The Social Media Side of March Madness (#Infographic)

Today is a sad day and not because my Indiana Hoosiers didn’t make it to the final four. Today marks the end of March Madness. That’s right. It is officially over. The one month out of the year where colleges pull fans from all over the world to unite under one banner: the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. And every year millions upon millions of people watch players from all over the nation fight for the chance to be crowned the champions of the tournament. We watched, cheered, cried, and shouted with emotion that only division one basketball could create. However, it is over and another March Madness is in the books.

Now we have a chance to look back and review the tournament from a marketing and social perspective. As many of you have realized through the Super Bowl and Oscars infographics, individuals and brands are using social media at an alarming rate to communicate and cheer on their respective teams.  The social media team at ExactTarget decided to track and review the top trends over the course of the tournament and define what truly makes a team the social champions of the tournament. We tracked over 350 keywords from March 15th to April 2nd including all teams and related keywords. Check out what we found.

Important Stats

  • 2,065,060 total tweets over the tournament
  • "Final Four" was the top trending word with 466,492 tweets
  • Kentucky raked in 147,916 tweets during the Championship game compared to Kansas with 97,328
  • Lehigh won in the South for most mentions during a game with 9015 in the 2nd Round
  • Ohio State topped the mentions column during the tourney with over 20,000 tweets during the first four rounds of the tournament


  • Bracket madness directly hit Twitter with the most popular tweet coming from @Sportscenter after the Norfolk State win over Mizzou
  • Not surprisingly, English represented the largest language set with 96% of the overall tweets. This is different from the Oscars where Brazil brought in 13% of the overall tweets.

Infographic - you can see a larger version of this infographic here.

At the lab we tracked the conversation from 11am (3/15)  to 1:30am (4/3) EST (an hour before and after the start and finish of the tournament). We ranked Twitter mentions for teams during the entire tournament tracking over 350 keywords. We also added players and coaches for the final four and championship game.

March Madness Infographic

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