Dog Days of the Sports Calendar: Social Media Case Study – College Hoops

For sports fanatics like me, this time of the year is brutal. Basketball season is long over and we’re still a month out from football. For whatever reason though, my mind has been on college hoops here in early August. I can’t get out of my head how incredible last spring’s “March Madness” tournament was and just how cool it will be when San Antonio hosts the Final Four in 2018.

So for my blog topic today, I’m reviving a post I developed back in March that never saw the light of day (due to a busy spring!) – a case study examining the social media presence of the 2017 Division I College Basketball Tournament’s top seed, North Carolina, and that of its lowest seeded, Texas Southern. I hope you enjoy.

-David



You gotta love March Madness – 68 schools, teams, and fanbases, all striving for one goal – the Division I NCAA National Championship.

While there’s a lot to love about the tournament (pick ’em brackets, upsets, emotional fanbases, and an endless stream of games), my favorite part is watching all of the smaller, lower-seeded colleges duke it out against the “big boys” in the first round of the tournament. 

To me these “David vs Goliath” clashes are truly fascinating.

Think about it. On one side, you’ve got (usually) a big-time program with a massive fanbase and storied history. On the other, you’ve got (usually) a smaller school without as much of a national presence and a significantly smaller following.

It really is a marvel to watch.

In celebration of the tournament and the “little guy,” I selected a “1 vs 16 seed” match-up in this year’s tournament and sat down to study what each team is doing well on social media (Facebook specifically) and what tactics each could adopt from the other.

The “1 vs 16 match-up” I chose to study… Texas Southern vs North Carolina.

Let’s get started with Texas Southern!

*Texas Southern

*Since Texas Southern doesn’t have a dedicated page for their Men’s Basketball or Athletics Program, I studied their main school page (which serves as their defacto basketball/athletics program page)

For a school with an enrollment of only 9,557, I walked away extremely impressed with TSU’s per post engagement numbers. Across the board, Texas Southern’s content sports strong engagement numbers (reactions, shares, comments) – the level of engagement I normally would expect from a much larger, more established brand page.

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These type of metrics tell me Texas Southern has done a great job in ensuring their students and alumni are connected on social and that TSU’s past content has been relevant/strong enough for Facebook’s algorithm to spotlight their new content.

Good stuff, Tigers!

North Carolina

To no surprise, the Tar Heels have a robust Facebook page. I wouldn’t expect anything less from a program as storied and historic as North Carolina’s.

The one thing that jumped out to me? Just how darn clean the Heels’ page looked. From colors, image size, copy, and across the board – UNC’s social runs a tight ship.

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Nothing’s jumbled, awkward or ill-fitting – really a thing of beauty.

Let’s transition (no pun intended!) to what best practice each page could adopt from the other:

What could Texas Southern adopt from North Carolina?

I’d love to see Texas Southern adopt some of the graphic design principles of North Carolina. The Tarheels do such a great job of making clean, modern, and easy-on-the-eyes graphics – I’d love to see what Texas Southern’s page would look like with UNC’s graphic design prowess.

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I think Texas Southern’s maroon and grey colors would look great spotlighted in in this type of graphic style.

What could North Carolina adopt from Texas Southern?

I’d love to see North Carolina mix up their content with a little more “on the spot” (less scheduled) content, like Texas Southern does (photo albums, Facebook Live, etc.):

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While this “raw” content isn’t as nicely packaged, polished, and fine-tuned as North Carolina’s, there’s a certain authentic, homey feeling to it that’s really appealing. As a Social Media Manager, I’m always trying to strike that right balance between scheduled out content and raw, “on-the-spot” stuff like you see from the Tigers.

Enough social media talk, let’s kick back and watch the games begin!

Go Tigers! Go Tarheels! (and Gig ‘Em Aggies!)

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Five-Star Movies on Social Media

Managing the social media of Santikos Entertainment is a privilege I cherish every day. As one of San Antonio’s most historic and beloved brands, Santikos has grown into a quintessential Alamo City institution – not only providing the best movie viewing experiences in the industry, but also serving as one of America’s top charities after rebranding as a Social Enterprise in 2015.

Toss in the fact I’m already a huge fan of movies, I’ve truly been in hog heaven since starting work on Santikos in October.

In order to keep up with the world of Hollywood on social media, I’ve deliberately followed and studied how major movie studios promote their movies on social media. Observing little stuff like type of content posted, frequency, tone of voice, and engagement, provides invaluable insight into how I can better create engaging content to drive people to the movies.

In an effort to learn how the very best in showbusiness run their social media, let’s take a look at 2017’s best promoted movies on social media so far (in my opinion!):

1. The Lego Batman Movie

Aside from The Lego Batman Movie’s gorgeous visuals – which Warner Bros Pictures leveraged to create really strong, visually appealing content – what really stood out to me was their casual and irreverent tone on social:

In a world where caution almost always takes precedence over creativity, it’s refreshing to see content that refuses to apologize for its source material and stays true to itself – even if it may rub a few people wrong along the way.

2. xXx: Return of Xander Cage

Whenever you’re promoting anything with world-class, “how did they do THAT!?” source material, like Vin Diesel’s stunt littered ‘xXx: Return of Xander Cage,’ digital marketers NEED to revolve their content strategy around video. Why? It’s unique, one-of-a-kind content that can’t easily be replicated elsewhere – usually a winning formula for successful content.

Paramount Pictures followed this strategy to great success in their promotion of ‘Return of Xander Cage:’

Paramount’s strategy was simple: find as many insane, crazy stunts from the movie as possible, chop them up in short clips, and POST. Sometimes sticking to simple (and showcasing what you’re really, really good at) is the best move.

3. Rings

I’ve never been tasked with creating original content for something as intentionally frightening as the Rings, but I imagine it’s pretty hard. In order to truly be effective, content posted has to instill fear to truly represent the source material. Paramount Pictures pulled it off with ease in their promotion of Rings, delivering truly terrifying content blurring the edges of reality and fiction:

As you can see, really scary stuff that pulls you into the action.


Whether it’s charming end users with clever and fun content, impressing with insane footage, or instilling true horror, each of these movies stuck to a strategy and executed it with precision.

If you’re interested in seeing how Tribu can help take your brand to new heights on social and adopt some of these cool tactics, don’t hesitate to reach out! We’d love to add you to our Tribe and see how we can help!

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