Five Digital Things Teams Should Stop Doing

In no particular order or punishment…

1. Bad Photoshops

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Certain teams have been celebrating player birthdays with terrible photoshops of clip art birthday cakes and confetti. As much as I loved Microsoft Paint when I was 8, I absolutely loathe the tacky “Happy Birthday” posts. In  my experience, posting “Happy Birthday” with a game photo gets equal engagement without embarrassing your team. And lets be honest, no Graphic Designer is going to use an image like that in their portfolio.

Punishment: Front office must wear masks that entire day of the photoshopped image

2. (Really) Dumb Hashtags

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Hashtags were created to connect. How many of your friends search for #foamfinger or #Buddyondashelf? Granted, many people are searching for #twerking, but still…have some respect! Utilizing a universal team hashtag is effective. Hell, if you want to make a special hashtag for your plush doll posing around the arena use something like #WheresBuddy or #FindBuddy. And make sure to spell your hashtag correctly. Buddy-on-da-shelf is hard for people to distinguish “da” from the correct “the” when they go to search for the content. We’re humans and we only look for the first and last word anyway.

Side note: If I ever see a team hashtag twerk again, I will puke.

Punishment: All digital employees must draw a hashtag on their forehead with permanent marker

3. Living On an Island

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Fitting the New York “Islanders” should fit as a good example for isolating themselves…

Digital media and sports coexist so well because it allows for a more inclusive fan experience. The most important word in that sentence was “INCLUSIVE.” You must include your fans, players and media within your digital platform to create the experience. If not all you are doing is managing an ongoing press release. And press releases are boring.

I scrolled through the New York Islanders Twitter handle (@NYIslanders) back to November 20th, and didn’t see a single fan interaction or media credit (13 day span…and still counting). The closest thing to an interaction was a RT from CEO Brett Yormark (@brettyormark) for a chance to win free tickets. Granted, they were hosting a contest and interacted with fans…but it wasn’t from the team page. The team Facebook Page isn’t any better at engaging fans.

Punishment: Your account gets suspended for putting us to sleep

4. Backgrounds That Don’t Fit

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Sorry Islanders, I swear I’m not trying to pick on you.

Most teams, including minor league teams, have figured out dimensions for Cover Photos on Facebook, YouTube Channel art and Twitter backgrounds. Some have not. It’s easy. Use Google and find a good pixel ratio for a background that fits mobile, desktops and those freakishly large monitors some people have. I’d suggest 2560 pixels x 1600 pixels, it fits almost every monitor.

Are you worried that it didn’t work? Test it out!!! Preview it!!! Play around with the image ratios until you know it fits. Small touches like this make all the difference when trying to promote your team.

Punishment: Must convert all media files from pixels to picas

5. Using Similar Font Colors

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This is nitpicking, I know, but the small things matter.

It is hard to distinguish the difference between Navy Blue and Black text. Most Twitter users are accustomed to seeing different font colors for Twitter handles, hashtags and links. In a business where ‘clicks’ matter, something like font color could turn away a user from engaging. If I were the team listed above, I would consider using Red as their “Link Color” listed under Profile Settings. It would pop and distinguish the links from the text.

Punishment: Eye gouging – you know, an eye for an eye