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Dear Phillies: Fix your social media

It's time for the Phillies to join the rest of us in 2014. Or if 2014 is too scary, maybe 2010 or 2011.

"No, this is a Blackberry. I don't get Twitter on this. Or Facebook. Or internet, actually. Why do I still have it? Well, bought it and signed a contract. There's no way out of that."
"No, this is a Blackberry. I don't get Twitter on this. Or Facebook. Or internet, actually. Why do I still have it? Well, bought it and signed a contract. There's no way out of that."
Christian Petersen

It became clear to me earlier this season that the Phillies didn't have someone running their twitter account full time.

Tweets about game events would come 10-15 minutes after the fact, which considering how bad the Phillies were, often meant the game had changed by the time anyone saw that tweet. Nothing like seeing a tweet about Chase Utley's great one-out hit 10 minutes after Ryan Howard had hit into a double play to end the inning.

And then earlier today, the Phillies sent this tweet:

That's nice, right? Well, it's only nice if you don't know that the Ken Giles Rookie of the Year news broke 20 hours ago. And if you keep looking at their account, all you see are bland, vanilla tweets with zero personality or creativity. It's such a waste of a good resource, and it really bothers me. So I've written this letter to the Phillies. I'm sure it'll take too long for them to find with their AOL dial-up connections, but I've held in these angry feelings for so long that it's time to get them off my chest.

Dear Phillies:

There is no reason on God's green earth that you shouldn't hire someone full time to run your social media accounts.

It's 2014. You're a team with one of the largest payrolls in baseball, not to mention one of the most passionate, creative fanbases. (This is the fanbase that "I Want to go to the Zoo with Roy Halladay" came from!) Why you don't have someone at Citizens Bank Park running your Twitter and Facebook accounts is insane. It's inexcusable. It's backwards, and it shows a fundamental lack of understanding of the world you exist in.

At a time when ticket sales are declining and the team is (finally) entering rebuilding mode, a strong social media presence can be a huge help to you. A creative Twitter and Facebook presence can truly engage fans and get them excited when there's almost nothing to really be excited about. Gone are the days when the roster and the talent would sell tickets for you. Now you have to work for it, and you're letting your best tools lie fallow. There are so many ways that a creative social media presence could help you. Photoshops. Contests. Player interactions. Memes. For God's sake, the Dodgers simply brought a bunch of puppies into the clubhouse and filmed it, and it was the cutest thing I'd ever seen, not to mention amazingly popular. Players and puppies! Other teams want their twitter accounts to be an active part of the community and engage with fans. You guys appear as if you've got some random person hundreds of miles away in an office somewhere, tweeting dry events with no personality, excitement, or urgency. And those tweets appear 10+ minutes after the event took place, so it looks like you had to manually write out the tweet on a piece of paper, attach it to the leg of a bird, and have the bird fly to someone with internet access and a laptop.

It's embarrassing. Of all the things I take issue with, including the fact that in the year 2014 you *still* don't give out credentials to bloggers, THIS is what bothers me the most. Because you either think you're too good to have someone do this (that the internet and its ilk are beneath you), or you don't think it's important enough. And neither of those reasons are acceptable.

It's time for you to stop living in the past, Phillies. You've finally admitted that you're moving into rebuilding mode, and there are rumors that everyone on the team is for sale. So one part of this glorious operation is moving into present day. It's time for your media department to do the same. Hire one person - not even a team, just one person! - to do this full time. Don't hire an intern, and don't give this responsibility to someone who already has a bunch of stuff on their plate. Hire a new person to do this, and give them the reins. Let them give your account some personality and whimsy. Let them run with it. What's the worst that could happen? Would it be any worse than, say, Jonathan Papelbon grabbing his crotch? Or worse than losing 89 games this past year? Worse than Cliff Lee getting injured, or Roy Halladay disintegrating? No. And you know how all of those things could have been made a little better? BY HAVING A SOCIAL MEDIA EXPERT ON STAFF.

Make this one improvement, Phillies. You have months to fix this one thing, this one thing that will pay you dividends for years to come. Join the rest of us in 2014 and do something that even companies that are exponentially smaller and poorer than you are have done. Hire someone to handle your social media.

Sincerely yours,

Liz Roscher
Lifelong Phillies Fan