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October 19, 2016
October 19, 2016
Cleveland Indians Twitter page

I’m an unapologetic homer. A long-suffering Cleveland sports fan, who until this past June suffered the indignity of having my beloved teams’ failures and foibles broadcast and re-broadcast ad nauseam: The Drive, The Shot, The Fumble, The Decision. Well, thanks to The Block (shall I say “LeBlock?”) and The Dagger, my Cavaliers delivered an NBA championship and almost instantly began healing the psyche of an entire generation of fans.

At the time of this writing, my Cleveland Indians have 3-0 lead on the Toronto Blue Jays in the ALCS, and bring hope of further redemption. But, this post isn’t to gloat about the Warriors’ epic choke job, or get more than cautiously optimistic about knocking off the still dangerous Jays. It’s to call out the Indians as prime example of social media done well.

It’s a wise play to be industry-agnostic when assessing your online presence, although, in my experience, people generally aren’t. For instance, when we ask clients for examples of sites or social media accounts they like to help inform a design or marketing strategy, most of the time what we’re delivered is a competitive set—comprised almost entirely of sites that exist in the same business space that they do. Rather than looking outward, they only gauge design, content, or functionality against their nearest neighbors, ignoring the universe of cool things that exist outside of that bubble.

In that spirit, I present the Cleveland Indians Twitter page to the beauty industry as illustrative of what good social media can be.

1. They understand the currency they have in their players’ personalities and personal lives. They’re young, fun, quirky, and the content reflects that.

2. They engage with other social accounts, and are sometimes a little irreverent. For instance, when Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista made thinly veiled complaints about the large size of the Indians’ strike zone (referring to it as “circumstances”), the Indians replied with this to USA Today’s Mike Vorkunov, who advanced the theory:

3. They’re “in the world.” Up on what’s current, they use emojis, stats, LOLs, animated GIFs, fan photos, clever Photoshopping, and pop-culture references to great effect, and still present an air of intellect. Note this fun image example, referring to dominant relief pitcher Andrew Miller:

So, maybe quirky or irreverent isn’t your voice, but the point here is that you probably have a treasure trove of unique personalities, product details, stories, and creative skills hiding in plain sight. If you think about them all in a three-dimensional way, they can be leveraged to great effect in your online marketing initiatives. Brainstorm, riff, spitball—don’t take anything at face value, and see what sorts of associations you can come up with, no matter how outlandish or off-brand they may seem at the time.

And before you apply that mask and off-brand typography to your overexposed product shot and post it, look outside of your category bubble to seek inspiration. You never know what may trigger your next great social marketing idea.


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