The power of posting online content can cause ripples from the playing field all the way up to the bleachers of fans watching a game. But, what does it take to manage the social media accounts of a professional baseball organization?
GritDaily went behind the bat with MLB’s Texas Rangers Digital Host, Hannah Wing.
Understanding the Playing Field
Today, marketing has transcended beyond just word of mouth and paper advertisements. With the continuing growth of social media, understanding how to successfully market in a digital age can either keep you on the field, or on the bench.
Wing, a 22 year-old graduate from the University of Southern California, is one of MLB’s first digital hosts.
“Working in social media has taught me a lot about strategy and how
to create exciting content that fans want to see,” Wing told GritDaily.
“Using social media with the players helps bring their personalities to the fans so our viewers have a better understanding of what their favorite players are like off the field. For example, we can use the @Rangers social media accounts to show players warming up before a game or we can do player takeovers where they hold the phone and show off the dugout and crack joke with their teammates.”
Wing emphasized that from a digital host’s perspective, it allows them to be more engaging with fans:
“I can respond to fans comments and interact with them on social media; these new outlets of communicating make the fans feel like they’re a part of the Rangers organization and I can’t wait to see what our social team comes up with for this upcoming season!”
You’re Up To Bat, Now What?
Unlike most students in their collegiate education, Wing knew she wanted to be an on-air reporter since her senior year of high school. “During my last semester at USC, I interned with FOX Sports West in their Digital Media department, where I was able to work with two of their digital hosts,” she told us.
“It was a newer position at the network, but it seemed like a good fit for me, and a lot of fun! I loved that the hosts were always in the middle of the action and were able to interact with fans, players, and coaches. I realized I could still use my skills from my broadcast journalism degree to become part of this movement within the industry.”
But, she was no stranger to challenges along the way. “One of the major obstacles I faced was not knowing where in the country my career would take me,” she added. “I applied to tons of news stations, networks, and professional teams throughout the country, so not knowing where I was going to be was definitely nerve-wracking. However, I knew what I was getting myself into and wanted to follow my dreams and take a risk!”
For those looking to follow in the young host’s footsteps, she has two tips:
1. Make a Great First Impression
“You need to put yourself out there, take chances and make a great first impression with everyone you meet. I’ve always believed a solid resume, a strong handshake with eye contact and the right amount of confidence can go a long way.”
2. Gain As Much Experience As Possible
“It’s never too early to start working on your reel or going after those internships that will help you gain valuable experience. Ask your boss to get a few representatives on-camera, so you can produce your on-air skills, and use your best take for your reel. If you don’t have access to something like this, write your own scripts for stand ups or segments and have a friend film it on your phone for you. While it may not be reel-worthy, it is a great practice and allows you to critique yourself.
Beltre Broke the Internet
As a millennial, Wing utilizes her understanding of both her devices and social media and is able to post content as a member of the Texas Rangers social media team. “I rely heavily on my iPhone, desktop computer, and my laptop so I can ensure content is posted timely from anywhere in the ballpark. This technology is extremely important and it’s something that my team relies on every single day.”
Most recently, Wing recognized the importance of having this technology handy when the Rangers’ third baseman, Adrian Beltre retired:
“The morning of his retirement happened to be the same morning that BOTH Instagram and Facebook were crashing. Talk about a stressful morning! But, we got the job done, and I guess you can say Beltre broke the Internet?”
The Power of Content Creation
With great power, comes great responsibility.
While each day is a new challenge for the social media team, Wing told us that having the opportunity to be the daily voice for the Ranger’s organization and brand through the content that is posted, is a huge responsibility, and something they take very seriously.
“While we take this very seriously, we still have a lot of fun doing it. But, it’s also not all about baseball, which allows me to create a variety of content. For example, during the off-season, I am able to host a segment called ‘Foodie Friday’ and was able to dress up as Guy Fieri when we were at his restaurant. Last week, I was in Atlanta and interviewed the MLB Commissioner. But, my favorite part about this is interacting with the players and fans during game days!”
The Texas Rangers organization like many of its NBA counterparts, have been extremely open-minded to technological advancements, especially if it benefits the fans.
“One of the things I love so much about this opportunity is how progressive the organization is. They have allowed me and my team to take chances and test new kinds of content. We are a firm believer in testing and learning, which is critical to being successful in the social and digital content spaces.”