Who's Winning the March Madness Social Media Game?

March 16, 2016

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It’s that time a year again for all you super fans… March Madness! We know you fans can get pretty competitive when it comes to repping your team (especially when it’s your alma mater), and we can attest to a pretty intense rivalry going on in our office as well. One thing is for sure, the March Madness hype has only grown with the addition of social media to the mix. There is somewhat of a secret social media game that goes on during the real game, where fans compete to see who can stir up the most social media engagements for your team. So who’s winning so far?

MM Engagement

Image Source: UConn Huskies Facebook Page. 16 March 2016. https://www.facebook.com/uconnhuskies/

Our resident UConn super fan couldn’t get enough of this…

So what lessons can marketers learn from this engagement chart? Some fans have harnessed the power of social more so than others, and we want to follow their lead and interact with our audiences in the best ways possible. Take some tips from the super fans:

 

Be Reactive

71% of all social activity during March Madness comes from Twitter—this is where followers go to check up on how their teams are doing, before, during, and after each game. The real-time nature of Twitter is the perfect platform for events, and it is important that your brand is reactive and timely. Your audience will then use your Twitter feed in an informational and newsworthy way.

 

Emotions Connect and Engage

Our UConn super fan Phil emphasized an important point—emotion plays a huge role in increasing engagements with your target.

“Social media definitely gets me hyped for games, usually by allowing me to connect with other fans (like my UConn alum friends) to show support. I also LOVE hype videos for big games. I probably watch them 100x before big events, I can’t get enough!”

 

Take an Integrated Approach

 The teams that missed the boat on their social game were most likely missing one key element: a call-to-action prompting social media engagement. For the next four weeks March Madness is unavoidable—TV spots running everywhere, your Twitter feed inundated with posts about brackets, and people sharing emotional posts about their teams’ statuses. Integrate these elements, and your share of voice will increase enormously. Create a campaign hashtag that runs on your TV spot, and you will be able to reach those not necessarily watching.

 

We can’t wait to see how this year’s tournament plays out! Tensions run high in our office between UConn and Syracuse fans… so who will take home the win? Tweet us @Norbella with your top pick!