Instagram Scores Highest for March Madness Engagement

Though Twitter fielded the most posts about March Madness and Facebook accounted for the most engagement, Instagram provided the most productive offense for brands on social media during the NCAA men’s basketball tournament.

In its tracking of 200 brands during the tourney’s first two weeks, cross-channel analytics provider Origami Logic found that Twitter served as the social ball handler, dispensing 71% of all posts. Facebook was a distant second, with just 17% of activity.

But engagement stats presented an entirely different view of the game, showing 60% of it happening on Facebook and only 13% on Twitter. As it turned out, more than a quarter of total engagement (27%) took place on Instagram, despite the fact that branded posts on the photo site numbered only about a tenth of those posted on Twitter.

Instagram posted the highest rate of engagement among all channels studied by Origami, with 1.71 interactions per post. Facebook finished right behind with 1.67, and Twitter produced 0.88.

Aside from maximizing their March Madness efforts on Instagram next year, the study also informs marketers to heavy up messaging on non-game days. Social engagement levels spiked on March 17, just before Round 2 of the tournament got under way, and March 25, the day before the Sweet Sixteen hit the courts.

Brands that led the engagement rankings, according to Origami, did so with messages that used a basketball association in messages focusing on the brand, and not the tournament. Both Oreo and Pizza Hut, for instance, employed product-dunking themes. Such deft use of creative moved non-sponsors of March Madness into the same engagement bracket with sponsors (see table at left).

Source: Origami Logic

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