GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- The Indians have embraced a cutting edge approach to social media, and that will continue even moreso throughout the upcoming season.
On Monday, Cleveland announced its plans to expand its social media efforts to include six platforms, including four new additions for the 2012 campaign. The Tribe believes that having as many direct connections with its fan base as possible is important for the organization.
"We're cognizant of the importance of social media as a tool to engage with fans," Indians president Mark Shapiro said in a release. "We now have the opportunity to directly connect to our fans and engage in authentic, two-way conversations.
"These connections with fans strengthen our brand vision to create memories, connect generations and celebrate families."
The Indians will once again feature pages on both Twitter (@Indians) and Facebook. New this year will be a "TribeVibe" WordPress blog and a "Step into the Home" blog page on Tumblr, as well as a presence on on Google+ and Pinterest. The two blogs will provide a behind-the-scenes look at the Indians at home and on the road.
Cleveland's "Indians Social Suite" -- the first social media-only space in professional sports -- will also be back at Progressive Field this season. The suite gives fans a chance to interact with others at the ballpark and online during Indians games. Invitations to the Social Suite are given out on a game-by-game basis and fans can apply online at indians.com/connect.
This season, fans in the suite will also have opportunities to have meet-and-greet sessions with Indians alumni and front-office personnel. They will also have access to an exclusive Google+ circle.
The Indians are also bringing back social media ticket offers, which will be available exclusively through sharing on Facebook and Twitter. Fans using those platforms will have the opportunity to earn the original discount -- with the potential for more discounts -- based on how much they share via social media.
The Indians will also team with Major League Baseball Advanced Media again to enhance fans' experiences at the ballpark by using MLB.com's mobile applications. Fans can follow games live on the At Bat 12 application, which is available on iPhone, iPad, Android phones and tablets, as well as Blackberry and Windows Mobile phones.
Fans will have access to an interactive map of Progressive Field and the ability to check in at the ballpark to become eligible for other discounts and tips. During the second homestand this season, mobile food ordering will also become available to fans.
Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.