Columbus Clippers – Social Media Report Card

April 30, 2010

Gabe Norris is in charge of the Columbus Clippers’ Facebook page. To that end, he has to put up with loud, righteous and annoying folks like me.

I’m in Columbus Ohio to perform some social media training for the journalists at the Columbus Dispatch. While I was planning the trip, I got it in my head that I should have some local beer and see some local baseball. That’s where social media comes in.

Instead of going to my phone and calling the Clippers’ ticket office, I started shouting to the team in Twitter -they’re at @clbclippers if you want to follow. But I quickly got annoyed.

It turns out that the team only uses Twitter to broadcast their Facebook statuses. That immediately irked me because my mantra when I train businesses is to make it easy for anyone to contact you. The Clippers were forcing me to bend to their communication choice, not mine.

So I went off. I tweeted like mad – madly – to my 6000 followers about how I might as well go see a play or sit in my hotel room and pout.

Needless to say, the Tweeple were divided.

“Just call them,” said some.

“Boycott!” said others.

But the balance told me not to waste a great night in Columbus and try the Facebook Fan Page. It worked.

In merely an hour, Gabe Norris had been in touch and we came to an understanding. Facebook works for the team. They’ve got almost 7000 fans (now including me) and they’re running regular Facebook nights at Huntington Stadium.

So what’s the big reveal? Gabe told me he was leaving a ticket for me at will-call. So now I’m sitting in the park fostering a bromance for Gabe and being astonished at this amazing ballpark.

Did you know that Huntington Park beat out all new baseball stadiums in 2009 according to Baseball America?

I walked in the gate and I immediately got permagrin. And I’ve been to 30+ pro ball stadiums.

Now what? First pitch is 25 minutes away and I’m gonna get some food and keep on smiling.

Mostly because my fun night, just beginning, was made possible because one organization paid attention to the power of social media.

What’s your favorite social media success story?