tangible evidence to show who are some of the biggest names is the sports journalism business.

Journalism branding: Buzzword doesn’t change the goal

Branding.

It’s become the popular buzzword in the media business, as journalists young and old work to stay relevant in a challenging and evolving climate. In the past few years, the push from news managers, editors, and professors has been for journalists to view their work as the development of a brand, rather than an endless stream of content.