Minor League Baseball has taken a major step forward in using social media as a fan engagement platform.

MiLB in April hired its first-ever social media marketing coordinator and in May partnered with Greenfly, a technology company that allows the league to request and share club-specific social media content.

The league is using Greenfly to support “It’s Fun to Be a Fan,” a 10-year marketing plan launched before the 2017 season. The goal of the campaign is to draw 50 million attendees by 2026, up from the 42 million fans the league currently draws.

Below, Kurt Hunzeker, MiLB vice president of marketing strategy & research, explains the thinking behind the program and how the league is using Greenfly to support its social media and fan engagement initiatives.

On the genesis of the program  
In an effort to both amplify genuinely fun, engaging moments in MiLB ballparks and establish a more efficient line of communication between the MiLB league office and social leads at each club, MiLB partnered with Greenfly and its turnkey content-creating and -sharing application. Simply put, Greenfly is a social media content sharing software which allows seamless transferring of video and photo content from user to user.

Greenfly’s website really breaks it down best (www.greenfly.com), but specific to MiLB, we utilize Greenfly to capture a wide-spectrum of content and give MiLB the ability to produce social content that will give the league accounts a more grassroots feel. We want to showcase why “It’s Fun to Be a Fan” of MiLB, and Greenfly will help MiLB establish a presence in dozens of ballparks simultaneously.

How the initiative benefits both MiLB and member clubs
This software can and will be a two-way street. Clubs produce significant amounts of genuinely engaging and interesting content and we at the league office want to amplify the best of the best content. Doing so will both draw more attention to club content and raise visibility for our participating clubs.

Our 20 most-engaged social posts this year have all been curated through the Greenfly application. None of those 20 posts were game-related.

On the potential for sponsor integration
The Greenfly application won’t be sponsored, but the content created by the Greenfly technology can be. During the curation of the shared video via Greenfly, we can add any logos — MiLB, clubs, potential sponsor, etc. — to those videos. We have yet to do so, but it is planned for specific content in 2018.

On the software’s role in MiLB’s content marketing strategy
MiLB is dedicated to capturing and sharing content our fans and would-be consumers want and have proven to consume. The “It’s Fun to Be a Fan” marketing plan outlines a five-stage strategy with numerous tactics we are employing to move target consumers from passive onlookers to connected followers to engaged participants to committed purchasers to recruiting ambassadors for MiLB and our 160 clubs.

On the program’s success thus far
The collaboration with Greenfly has been very successful, primarily because Greenfly’s turnkey technology has enabled MiLB and the participating clubs to capture real-time, “outside-the-white-lines” content and share it across multiple social platforms. The instant data and significant increases in content engagement point towards a receptive audience.

Now that we are doing a better job of creating and sharing desired content, the never-ending quest continues to be how to elevate existing fans and would-be consumers from engaged participants to ticket-buying consumers.  We are already planning numerous marketing activations that drives these socially-engaged fans to our ballparks to continue MiLB’s fun-centric storytelling.

Without question, we will be very active utilizing Greenfly’s many technological advancements the rest of this season, throughout the offseason and into next year.