Back in September, I wrote an article called Why Teams Should Get Involved With Social Media that outlined a few whys and hows for teams to get started. One way that teams can participate in conversations and deepen their engagement with fans is through Twitter, which is a micro-blogging platform that allows you to build a community of followers, see what people care about and interact directly with people who share your interests. The easiest implementation of Twitter for a team would be to simply broadcast ticket discounts whenever there are extra tickets left before a game. This is just one example of how a team could use Twitter, and there are plenty of articles around now that spell out why corporate brands should be involved on Twitter (here's one of them), so I won't get into that now.
Since the NBA season has started, I thought it would be interesting to see which teams are using Twitter to post team news and engage with fans. To identify teams that are on Twitter, I used a combination of Twellow, Twitter Search and my own investigation to identify "official" Twitter accounts of teams (ones that looked official and had links back to the official NBA team site). In many cases, a blogger or other website (ex: sportytweets.com) has established a team Twitter account to post scores and news and links back to his/her blog. I didn't include this stuff in my investigation, since this does not count as something that is coordinated by the team itself. I haven't spent an eternity on this and have probably missed a few things, so feel free to correct me if I have.
NBA Teams on Twitter (official accounts)
Philadelphia 76ers (thanks to Russell Scribetti for the find)
Portland Trailblazers (thanks to Lauren Beyer and Kelsey Thompson)
Memphis Grizzlies (thanks Lauren)
I didn't think every team would be involved with Twitter, but I'm surprised how few are. Other teams are missing a huge opportunity for community relations. They could be providing fans with official news, updates and discounts and learning about what their fans like. Instead, they are absent from the conversation. Instead of finding Twitter updates from official team sources, fans are finding them from other bloggers and websites, and teams are missing out on the opportunity to use Twitter to drive traffic to their own websites. I wonder if the NBA's rule that restricts teams' marketing territories has anything to do with the lack of teams on Twitter?
Do you think teams should be on Twitter? Would you want to see updates, news and ticket discounts from your favorite team (NBA or other league) there?