MLB Teams Enjoying One-Way Facebook Conversations

May 01, 2011 9:30 PM  By

TIM PARRY: Major League Baseball deserves an “Unlike” for the way it’s treating its fans on Facebook. It appears MLB has unified its 30 teams’ “official Facebook pages” as one (though people from the teams’ front offices may still post as the individual teams).

Case in point: All 30 teams’ home pages default to a tab (as they used to be called) promoting ticket sales — until you choose to “Like” them, which is fine. But also, if you “Like” an MLB team’s official Facebook page, you cannot post to its wall, post photos or videos, or basically start up a conversation.

Yes, you can comment on what the teams post to its pages. But the teams don’t seem to be listening to their fans. Or if they are, they aren’t taking part in the conversation on their Facebook pages.

Bad job, MLB. Maybe you need to learn from some of your minor league affiliates. (Okay, the Reading Phillies page may not be the greatest example, but at least fans can post.)

Which is more socially acceptable: Walking into a party, claiming Babe Ruth is the greatest player of all time, and then walking away as a debate ensues? Or walking into a party, claiming Babe Ruth is the greatest player of all time, and becoming an active part of the conversation?

Or for that matter, if you invite a friend into your house, do you let him initiate conversation? Do you show him some pictures or videos, etc.? Or do you make your friend sit in the corner and let him or her speak only when spoken to?

Perhaps there’s a reason MLB’s social skills aren’t very good. Maybe they’re afraid a bunch of Yankee fans will like the Red Sox official Facebook page and talk a bunch of smack (or vice-versa — let’s be fair here!). Maybe something like that is for the best. But if MLB’s keeping the Facebook conversation one-way because they don’t want fans giving them their opinion, maybe the league is just socially challenged. And that’s bad for baseball.

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