It is tiring to hear story after story of athletes doing something dumb on Twitter or other social network. That is hardly the only case, but those are the most fun to see- especially if you are a fan of virtual train-wrecks.
What we are seeing more of, however, is cheekiness from the official team Twitter accounts. This is a lot of fun to see. For example, just this week (July 29, 2013 for those reading this in the future), the my beloved Boston Red Sox batted down this attempt at trash-talk by the rival Tampa Bay Rays:
I have been to Red Sox vs Rays games in St. Petersburg, and can assure you that is a verifiable smackdown.
This was another recent favorite from July:
In managing corporate social media this is, of course, a tough line to walk. How “informal” should our voice be? What happens if we take it too far? Should we do it at all? This tends to mean the willingness to be playful gets lost somewhere between warm intentions and cold feet (sometimes, but not always, with a stop at the legal department).
It also underlines the need for community managers with good judgment – a rebuke of the idea that “interns should handle social” (which is NOT the same as saying 20-somethings can’t do it – attaching maturity solely to age is another mistake we make, especially in these muckraking marketing blogs we write).
In any case, I applaud this. Sports is entertainment, a little trash talk and ear-tweaking just adds to the entertainment.
Now, if only we could count on more individual athletes to walk the line more reliably…