Social Metrics Soar Before March Madness Begins

Hal Conick
Marketing News
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Key Takeaways

​What? Before the NCAA basketball tournament event started, there were 600,000 mentions of March Madness on social media.

So what? As one of the highest-rated and socially interactive events of the year, March Madness presents huge opportunity for marketers on social media. 

Now what? Hashtags, posts and commentary relating to March Madness all get a lot of action online before and during the tournament. The smart marketer should know these are where many U.S. consumers are during the tournament.  

​March 16, 2017

Each year, March Madness garners huge TV ratings. Marketers active on social media should know that it also racks up some gaudy social stats. 


Before the First Four games, there were already 600,000 mentions of the NCAA March Madness basketball tournament, across social media, according to a report from TalkWalker.

Mentions of March Madness and related terms spiked more than 300% in the 48 hours before tournament teams were picked on Selection Sunday, with the biggest peak coming during the live selection show on CBS.

Other stats marketers may want to keep in mind for this year’s tournament and beyond:

  • ​The #MarchMadness hashtag was used 150,000 times in the week leading up to Selection Sunday, with #Selection Sunday used 113,000 times.

  • An Instagram post by The Bleacher Report showcasing the South Region of the tournament bracket reached 140,000 likes.

  • Teams leading the way (through Wednesday) in social mentions include North Carolina with more than 26,000 mentions, Kentucky with 24,000, Kansas with 13,800, Duke with 13,600 and Villanova with 13,389.

Marketers who want to catch March Madness may also look to the peripheries of its social media activity. One post by Julia Louis-Dreyfus, an actress known for her roles in Veep and Seinfeld, celebrated the Northwestern Wildcats’ tournament birth by attaching a clip of Louis-Dreyfus as Elaine from Seinfeld doing her awful and hilarious dance​. The tweet took off with more than 9,000 retweets and more than 24,000 likes.

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Author Bio:
Hal Conick
Hal Conick is a staff writer for the AMA’s magazines and e-newsletters. He can be reached at or on Twitter at @HalConick.
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