Exclusive: Behind the scenes with Panthers social media
CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - No matter where you are in life in the Charlotte area, chances are you follow the Carolina Panthers on social media.
They're the big cats in town when it comes to creativity on their four major platforms, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat. After Monday Night Football, WBTV got a rare treat.
After asking for months to pull back the curtain on who runs the Panthers' social media accounts, we were finally given full access to who it is and how they do it. The manager is 29-year-old Amie Kiehn.
"When people say your job is so cool, it IS super cool. I often feel like Tom Cruise in Minority Report, like 'I want this here, I want that there. I'm like, 'now we need to cut that scene, now that players injured we can't use him,' and then I'm typing, typing, typing," Kiehn said.
Kiehn will also quickly tell you it's not just her, but a team effort. For all the content these Panthers accounts are pushing out, her team is small. Five people, including her. Four of them are women.
23-year-old Astasia came on two months ago, intern Courtney whose last name is Rivera and whose dad is called Coach, Panthers photographers Melissa, and Austin, an NC State graduate who is the videographer.
The group fires off social posts at rapid speed, from the field, to outside the stadium, to up in the press box. Snapchat, they say, is a more "exclusive" fan base, only because it's mostly millennials and less people are on that platform. But the best content, Kiehn says, she throws onto Instagram.
"Players particularly lean more on Instagram as their platform of choice. So if you really want to get a players attention, you post your best stuff there. And whenever one of them likes our stuff or shares it, it's like, validation," Kiehn laughs.
"When you have someone like Cam, who's like a social media dream, you put a lot of stuff with Cam. But I try to make it as even as possible in showcasing players. Not easy because it's such a big team, but I want the guys to also know they have an outlet to talk about what they feel is important," Kiehn said.
Kiehn has rules. Most are self-imposed.
She writes handwritten letters to fans she sees "likes" a lot of Panthers posts. She tracks what hardcore Panthers fans say and do when their names keep popping up. She also says creative video ideas come to her in her dreams, and that emojis are generally never more than three in one post.
Kiehn adds that you have to know the difference between an exclamation point and a period when typing out a post and that captions can sometimes take up to 30-minutes to create. Lastly, she says you must understand what will warrant a meme or a GIF in response.
"It's not as easy as people think. There are tons of nuances," she says laughing brightly.
What about when the team loses? Or when a player steps in it?
"It is hard, you pretty much will just see short captions, or emojis. Emojis are key. Emojis sometimes with the flat lips. That's kinda my go to when things go bad. I just leave it at that," she says laughing brightly.
But overall, she says, it's nothing but constant hours and stressful fun.
She calls it, her dream job.
"I just want people to feel like they're heard from their favorite team."
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