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2012 Social Media March Madness: Duke vs. KU

It’s March, which can only mean one thing to the Schwartz MSL Research Group- it’s time to once again get out our calculators and basketballs- it’s Social Media March Madness time.

Since we first started measuring social media muscle amongst college fan bases back in 2008 (we believe we were the first to do it), the NCAA Social Media rankings have slowly become one of our favorite and most popular analyses of the year. This year, two members of the Schwartz Research Group (Bill Bode and Kiley Phalan) took the lead. As Syracuse alum, Kiley had high stakes rooting on her Orangemen. On the other hand, Bill’s alma mater, Towson University barely missed the tournament. (Just kidding. This year, Towson set a NCAA Division-I record 41-game losing streak. Go Tigers!)

Twitter exploded in 2011, and college hoops fans have taken notice. After years of using Facebook fans as our primary data point, this year, the Schwartz MSL Research Group enhanced and refined our methodology. We realized Facebook fans of the Schools main page did not measure engagement with the basketball team. When analyzing brands it is essential to analyze the right basket. Additionally, with so much sports commentary happening on Twitter, we added that to our analysis for the first time this year.

How do we determine a winner?  To determine each school’s SMPR (Social Media Power Ranking), we used the following formula: (# of Facebook fans for each college basketball team + # of Twitter followers for each college basketball Twitter handle/Number of students attending the university, according to Wikipedia.) Sure, it’s not an exact science, but it’s the closest we can get to assess each school’s social media prowess and compare them against each other. This also eliminates school size as a factor in determining the winner.

We won’t keep you waiting. Ladies and gentleman, your 2012 March Madness Social Media Power Rankings:


•    Kansas takes the top prize over Duke, with a SMPR of 5.244
•    Last year’s winner, Ohio State, is eliminated in the first round this year to #15 seed Loyola MD. This is likely due to our change in methodology, requiring the Facebook and Twitter fan pages to be basketball-exclusive (Ohio State has 1,135,676 likes, but only 18,042 fans of the Basketball team). This is the biggest upset throughout the tournament.
•    The West is easily the weakest bracket. Memphis is able to wiggle their way into a Final 4 appearance, despite the fact that Syracuse, UNC, Gonzaga and UConn all have stronger rankings- luck of the draw!
•    This year’s biggest buzzer beater was the closest match up we’ve seen in the history of Schwartz MSL’s SMPR- Memphis topped Mizzou in the Elite 8 with a difference of .002.
•    Two members of the Schwartz MSL Research Group, @mcclennan and @kphalan, swear Syracuse will do better in the Dance.

The Top 10 by Social Media Power Ranking:
•    Kansas- 5.244
•    Duke- 4.577
•    UNC- 3.957
•    WVU- 3.307
•    Gonzaga- 3.165
•    Syracuse- 2.811
•    UConn- 2.205
•    Memphis- 1.832
•    Mizzou- 1.830
•    Michigan State- 1.650

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Comments (3)

  • HedgeHog

    Sorry Bob – you are not using the official Kansas basketball program facebook account (/KansasBasketball). If you want to use the “wiki” account for Kansas you need to do it for Duke as well, which makes Duke the winner on both fronts.

    You can’t just use the higher #’s from the Kansas wiki acct and not do the same for Duke.

  • Bob Smith

     FYI – Your numbers are actually incorrect – Kansas is indeed the winner.

    Correct #’s:
    Kansas Twitter: 20,878 followers
    Kansas Facebook: 140,949 fans (NOT “108,477”)

    20,878 + 140,949 = 161,827
    161,827 divided by 29,462 (total students) = 5.49
    5.49 > 5.34 
    Kansas wins!

  • HedgeHog

     FYI – Your study is actually incorrect – Duke is the winner.

    Correct accounts:
    Twitter = /DukeBluePlanet and /KU_Hoops
    Facebook = /DukeBluePlanet and /KansasBasketball

    Correct #’s:
    Kansas T (18,476) + F (108,477) = 126,953
    Duke T (38,938) + F (39,860) = 78,798
    126,953 divided by 29,462 (total students)78,798 divided by 14,746 (total students)
    Kansas SMPR = 4.30Duke SMPR = 5.34

    *Duke also wins if you just do undergraduates:126,953 / 20,330 =   6.2478,798  /   6,526 = 12.07


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