Major and Minor League Baseball teams are taking the advantage of social media for their communications with target publics or fans, but in different ways and with different results.
A recent study compared teams’ social media-based communication strategies and found both Major (MLB) and Minor League (MiLB) teams have varying degrees of use and success with their social media accounts, specifically Facebook.
Results indicate that MLB teams posted significantly more often than teams in MiLB. Since MLB teams often have larger staffs and more resources than MiLB teams, this difference may reflect the economic realities faced by organizations of different sizes.
The study was conducted by Ryan Vooris, an associate professor of sport management at SUNY Cortland, and Rebecca Achen, an assistant professor of sport management in the School of Kinesiology and Recreation at Illinois State University.
Two sports management professors also recommended modifying promotional practices through social media to improve relationships between the teams and fans. They also recommended MiLB teams to use more multimedia content “to increase post engagement.”
In their look at both MLB and their MiLB affiliates, which is reportedly the first study of its kind, the researchers observed 942 Facebook posts of five MLB teams; the rest were their MiLB affiliates. The posts were gathered and analyzed in a two week period in 2014.
The study came up with six communication categories of the teams’ social media use: interactivity, team information, player information, promotional, community, and other.
Promotional content, from both types of teams, had negative engagement from target publics while posts that contain audios and videos had positive engagement from the fans. Another significant finding of the study is that the MiLB teams’ Facebook engagement is relatively lower than their MLB counterparts as they had “significantly fewer comments on posts.”
To read more – DOI: https://doi.org/10.1353/jsm.2019.0003
Vooris, R., & Achen, R. (2019). Marketing in the Minors: Comparing Minor and Major League Baseball Teams’ Use of Facebook. Journal of Sports Media, 14(1), 23-46.