Baylor Is No. 1 in Unified’s College Football Poll, in Terms of Facebook Engagement

The 2014 college football season is in full swing, with teams already moving up and down the AP poll, and marketing cloud technology provider Unified did some polling of its own, ranking the preseason top 10 teams in the AP poll in terms of Facebook engagement.

BaylorUniversityFlag650The 2014 college football season is in full swing, with teams already moving up and down the AP poll, and marketing cloud technology provider Unified did some polling of its own, ranking the preseason top 10 teams in the AP poll in terms of Facebook engagement.

The top 10 teams, according to AP’s preseason rankings, were:

  1. Florida State University
  2. University of Alabama
  3. University of Oregon
  4. University of Oklahoma
  5. Ohio State University
  6. Auburn University
  7. University of California Los Angeles
  8. Michigan State University
  9. University of South Carolina
  10. Baylor University

However, when adjusted for Facebook likes, comments and shares through games played Sept. 6, the rankings from Unified were:

  1. Baylor University
  2. Auburn University
  3. University of Oregon
  4. University of California Los Angeles
  5. University of South Carolina
  6. University of Alabama
  7. Michigan State University
  8. University of Oklahoma
  9. Florida State University
  10. Ohio State University

Unified explained its methodology as follows:

In exploring the Facebook activity of each team and their competitors on game days from the past two weeks, we analyzed the most engaging posts to see how they chose to interact with fans. On average, each team posted 7.2 times on game day, leaning heavily towards photo posts — which accounted for 82.9 percent of the total. Teams also had the most active posts during the day prior to game time (62.9 percent), typically to remind fans to tune in and watch. Overall, there were a total of 3,782.8 engagements per fan and 274 posts.

Unified also offered the following advice to brands on Facebook, based on its analysis of the 10 college football squads:

Be your own commentator: Baylor, Auburn and Oregon have something in common: They all posted and tweeted … a lot. Many of their posts gave fans updates on the game and included photos of the players on the field, as well as halftime and final scores. Marketers can leverage the excitement of a live event by bringing in fans that cannot be there in person.

Keep them in the game: Now that you have their attention, keep them there. It is important for marketers to have the tools to not only monitor and respond to fans in real-time, but also to identify who their most influential users are and bring them into the conversation. While the most engaged schools did a great job of interacting with fans, they missed key opportunities to engage big brands such as SiriusXM, Fox College Football and the NCAA, which mentioned them in their posts and could have boosted their virality.

Get them on the go: Marketers can leverage live events to boost their mobile strategy. For example, South Carolina used game day as a means to advertise its game-day application to its Twitter followers. Your publishing tool matters — make sure you have the flexibility to publish quickly and cross-platform for the best results.

Consistency is key: In order to increase the chance of your conversations going viral, marketers should utilize their hashtags in every (or nearly every) post. This will increase the exponential effect as the tweets are retweeted. In the case of Oregon’s #GoDucks, one of its posts was retweeted 1,534 times, pushing its virality well beyond that of the other schools.

Creativity scores extra points: For a higher chance of engagement, put on your creative cap to publish quality photos, videos or even infographics. Honorable mention to Oregon, which posted a recap of its Sept 6 game in infographic form after the game ended.

Readers: What do you think of the Facebook efforts of your favorite college football teams?

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.