Social Media Best Practices & March Madness

The 2018 NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament has delivered plenty of Twitter gems and real-world examples of social media best practices (e.g. timely posting, relevant hashtags and social media guidelines). We also saw a few face-in-palm moments from fans and schools alike.

Ah, the drama.

Without question, the most exhilarating aspect of any tournament with ‘at-large’ invitees is the possibility that one or two of the Cinderellas will advance deep into the tournament. This year’s NCAA men’s basketball tournament has certainly delivered in that regard, seemingly featuring bracket-busting results at every twist and turn. Consider:

  • 16th-seed Maryland-Baltimore County blowing out 1st-seed Virginia
  • 4th-seed Arizona falling to 13th-seed Buffalo
  • Perennial lock North Carolina, a 2nd seed, losing to 7th-seed Texas A&M
  • Marshall, a 13th-seed, eliminating Wichita State, a 4th-seed

And the list of “the fallen” continues to expand each round. Fortunately, those of us sitting at home and bemoaning our busted brackets have been treated to a verifiable smorgasbord of terrific Tweets and posts. Indeed, some organizations have their social media best practices down pat (even if their fans do not).

Timely Posting & Relevant Hashtags

Throughout the tourney, the digital teams at the schools and networks have used social media to emphasize the drama of March Madness 2018 (and entertain us) with timely Tweets and relevant hashtags (e.g. #Elite8). Consider these fun examples of both “getting it out there in a timely fashion” and “keeping it relevant”:

March Madness Tweets that embrace social media best practices.
The social media specialists at schools and networks have helped keep the 2018 edition of March Madness fun!

Social Media Best Practices Aren’t Just for the White House <ahem!>

Fans, too, have gotten into the act. But, as many are want to do, some have taken things a bit too far. Most notably, there was a late-Saturday Tweet by Nashville meteorologist Cody McClure. A joke it may have been, but the language and subject matter definitely netted the ire of at least one journalist.

For a while at least, the post made McClure’s employment status uncertain and forced bosses far and wide to ask themselves, Do we even have a social media posting policy in place here? If the answer is “no,” get to work on that, Dagwood.

Posting like Pros

One of the tournament’s social media highlights came just before the second round games tipped off. When first-survivors Maryland Baltimore County and Kansas State learned they’d be squaring off in Charlotte, the social media teams from each school engaged in a Twitter exchange that was a thing of beauty. Extra kudos go to @UMBC Athletics for giving us the awesome Blanche Devereaux gif (see below).

UMBC and KSU Tweets demonstrate that these organizations promote professionalism and good sportsmanship as part of their internal social media best practices.
UMBC engaged Kansas State in a terrific reminder that, yes, sports are still fun!

Of course, overzealous “super fans” threw in their two cents and devolved the whole thing in under an hour. The string then ceased to be fun and spontaneous and more like an unsupervised middle school activity. The demise of the thread did not go unnoticed by those actually enjoying the teams’ good-natured back-and-forth.

Reader calls out Twitter Tough Guys
The Tweeting between UMBC and KSU was fun while it lasted (until fans made it un-fun), much to the chagrin of those of us who enjoyed the back-and-forth!

Here’s hoping March Madness continues to give us even more drama this year (especially since my bracket is already donzo) and these folks can continue to entertain and educate us all about what to do (and not do) with our own organizations’ social media posting.

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