Do you watch television with your smartphone or laptop? You probably do and you’re in a good company. I’m writing this post on my couch while I’m watching a new episode of Boardwalk Empire. I have my Macbook Pro on my lap and my iPhone 5S is a few inches away on the armrest. I reach for it when I don’t feel like looking something up on my laptop, or if I get a text or tweet.
Now, fast forward to the end of the month. What am I doing? Pretty much the same thing. But I’m watching the start of the baseball playoffs. Heck, I don’t even know who’s playing yet, but I know it won’t be my beloved Boston Red Sox. After winning three titles in the past decade they’re taking this year off.
I read a study last year that said that 41 percent of the people watching another major sporting event, the Super Bowl, used mobile apps during the game. This means social media, weather and gaming apps.
So if people plan to be busy with social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat, there’s an opportunity for nonprofits to cause-jack the MLB playoffs and World Series and to engage supporters.
But this isn’t the time for nonprofits to post pictures from their ’09 dinner gala. The posts have to be relevant, interesting and useful to supporters. They also have to be designed for preoccupied viewers who are watching the game, laughing at antics both on and off the field, and making trips to the fridge for refills.
Here are some things nonprofits could do during the baseball playoffs.
- A hospital could talk about all the different types of sports-related injuries they see in the emergency room, and how many of these could be treated at home—or how to avoid them altogether!
- A food pantry could talk about how fans can donate playoff party leftovers—or remember the pantry when they’re out shopping for the games.
- A music-related nonprofit could chat with supporters about who sang the National Anthem, or about other musical acts that performed. (Last year, during the World Series, the Red Sox invited the Dropkick Murphy’sto perform!)
- A nonprofit that helps animals could talk about team mascots or share pictures of players with their favorite dog or cat.
- A veterans group could discuss the ways the MLB and advertisers are honoring the troops. Or they could share pictures of troops around the world watching the game.
The list goes on and on. The key is to engage supporters and to build a stronger connection. This just doesn’t happen during work hours Monday through Friday. For good or bad, social networks and mobile devices mean that your cause is portable and you’re “on” 24/7.
This is one game you can’t afford to miss.