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2013 Schwartz MSL NCAA Tourney Social Media Power Rankings: Duke vs. UNC

For the past six years, to critical acclaim, the Schwartz MSL Insights Group has conducted the NCAA Social Media College Basketball Bracket Analysis (we believe we were the first to do it). As a PR firm that deals with high-tech, healthcare and services companies, we live social media every day and have a love of metrics. Therefore, we asked ourselves what if the schools in the Big Dance had to compete based on their social media prowess, not their hoop skills?

Four members of the research group carefully evaluated the field of 64 and had the teams face off solely on social media skills and came up with a power ranking for each school. We kept the NCAA seeds and let them face off.

You may question – does this really work?

Well in 2008, the NCAA Social Media Power Rankings were one of the few to predict Davidson’s tremendous run deep in the tourney – so mock it at your peril.

All the other basketball pundits tell you that you need to pick your teams based on the standings,  guard play or how far they travel. None of them work all that well. So instead, which of the schools in the dance would win a social media shoot out?

Each year, we refine our methodology. This year, we looked at a school’s official athletics Facebook, Twitter and YouTube following (based on a protest from Duke last year) to see how engaged its fans are. We divided that by a school’s student population to keep it fair for the mid-majors and come up with a school’s Social Media Power Ranking

Do we encourage wagering on games or any other activity which may take this as anything other than entertainment – no.

Without further ado: The Social Media Power Bracket

2013SMPR.jpg(Click on image for larger version)


We also went multimedia this year for the first time ever: 

Schwartz MSL Basketball Madness 2013
by: McClennan


In the end, Duke (SMPR: 34.30759) is too much for UNC (SMPR: 24.82998)

The 10 Academic Social Media Powerhouses:

  1. Duke
  2. Notre Dame
  3. UNC
  4. University of Florida
  5. Oregon
  6. Miami
  7. University of Oklahoma
  8. Wisconsin Badgers
  9. Syracuse
  10. Missouri

Biggest Facebook Powers:

  1. University of Florida
  2. UNC
  3. Oregon
  4. Wisconsin
  5. Ohio State

Strongest Twitter:

  1. Ohio State
  2. Florida
  3. Duke
  4. Kansas
  5. University of Oklahoma

YouTube Drive:

  1. Oregon
  2. Duke
  3. Notre Dame
  4. Miami
  5. UC Berkeley

What do you think? Who do you think will win?


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Mark McClennan

Mark McClennan

Senior Vice President at MSLGROUP

For the past 19 years, Mark has led teams working with innovative technology and healthcare clients for MSLGROUP. He is also the national treasurer for PRSA.

Mark McClennan

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