When I tell people I work at Messages On Hold every now and again I’m met with a blank stare. That’s until I ask them ‘Have you seen those big yellow hands behind the goals at Eagles home games?’ Once I let loose that little gem, people immediately know who I’m talking about. Trevor and his comrades have become synonymous with West Coast home games for waving our big yellow hands, so I thought it would be fun to take our Facebook friends behind the scenes of the Messages On Hold team at Patersons Stadium with an experiment in social media.
The Aim: To live update sights, sounds and insights from the Eagles home game.
Now I’m a big social media freak – if there’s sport/politics/anything on the TV and there’s a hashtag, you better believe I’m going to join the conversation. I love blogging about events and places I experience around Perth and I get a weird thrill out of getting as many ‘stats’ as I can with my own personal uploads to Facebook. So you can imagine my excitement at the idea of sharing the fun of an Eagles home game on social media when the opportunity presented itself.
Doing my pre-game research I wondered a fair bit as to why no sports clubs actually updated their Facebook pages during matches. West Coast Eagles, along with most other AFL clubs, is fairly prolific in its tweeting during matches but it had started to bother me why they never updated their Facebook mid-game. Well my foray into Facebook updates during sports games gave me a stern and no buts about it answer – there’s no reception in big stadiums when there’s heaps of people in them!
The Twitter platform is highly suited to covering sports games because you don’t have to rely on mobile data. Clubs can tweet from a PC or laptop and it’s instantaneous because they don’t have to rely on mobile data – which is slow and often times drops out completely. When you’re updating Facebook with pictures or video, it’s time consuming over a mobile network. Something I learnt quick-smart on Sunday.
Up until about 15 minutes until kick-off I wasn’t having any issues with my network connection (thanks Vodafone). Once the stadium had filled-up though, there was no hope. I did a double-lap of Patersons Stadium to try and find somewhere to upload something… anything… but I had no success. I even tried going up to the highest stand right next to the phone tower. Still nothing! It seems too many people one spot causes data over mobiles to slow down so significantly logging on to Facebook becomes nigh on impossible, let alone uploading a video.
Sunday’s game certainly gave me a lot to think about. Social media at sports events is a great way to share experiences, especially for a company like ours who is an official sponsor of the club. How am I going to solve this problem next time? Well I’ll try and take a different phone and I’ll probably take along a WiFi hotspot just to make sure I can stay connected to the network. Either way I’m pretty determined to keep trying because sport is an undeniably effective way to get people active with social media and our involvement with West Coast is an opportunity too great to miss.
If you’d like to keep up to date with my progress, jump over to our Facebook page and hit that like button. Remember to add our page to your interest list to ensure you’re across our latest posts.