Mystery Solved: Who Are The Hottest Social Teams in the NCAA?March 18, 2014
As every basketball fan knows, March means only one thing: the start of the NCAA Tournament.
Whether you’re cheering for your Alma Mater or wondering what the heck a bracket is, it’s essential that March Madness is on your social media monitoring radar. Last year, the tournament caused such a social stir that the NCAA quoted 7.7 million related social media comments were made during the live telecasts alone.
But when it comes to creating March Madness opportunity, the sheer volume of contributors makes it harder to nail down useful social media analytics. That’s why we’ve done you a solid, researching the three most socially savvy teams you should be paying attention to as the tournament kicks off:
This pick may sound obvious…. because it is. But the University of North Carolina is one of the most successful programs in college basketball history for a reason. Right now, UNC leads all programs with 156,000 followers on Twitter—and that stat is about more than just numbers alone. The reason for the high followership is because UNC nails it when it comes to interacting with fans, by regularly posting links to team news, and even rewarding fans over social with autographed merchandise.
For the sake of diversity, it kind of kills us to put two North Carolina schools in our list of the greatest. But we have to give credit where it’s due: Duke’s Twitter comes in a close second in the NCAA with 104,000 followers. Again, this is a result of how great Duke is at Retweeting its fans and players, and even humorously trash-talking rivals—essentially keeping up a conversation around the Duke Basketball brand. Duke also boasts a Social Rewards program that offers prizes for students and fans who actively engage with the team across various social channels.
The University of Michigan tends to do things a little differently. Centralizing its brand into a slogan, Michigan does the best job of encouraging fans to simultaneously Tweet using the hashtag #GoBlue. This tactic not only does wonders for Michigan’s social media analytics, but it also creates widespread unity across conversations from students and social fans alike. Michigan also expertly leverages the power of photos, ensuring that team-focused Tweets stand out in a timeline and generate more engagement.
So what’s the end game for all this? Believe it or not, not every team has joined the party when it comes to social media engagement. In fact, as of 2013’s NCAA Tournament, almost half of the participating teams did not have either a Twitter account or Facebook page.
This means that recognizing the hottest social players in the NCAA is critical for businesses and social media marketers who want to track tournament trends and align brand messaging. Because while only one team will win this year’s championship, every social media marketing professional can make the most out of social influence.