Great Social Media Idea: A Spin on March Madness

I'm back from Vegas, which means the blog is back in action! (OK, OK... I actually got back a few days ago, but am only firing the blog back up again now. So sue me.)

I've got about a million and a half submissions to share with you all, so I will try my best to get through those over the next few weeks. And I thought that since Selection Sunday has now happened and lots of colleges (and, heck, just about everyone else) are buzzing about brackets, I would start with a fun play on March Madness that was sent to me from Saint Mary's College.

Check it out:

Here's the lovely person from SMC who sent this to me to provide a bit of explanation:

Hello, Saint Mary’s College’s Seminar Madness, which pits readings from Seminar into a 32-book bracket, is underway. The 1st round garnered more than 8,000 total votes. The 2nd round shows some tough choices for those who participate in voting. Anyone can vote, comment, and follow which advance:

Before I continue, I am obligated to point out that my Portland Pilots routing Saint Mary's in the West Coast Conference tournament is what necessitated my emergency trip down to Las Vegas... watch the highlights here.  :)

OK, now that my bragging is out of the way, this is a really fun and creative idea from St. Mary's to tie in with March Madness, particularly since it's so academically focused. (Here's a link to SMC promoting it on Facebook, in case you wanted to see how people are responding.)

As any #hesm pro can confirm, getting big engagement with posts relating to academics can be a big challenge, much to the chagrin of provosts and professors who think what they work on is ultra compelling social media content, and why in the world do we post stuff about squirrels and coffee deliveries when we could be posting about research and what's happening with faculty. (Whoops, sorry... things got a little close to home there for a sec.)

Anyway, this reminds me in some ways of Taylor University's March Madness for Dorms from a few years ago, and really it just reinforces the notion that a well-planned March Madness bracket on a topic that resonates with your community - be it dorms or books from academic seminars - will likely be very successful and popular content.

Of course, it's a bit late to plan something for this year, but if you;ve got some time and inspiration between now and later in the week, go for it!

Nice job, Gaels, and thanks for sending this in.


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