The San Francisco Giants may be a few games behind the Diamondbacks for first place in the NL West, but they are definitely on top in the social media world. The team has been very involved in social media since their first World Series victory in 56 years back in 2010. Bryan Srabian, the team's first director of social media, said back in 2012 that "the city of San Francisco really started to bond together" after this victory.
Since then, Srabian's social media marketing skills have helped elevate the Giants fan base into one of the largest – and most interactive – in all of sports. Last night, the Giants further solidified their role as the social media giants (no pun intended) of sports by opening the @Cafe.
The @Cafe debuted last night against the San Diego Padres, behind the cheap seats in centerfield at AT&T Park. It is the first of its kind, becoming an on-site social media headquarters of sorts for fans to interact with. The café features a 12 by 4 foot screen that shows posts from social media accounts globally, in real-time, as well as by fans who follows the Giants' accounts on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. The café will also have special events, such as Twitter chats with players. Srabian promised fans that new features will be released as the season progresses.
Being social media giants (pun intended this time) has been a role that the team has maintained for the past few seasons. The Giants have more followers on Instagram than any other MLB team and are fourth on both Facebook and Twitter. Their Klout score, a score calculated for social media accounts ranking their influence from 1-100, is a 99, the highest of any baseball team and tied for the highest score on Klout! More people have checked-in to AT&T Park on Facebook than anywhere else in the world (excluding Times Square Disneyland).
Giants fans have proven to be more supportive of their team online than any other fans. The Giants are the only team to have a player in the top five in voting for the All-Star game in every position. Giants catcher Buster Posey leads all players with over 2.6 million votes. Third baseman Pablo Sandoval has almost 2.2 million votes, and leads Mets third baseman David Wright by over 100,000 votes, despite the game being played in Wright's own stadium, the Mets' #VoteWrightNow campaign, and Wright having better stats. Even a player like Angel Pagan, who is in All-Star in nobody's eyes (except a Giants fan's), has over one million votes.
The San Francisco Giants have created a digital, interactive experience for all of their fans to enjoy. It proved to be a huge hit at last night's game, and only time will tell to see if other teams follow the Giants' example. The @Cafe is definitely a revolutionary experience, and is one I would love to see in my home stadium, Citi Field.