Originally posted on Waiting For Next Year  |  Last updated 4/9/12

I was driving by the butcher’s market the other day, and on the sign on front was a new message- like us on Facebook. For many companies, that is the extent of their social media campaign. The Indians however, have been innovators in an industry that has been traditionally slow to adapt to the changing times.

It was three seasons (2010) ago that the Indians began the social media experiment in earnest with the league’s first social media only spot in the ballpark. It was a corner of the outfield bleachers that the Indians built a temporary deck around and called the Social Media Deck. The deck was replaced last season by the Social Media Suite, and with opening day, the Suite started it’s second year of use.

The suite isn’t the only way the Indians are reaching out in social media however. New this year are Pinterest, Google Plus and Tumblr accounts. To the Indians’ credit, they aren’t just posting the same photos or ads on these accounts either. Each gets it’s own identity.

The Suite remains the best opportunity for the Indians to best connect with fans on a personal level.

On opening day, those in attendance were treated (like other suite-holders I believe) to visits from Mark Shapiro and Carlos Baerga. Carlos signed autographs and posed for pictures. This is the kind of experience that even a 16-inning loss didn’t dull.

For the Indians, doing the best they can to make customers happy will keep putting some fans in the seats during marginal years, but the best way to draw will always be the product on the field. Unlike the Browns, the Tribe knows they can’t continue to lose games and keep filling the house.

Perhaps some day the Browns will stop take customers for granted. Then again, as long as fans continue to flock to the ‘Factory of Sadness’ without a winning product, what reason do they have to change?

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