Indians expand social-networking presence

Indians expand social-networking presence

Indians expand social-networking presence
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Most mornings this spring, Manny Acta has logged into his Twitter account, offering some insight into his musical taste.

First, the Indians manager posts his "Song of the day." On Wednesday, he picked "I Feel Lucky" by Mary Chapin Carpenter. Then, he follows with his "Cancion del dia" for his Spanish audience.

"It's just whatever comes to mind that day," Acta said earlier this spring.

It has been an easy and fun way for Acta to interact with Indians fans as part of an ongoing social-networking initiative by the organization. On Thursday, the Tribe took things a step further, announcing that general manager Chris Antonetti and team president Mark Shapiro had joined Acta on Twitter.

Having key members of the Indians organization on Twitter is just one aspect of the club's social media strategy for the 2011 season, though. Part of the plan also includes enhancing elements of Progresive Field and offering a new social media ticket offer.

"Social media affords us the ability to create deeper connections with our fans and span generations," Shapiro said in a press release. "Its popularity -- 600 million Facebook users overall worldwide and 300,000 new Twitter users per day -- represents a fundamental shift in the way people interact and acquire information.

"We are incredibly cognizant of social media's growth and have developed a comprehensive social media strategy to address it."

On Twitter, fans can find Acta under the handle @Mactriber_11. Antonetti will be tweeting under @IndiansGM and Shapiro has an account as @MarkShapiro. The team has an official @Indians feed, plus users in both the media relations (@tribeinsider) and public relations (@tribetalk) departments.

Even Slider -- the team's purple mascot -- has a Twitter account: @Sliderthemascot.

The Indians have a growing number of players using Twitter as well. Indians closer Chris Perez (@ChrisPerez54), first baseman Matt LaPorta (@Gator4God), reliever Chad Durbin (@chaddurbin37) and outfielders Shelley Duncan (@shelldunc) and Trevor Crowe (@tcrowe4) are among those on the site.

This season, the club will dedicate an entire suite at Progressive Field for social media users. The "Indians Social Suite" replaced the "Tribe Social Deck" that was created last year. Invitations to the Social Suite are given out on a game-by-game basis, but fans can apply at indians.com/connect.

Also new is a social media ticket offer for the upcoming season. Through either Facebook or Twitter, fans will have the chance to share the ticket special through social media to receive a discount. More information will be available on the team's Facebook and Twitter sites.

Beyond those two elements, the Indians are also partnering with Major League Baseball Advanced Media to utilize the MLB.com At Bat '11 application. Fans will have the ability to log into an interactive map of Progressive Field, giving them the option to check in at the ballpark to receive discounts and other features.

"An interactive and engaging social media presence is something we strongly believe in," Shapiro said. "It is integral to the Indians brand."

Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.