Selena Blue

Social Media Marketing: How the Boston Celtics’ social strategy adapts to evolving platforms

January 22nd, 2016

“Your strategy has to be evolving. As the platforms continue to evolve, you have to evolve,” Peter Stringer, Vice President of Digital Media, Boston Celtics, said at the MarketingSherpa Media Center at DMA’s &THEN 2015.

As new social media platforms emerge and others change their algorithms, digital marketers must be nimble in their strategies. However, even in the midst of new social platforms, you still have to focus on fans.

“You really can’t have a great strategy until you start using the platform and try to understand how your fans expect to use it. Realistically, if you’re using [it] in a way that doesn’t match up with the way people actually use this platform in the wild, it’s not going to work,” he said.

Watch the interview to learn how Peter and the Boston Celtics have evolved to meet the needs of fans on social media platforms.


How an impromptu change in the approach to Facebook video led to a major shift in strategy

Peter discussed the responsibility that is on marketers to figure out if changes in how platforms work mean a change in strategy is in order. He provided an example around Facebook video and the viral trend for taking the Ice Bucket Challenge.

The head coach of the Boston Celtics, Brad Stevens, sent a video of himself participating in the challenge to Peter.

“Normally, we would direct people from our Facebook page to our website to watch the video,” Peter said.

However, he received it at the end of the day and was looking to get out of the office quickly. This led him to upload it natively to the Celtics’ Facebook page and “see what happens.”

The results of that spontaneous change in procedure? Around 50-60,000 views in just the first few hours.

“A light went off for me. If we can get 50,000 views on a video like this natively on Facebook, we need to think about our strategy because that same video might do 10,000 views on our website but we had an audience of nine million people who it could potential hit,” Peter said.

After a month of testing, the team decided to change their Facebook video strategy to now completely upload natively.

A year later, Peter said, “We’re still consistently seeing those audiences of 50,000, 60,000 fans watching a video, which we could never get that type of audience on our website.”

He summarized the story by saying, “The point being, you’ve got to constantly be ready to evolve and change your strategy as these platforms change how they work.”


Emerging trends in the social space

When asked what emerging trends in the social world he had been seeing, Peter detailed three trends to plan for:

  1. Pay to play (when it comes to promotional content)
  2. Visual nature of all social platforms
  3. Algorithm to play bigger part as social platforms incorporate more monetization efforts for themselves


You can follow Selena Blue, Manager of Editorial Content, MECLABS Institute on Twitter at @SelenaLBlue.


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Selena Blue

About Selena Blue

Selena Blue, Partnership Content Manager, MECLABS As Partnership Content Manager, Selena crafts various content to serve MECLABS Partners. From writing books on customer insights to building PowerPoint decks, she creates stories around our Partners’ successes and experiment discoveries to aid their marketing optimization transformation. Prior to her current position, she started at MECLABS as copy editor, then moved into a writing role as reporter. Selena holds a B.S. in communications and an M.S. in integrated marketing and management communications, both from Florida State University.

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