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Twitter-iffic: Tech Using Twitter, Facebook To Reach Fans

Jan. 21, 2011

By Dean Buchan (@deanbuchan)
Sting Daily

When Georgia Tech’s 2011 football schedule is announced – most likely the first week of February – the sports information office will, within a span of a few minutes and a few keystrokes, distribute the news to thousands of Yellow Jacket fans anxious to circle dates on their fall calendar.

How fans receive that information has changed over the years, specifically over the last several months. A press release will be e-mailed to some 500 media members all over the nation, who in turn will write stories and post blogs.

But like a lot of schools, Tech athletics has become its own media source. That same press release will be posted on the department’s web site and viewed by roughly 10,000 people within a few hours. More than 15,000 Tech fans will see the news on their Facebook page and nearly 8,000 will see it on Twitter. Nearly 40,000 Jacket fans will get the schedule via Sting Daily, Tech’s daily electronic newsletter.

Distributing information specifically to Georgia Tech fans at light speed is just one of the benefits of cyberspace and social networks. The technology has made it simple for fans to interact with Tech’s teams, coaches, staff and even the student-athletes.

On Tech’s Facebook page (Facebook.com/gtathletics), fans were invited to send in photos of their children – as long as the kids were wearing GT gear. Within a few days, more than 300 of those photos were posted in one collective, online scrapbook. Later, Tech invited fans to send in photos of their pets wearing Yellow Jacket gear and the response was equally impressive. Many of those photos were shown on the video board at Bobby Dodd Stadium prior to home football games.

Through Twitter, Tech fans can get insight and comments, even communicate directly with some of the Yellow Jacket head coaches. Women’s basketball coach MaChelle Joseph is one of Tech’s most active “Tweeters,” as is Wes Durham, the Voice of the Yellow Jackets. While football coach Paul Johnson does not Tweet and men’s basketball coach Paul Hewitt has gone Twitter-silent since April, most of Tech’s teams and coaches operate Twitter accounts (a short list of GTAA-related Twitter accounts can be found below).

Social and new media has also added to the game experience. For example, Joseph’s women’s basketball team will play at Virginia Tech Thursday night in a game that will not be televised. To follow the game, we hope you’ll listen to the radio broadcast at 91.1 FM, but also keep up with live statistics via Gametracker on RamblinWreck.com and get periodic updates on Tech’s women’s basketball Twitter page (@GTWBB). Following the game, look for a game story on the web site, as well as a video of post-game interviews.

The direction of social and new media seems to take a new turn each week, so stay tuned for more ways to connect to the Yellow Jackets in the near future. In the meantime, here is a checklist of how to stay tuned-in:

RamblinWreck.com — The official web site of GeorgiaTech athletics. If RamblinWreck.com is not your home page – and whyisn’t it? – then make sure to make it a favorite stop. Here you’llfind links to videos, photos, stories, statistics, media guides,etc. Sting Daily — Every morning we distribute freshstories by our writers Matt Winkeljohn, Jon Cooper and Wes Durhamto more than 40,000 people. If you want to refer someone, tell themto go to RamblinWreck.com, find the FanZone pull-down menu, andsign-up for free. The Good Word — Every other Thursdayathletic director DanRadakovich send his comments and messages to Yellow Jacketfaithful. If you’re on the Sting Daily e-mail list, you’re alreadyreceiving it. If not, you can find it on RamblinWreck.com.Facebook.com/gtathletics — This is the main Facebook pagefor Georgia Tech athletics. All news releases are sent to Facebookand it’s a great place to post your comments. We also have a greatcollection of GT-related photographs. Right now, over 15,875 YellowJacket fans are getting daily updates through our Facebook page.Twitter.com/gtathletics — At least within the Georgia Techathletics family, Twitter is our fastest-growing outlet. There arenumerous Twitter accounts related to the Yellow Jackets (see listbelow), but make sure to “follow” GTAthletics.Youtube.com/ramblinwrecktube — This is a great page forviewing the latest Yellow Jacket videos. New videos posted almostdaily.

Here is a list of some of the Twitter accounts you may want to follow:

Sports

Georgia TechAthletics (Main Account) — 7,382 followers
Georgia TechBaseball
Georgia Tech Men’sBasketball
Georgia Tech Women’sBasketball
Georgia Tech Golf
Georgia TechSoftball
Georgia Tech Swimming
Georgia Tech Women’sTennis
Georgia Tech Track andField
Georgia TechVolleyball
Coaches
Head Coach DannyHall
Head Coach PaulHewitt — 1,463 followers
Assistant MBKB CoachDarryl LaBarrie
Head Coach MaChelleJoseph
Assistant WBKB CoachOctavia Blue
Assistant WBKB Coach SamPurcell
Miscellaneous
Georgia Tech SportsMarketing
Voice of the Jackets, WesDurham — 1,608 followers

And, here are some Facebook pages you’ll want to “like”:

Georgia TechAthletics Main Page
Georgia TechVolleyball
Georgia TechWomen’s Basketball
Georgia TechWomen’s Tennis
Georgia TechBaseball

A quick social media reference guide.

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