The NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament is now center stage. Round 2 just finished and the winning teams are gearing up for the Sweet 16 this weekend. As the players focus, so do the social media managers, getting ready for likely their team’s biggest week ever. If Round 2 social performance is any indication, this will be the most engaging NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament on social in history.
Coming out of Round 2, it was UConn that made their mark both on the court and social media. They led all Sweet 16 teams with 198k engagements during Round 2 of the tournament. Their biggest post of the game featured their star Paige Bueckers during halftime of the second game. The post generated a massive 27.3k engagements on Instagram as Paige scored 20 points in the win. Paige, a social media superstar herself, has been averaging over 200k engagements per post on her personal Instagram since joining the UConn team.
Oregon generated the second most engagements during the second round with 124k total cross-platform engagements. Their most popular post is a must see for any sports fan. This was the third most engaged with post from any team during Round 2.
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A&M, who came in third with 47k total engagements, found their most engaging post in the form of an Instagram Carousel featuring an emotional Jordan Ashley. Jordan hit the game winning shot in overtime to send the Aggies to the Sweet 16.
Videos Driving Social Lift during the Women’s Tournament
Every single team in tournament has seen significant social success compared to their regular season averages. When comparing average engagements per video during Round 2 to the regular season, the remaining teams in the tournament charted an amazing 245% increase in engagements on their videos. These videos weren’t one-offs either, each team in the chart below posted at least 10 videos between March 23 and March 24.
Michigan saw the most significant increase in engagements per video when compared to the regular season with a 609% increase. Rather than post their locker room victory video the night of March 23, they saved it for a savvy “Good Morning” post on March 24 and generated over 25k views on Twitter alone.
While Michigan is in the lead currently, it might not stay that way. The video of Texas A&M star Jordan Ashley hitting the game winning shot in OT has been playing on repeat all over social media.
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As the pressure picks up on the court, the opportunities off the court for social teams are greater than ever. With what feels like the eyes of the entire world gazing on the women’s tournament, social teams are in a position to do something truly special this year. This year will undoubtably be the most engaged with Women’s Tournament in NCAA history and those teams that capitalize on it are going to do more than just gain followers. The exposure gained during these moments can translate to new fans all the way up to new college applications.
If you want to read more about March Madness, check out the men’s streaming and social Round 1 recap here.