Thursday, March 5, 2015

Whenever March comes around, so does the Madness.

If you’ve ever had that college gameday spirit – or maybe you’re just a fan of basketball – you remember watching a game that upset your perfect bracket. The main advantage of a business following the NCAA basketball tournament every year is that many consumers are following teams as well: now is your opportunity to join in the Madness alongside your customers. Here’s a list of some great marketing tips for March Madness that you can try with your business.

1) Create social media promotions around the March Madness theme.

Design a social media promotion that increases customers’ engagement. Offer giveaways to bracket winners, discounts for ticket stubs from the local college game, or a promotion for the local alumni. Make sure that all of your contest ideas allow anyone to participate, and provide fun, interactive incentives for participation.

2) Utilize hashtags to augment your social media presence.

There are dozens and dozens of hashtags that you can use on Facebook and Twitter to get your posts further out into cyberspace. Huffington Post wrote an article awhile back about the different hashtags. Pepper in a few salient hashtags when you make social updates, but don’t overdo it. Align your message with the hashtags you intend to use, and talk about what’s been happening in the games to maximize the effectiveness of your posts.

3) Promote your local team to attract more customers.

Try giving a shout out to the nearby college on social media; create some display banners (like “Come and Get Your March Madness Here”); integrate your local team spirit into marketing and advertising efforts. Every NCAA fan loves to get behind the local college, so build up your community “cred.” Your content should be sincere and in context with your brand, product or service. Always mention co-workers that were alums at the school in question or any other connections your business has with the team.

4) Use March Madness as an opportunity to reach out to customers by text message.

Craft a fun and engaging mass text message to send to your existing text marketing list. Have a promotion or contest prepared for March Madness, and announce it to your network through a text blast. Your customers will love that your business is getting in on the Madness.

5) Have employees and co-workers share their own stories on social media.

Everyone loves to see a great competition, and the workplace is no exception. Have your employees tweet about their favorite teams, or co-workers can share pictures of their brackets on sites like Pinterest. As March progresses, the employees or co-workers can continue the story by reporting wins and losses, as well as amazing moments in some of the games. A move like this can really boost your engagement on social media channels.

By following these simple tips, you can foster a great deal of community during March Madness, thereby increasing your customer relationships. March Madness is all about building up camaraderie and watching the sparks fly during the games. So reach out to the locals in some innovative ways, and be a social media and text messaging butterfly to get deeper into the Madness.