Angelo Fernandez | @angelobfs
The craziness that is the NCAA March Madness is coming to an end and now seems like a good time to see how social media is playing a major role in how the games are being followed, watched and talked about. As surely everyone has noticed on Twitter, Facebook and any other social media channel a lot of people like to talk about March Madness. Sports fans are some of the biggest brand advocates out there and that goes for double when it comes to college sports. But for some reason various companies decide to skip out on an opportunity to tap into this passionate and talkative online crowd.
While I realize that March Madness and pottery or college hoops and an Italian restaurant aren't exactly matches made in heaven, that doesn't mean that you can't tap into the tournament to create a boost for your business. By creating a campaign or promotion that is relevant to March Madness, you will spark an interest in your current customers who are fans of hoops and by tying your company to something with a lot of buzz you have a good chance of bringing in new people to learn about your business.
Let's just look at the Twitter growth (from March 18th - April 3rd) of the just the 4 schools that are still left in the tourney.
Louisville: 25,399 followers to 28,641 followers
Michigan: 45,350 followers to 55,362 followers
Syracuse: 23,985 followers to 26,606 followers
Wichita State: 5,014 followers to 6,845 followers
Now it's ludicrous for you to assume your company will jump in followers like these Twitter accounts. I suppose you could, but I'm certainly not going to make any promises. The point is that these are popular institutions that already had a large Twitter following and were still able to grow by the thousands. Even if your March Madness campaign only garners you a 5% increase of the above numbers your company would be thrilled.
Take a look at some of the raw numbers collected by ExactTarget of last year's tournament below to get an idea of how popular March Madness really is on social media.
Social media is a huge, and very integrated part of almost every major event whether it be the Super Bowl or the Oscars. It is your job to embrace social media and make more efforts to capitalize off all the buzz. The incredible growth in second-screen viewing is just one more reason you have to tap into the buzz on social media. Launching a clever social media campaign for these kind of events could be the game-winning marketing strategy your company needs.