Did anyone win March Madness?
No question, Shabazz Napier and his Connecticut teammates were the ones cutting down the nets after holding off Kentucky for the NCAA men’s basketball championship.
But when it comes to the battle for big event social media supremacy, the clock is still running and the major players are battling for position.
Twitter and Facebook each posted social tales-of-the-tape today, touting high activity related to the three-week celebration of hoops. Each social network focused on different metrics, so it’s not possible to declare a victor. Still it’s instructive to see the results they are sharing.
Twitter, focusing on the championship game, claimed that its users sent more than 2 million tweets worldwide containing terms related to the telecast. Not surprisingly, the highest activity — 90,301 tweets per minute — came at the end of the game. Both numbers fall well short of the Academy Awards, which generated 14.7 million total tweets, and 254,644 tweets per minute during Ellen DeGeneres’ selfie.
Facebook didn’t release numbers from championship night, focusing instead on the overall event. From Selection Sunday, March 16, to Monday night, Facebook reported that more than 15.3 million U.S. users posted, commented on or “Liked” tournament-related content 46 million times.
Because of Facebook’s privacy settings, much of that activity is visible only to friends, but Facebook noted that its platform also hosts robust public conversations. For instance:
The Story for Sponsors
Also of note for marketers looking for takeaways about programming against big events is the case study produced by ExactTarget Marketing Cloud.
Using its Radian6 dashboard, ExactTarget tracked social media mentions of the 17 official March Madness sponsors and reported that they were mentioned more than 69,000 times among the more than 5 million tournament-related social updates they found. AT&T received the most attention with 37,000+ mentions, helped no doubt by the fact that the Final Four was held in AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Capital One (5,600), UPS (4,100), Reese’s (3,500) and Burger King (3,400) rounded out the top 5.
Said ExactTarget Marketing Cloud CMO Mike Lazerow: “The large brands which launched marketing campaigns around the Big Dance were also the most mentioned on social media. Smart brands understand you need to publish content where customers are hanging out, and not only publish, but understand what content is working and why.”