3 Social Media Tips from March Madness Teams

Eden Ames
American Marketing Association
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Key Takeaways

What? Blue Fountain Media bracketed March Madness teams based on social media influence.

So what? Marketers can pick up a few tips from the Blue Devils' social media presence.

Now what? In your own social media strategy, remember that the size of your following does not always translate into engagement.

We know what it takes for college teams to win the championship, but who wins with the greatest social media influence?

There's high competition when it comes to engaging audiences on social media. When it's done right, there is a lot to be gained. A strong following with consistent engagement can improve brand loyalty, recognition and conversion. Marketers can also scour audiences for valuable insights. But pulling off an effective social media strategy is not exactly an intuitive task.

In 2016, marketers might be able to pick up an assist or two from social-savvy teams competing in this year's March Madness tournament.

In the spirit of the bracket season, online marketing firm Blue Fountain Media matched all 68 of the competing teams and analyzed their social media presence to determine which one performed best cumulatively on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Duke came out on top with over 90,000 Twitter followers, 369,500 Facebook likes and 409,000 followers on Instagram

Interestingly enough, the Kentucky Wildcats actually had more total followers than Duke, but these numbers alone weren’t enough to beat the Blue Devils’ engagement performance. Using a large sample of pages and posts, Blue Fountain Media came up with the formula below to calculate average engagement rates:

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What can marketers learn from the social media presence of Duke's basketball team?

1. Make posts that elicit strong reactions. The new reaction buttons on Facebook might help to identify which emotions you want your audience to feel. Angle each post to cater to those feelings and you'll likely see a spike in engagement.

 2. Humanize your profile. Putting a face to your brand can go a long way in making your social media presence more approachable and tangible. Use social media posts to identify the great people behind your team. Personalized posts like this do well when the tagged individuals are social media users, too. You'll gain more exposure and engagement from the aggregated social capital.

3. Use humor when appropriate. Don't take things too seriously on social media. Most people are there in the first place for entertainment. With that in mind, giving your audience something to laugh about from time to time will do more to help than hurt your brand (so long as your jokes are tasteful). 

The first to arrive in DC?! Our favorite mascot. #ACCtourney

A photo posted by Duke Basketball (@dukeblueplanet) on

See the full infographic and read about the study by Blue Fountain Media here.

Author Bio:

Eden Ames
Eden Ames is a digital content producer for the American Marketing Association. She may be reached at eames@ama.org.
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