Browns Twitter-A Fan Advantage

Social media has offered fans the chance to interact with other fans and their team, and their opinions and ideas will be heard

Welcome to Browns Twitter- here's a picture of Brian Hartline as a reference to what it probably looks like:

OK let's get semi-serious

Upon its creation, it was merely a 140 character news blob. People use it in our society today to express their thoughts and feelings, and with the passing of our country’s recent election, more so their political stance or the simple retweet of a viral story or photo.

Or, if you’re a Browns fan, you use it. I mean, we USE it.

Browns Twitter has become an online virtual sports bar in the past several years. Browns fans have discussed some of the more intensifying moments in recent memories with frustration towards the organization. From trading Trent Richardson for a first round pick to restlessly debating over Johnny Manziel’s social media habits, Browns fans use twitter as a common ground to interact with their own community.

“I always like to point out that Cleveland twitter is completely unique”, “McNeil”, most recognizably known on Twitter for his username @Reflog_18 said. “We do things on the regular that are creative and strike a nerve like no other fan base.”

“McNeil” is one of the more credible members that make up the Cleveland fan base. With other 43,000 followers, “McNeil” has established himself as part of Browns Twitter elite, most notably for his, “Johnny Free February” and “Perfect Season” parade campaign, which gained significant national traction until, yes, the Browns beat the Chargers this past season for their lone victory (you deserve that contract, Jamie).

Through the multiple personalities within Browns Twitter, some spark controversy with political stances, media trolling, or adamant stances of Browns opinions. Ryan from Columbus, commonly recognized as @RyinCBus, has over 4,700 followers and is a a fan who shares his passion for the Browns to his followers in his tweets.

“I am merely one person with my own opinions”, Ryan said. “That’s what unites us and keeps us coming back for more.”

Recently, during the free agency Ryan took a brief “hiatus” off of Twitter. Many of his followers still tweeted at him, and were glad to see him back on their feed. “Every so often, I just need to unplug and regain perspectives on things.” Ryan notes one of the more irritating conversations on his feed are those of built up conversations of a long period of time, such as the Browns quarterback situation, which the, “uncertainty and long periods of little to no information certainly lead to negativity, which in turn leads to fighting.”

“Sometimes, it’s just best to put down the phone and walk away.”

One of the more frustrating things Browns fans experience within Browns Twitter is that of finding legitimate news. “Breaking news” or “Sources” are retweeted whether fact checked or not, which creates arguments and negativity on feeds.

“Anyone who really has any real info has to be pretty careful about how much they present it for fear of saying too much or burning a bridge in the organization”, said Ryan.

Still, why even try to “break” news?

“Everyone wants to be the first to ‘break’ news, even if they aren’t in the business,” “McNeil” said. “Every once in a while someone gives me inside news. I never run with it.”

“They are usually right only about half the time.”

Even with fan interaction being extremely high on Twitter, some accounts get retweeted frequently in impersonation of media members, who often have that blue, check marked verified icon above their name. Still, fans on Browns Twitter will do anything to create hype within 140 characters.

“It’s pretty easy to spot the accounts who are faking it or trying to break news and make a name for themselves,” said Ryan.

Still, the constant interaction with media and even players on the team is extremely noticeable, and begs the question: Do the Browns pay attention?

“I have been told (they do) by top brass. They would be really dumb not to,” “McNeil” said. “It’s a free market research that normally have to pay thousands for. It’s out there free for them to consume.”

If Browns Twitter acts as a free research tool, the fans can help benefit fan experience-whether in stadium or on their respective media platforms. Last summer, the media department for the Browns made a substantial effort in improving video production, offering weekly “Browns Report” on YouTube during Training Camp posted every Sunday.

Besides improving the fan experience, the Browns are being noted as an organization the start of the new league year looking to improve what fans want to see every Sunday during the season.

“The Browns genuinely seem less interested in cosmetic changes like fan advisory boards and drum lines and more into actually improving the product on the football field,” said Ryan.

“That’s just fine by me”.

It’s important to remember that social media offers fans outlets to interact with their favorite teams and players. It’s also crucial to remember that disagreements will always happen, and in a fan environment should be more than welcomed.

Also, I want to point out @HipsterTito for his fantastic job this past summer contributing donations to the children's hospital, as well as "McNeil" managing all the contributions to the failed parade to Cleveland's food bank. You two are class acts, and thanks for proving you can really make a difference even with social media accounts.

Browns Twitter. Cleveland Twitter. Twitter in general- we all can make a difference via social media interactions. Makes you think: what if Browns Twitter was 100 percent positive, though I'm sure the conversation would still be fluid with disagreements.

Asked to define Browns Twitter, “McNeil” describes fans as, “the most wonderful, insane, passionate, humorous, weird, creative people on earth”.

“We all just happen to root for the Browns.”

Tweet away always, Browns Twitter.

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