4 Ways To Utilize March Madness In Your Social Media Campaigns

The madness of this year’s NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball has been great so far! Have you found a way to utilize one of the biggest events in our nation into your digital media campaign? If not- you’re in luck! I’ve compiled a list of 4 ways you can utilize March Madness to help boost engagement with your brand on social media.

Why March Madness?

Contrary to what you might think, online searches for March Madness start as early as January and last all throughout April. This is because before the tournament starts, fans are constantly checking online to see which teams will make it into the Big Dance and those searches will increase with Selection Sunday. Obviously throughout the tournament people will be searching for scores, live action and where they can find the game. Once the final game is over, the interest dwindles down as people switch to searching about freshman recruiting and the NBA draft. Fans will also be flocking to their social media feeds and search engines every time a big upset or game changer happens; all the way from the time of tip-off to the final buzzer. With this large of a captive audience it’s almost a no brainer to integrate some type of March Madness content into your digital media campaigns. The NCAA Tournament will be dominating social media feeds, televisions and everyday conversations.

What Can You Do?

Not sure how to include March Madness in your brand’s editorial calendar? Here are a few ideas:

1. Contest

Contests are the #1 way to increase engagement and collect information from your audience. Lucky enough to score a pair of tickets to the big game? Create a ticket giveaway where you ask people to follow your brand and give their email addresses. Don’t have tickets to give away? One of the most common contests during March Madness are bracket challenges. Ask customers to fill out their best tournament predictions and pick a winner who has the most correct bracket!

Crown Liquors is giving away 2 tickets to the final game through a Facebook contest.

Crown Liquors is giving away 2 tickets to the final game through a Facebook contest.


2. Hometown Hero

Give the local teams who made it to the Big Dance a shoutout on all your digital media platforms. Be sure to tag the team and student section in all posts to increase engagement. Follow the team throughout the tournament and post live updates on your social media platforms. This will give you major brownie points in community management.

Hopcat restaurant and bar in Broad Ripple shows love to the Butler basketball team.

Hopcat restaurant and bar in Broad Ripple shows love to the Butler basketball team.


3. #MarchMadness

One of the simplest ways to engage with those talking about the NCAA Tournament is to use the appropriate hashtag on all social media platforms including but not limited to Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Here are a few of the most popular ones:

#MarchMadness
#NCAA
#bracketology
#BigDance
#FinalFour
#Sweet16

Current trending topics and hashtags.

Current trending topics and hashtags.


These are just some of the most popular hashtags, but if you are looking to be a little more creative, check these out or even try to come up with your own hashtag that relates to your brand.

4. Special Offers & Deals

During the tournament get more people in the door with special offers and deals that you announce on social media. How about free appetizers when your team wins? People love to go out and watch the game with friends, so if your brand is one of those places people can watch the game at be sure you are attracting them on social media. You can also offer social media specific deals throughout the tournament to increase sales and engagement.

Scotty's Brewhouse sent out an email offering $5 growler fills when a #1-#4 loses.

Scotty’s Brewhouse sent out an email offering $5 growler fills when a #1-#4 loses.


Incorporating March Madness can help increase engagement for almost any brand or business. The best part is figuring out all the creative ways you can make the event coincide with your brand. I’m lucky enough to live where the Final 4 takes place, so I am certainly excited to see how brands engage on social media during the Big Dance!

Need help advertising your brand during March Madness? Contact us today!

Social Media Takes Over March Madness

Nothing screams “productivity” like March Madness and social media.

The NCAA knows how to harness the power of social media. The three days after Selection Sunday, there were over 135,000 tweets with #MarchMadness in them. In 2012, @MarchMadness had 38,000 followers and this year they have over 223,000. Last year’s NCAA championship game drew 23 million viewers, second only to the Super Bowl. During the 2013 tournament there were over 16 million tweets about the games in a three week span and the championship game generated 3.3 million tweets on its own.

This year, the NCAA has included ties with Vine, Instagram, Facebook and tablets from Amazon and Microsoft. It is the first time fans will be able to watch live games using an Amazon Kindle Fire, Microsoft Surface and smartphones with Microsoft Windows 8 operating systems. The NCAA is also allowing people to access the March Madness Facebook, Twitter, Vine and Instagram sites without leaving the NCAA website this year.

The big upset is one of the main attractions of the tournament that draws even the most casual of fans. This year has not disappointed and the upsets came early and often starting with the Cinderella story of 2014, Dayton beating Ohio State on the first day of the tournament. Riding that momentum, they were able to upset Syracuse Saturday which even caused a shout out from The White House and Barack Obama.

whitehouse

One team you can almost always count on to show up for the tournament is Duke, but not this year! Mercer took them out on Friday, which if you somehow had Dayton beating Ohio State then this was probably your bracket buster. This was the second consecutive year that Duke was upset in the tournament. They lost to Lehigh last year, who tweeted out to Mercer after their victory.

lehigh

Warren Buffet and Quicken Loans made the biggest news this year. In January, Quicken and Buffet announced they would reward $1 billion to anyone who fills out the perfect bracket.This is almost an impossible feat. The odds of picking a perfect bracket are about one in one billion, but should someone be lucky enough to win, they would be entitled to $25 million annually for 40 years or an immediate sum of $500 million. What would you choose? Unfortunately, it only took three days for the last perfect bracket to fall. Thanks to Dayton and Mercer, the final bracket was busted when Memphis beat George Washington on Saturday night.

How’s your bracket doing? I had Wichita State winning it all so you can imagine how I feel today. Let’s talk sports and social media on Twitter!