Small businesses have slim margins and limited budgets and it’s therefore imperative that they maximize the reach and effectiveness of their marketing and advertising efforts. The advent of social media marketing channels has afforded businesses the opportunity to expand those efforts with little or no incremental expense. As Tim Burke, Owner of In A Pickle restaurant, demonstrated in Episode One, smart and creative uses of those channels can create increased customer engagement and benefit a business in innumerable ways.
For Episode Two of Social Studies, I visited my hometown of Pawtucket, Rhode Island and met with the Pawtucket Red Sox (PawSox), the Triple-A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox. Most people wouldn’t categorize a Minor League Baseball franchise as a small business. However, the small-market teams don’t have the luxury of the massive operating budgets held by the Major League Baseball teams with which they are affiliated. By comparison, a minor league team spends peanuts on marketing and advertising and must conduct itself in much the same fashion as a small business in regards to expenditures. Of course, having a passionate fan base and a lovable mascot gives a Minor League Baseball team an advantage over the average business in regards to marketing itself.
I spoke with Shaun Dawson, who manages social media for the PawSox. The following video highlights pieces of our conversation about the team’s use of social media marketing:
For a further illustration of the PawSox social media presence and ways in which the organization has utilized the various channels, please watch the following SlideShare presentation:
The PawSox garnered praise for their efforts in a recent BostInnovation.com piece, entitled “From Heidi Watney to Yankee Gorilla – A Digital Guide to the Sox Farm System.” The post read, in part:
“The Pawtucket Red Sox have taken interactive promotions a step further. They have created a Video Scavenger Hunt that chronicles a fictional character called the Yankee Gorilla that has displaced Paws, their lovable bear, from his job as team mascot. By following the online video series you begin to uncover clues that will hopefully lead Paws back to his rightful place. The Paw Sox have really embraced the digital age and understand the connectivity of all these mediums, as you must also become a fan of the PawSox on Facebook and a follower on Twitter to receive the exclusive clues! Each fan that participates in the Video Scavenger Hunt and finds one of the Golden Soft Toss Balls will be rewarded with 4 Box Seats to the Saturday, April 16th PawSox game and be invited on the field during pre-game ceremonies where one lucky person will be randomly picked to sit in the OWNER’S BOX for the game! Not bad for a AAA baseball team promotion.”
In the following video, Shaun Dawson explains the promotion in greater detail: