How to Win March Madness on Social Media


Hint: Win March Madness in real life.

There’s a funny thing that happens when a sports team has a good season; they gain fans.

Fairweather fans (e.g. Drake) switch to support whatever team happens to be successful at the time. And believe you me, there are a lot of them.

So I tested a hypothesis on a little known tournament called March Madness. I wanted to see if the Facebook fan growth rate of the colleges in the tournament’s athletics pages would rise and fall based on their performance. Guess what? It did.

There was a direct correlation between performance and Facebook fan growth rate. The rate of new fans increased after wins and declined after colleges were cut. Here is a breakdown of the Final Four!

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An unexpected champion, UConn took it all the way with many exciting and surprising wins that caused increasingly larger spikes in growth rate.

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Kentucky also made it to the championship game with several big wins that caused huge spikes in fan growth rate. Once they lost in the final game, the growth rate dropped.

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Florida was expected to go the distance, so their growth rate  remained relatively consistent. Their win against Dayton to get into the Final Four caused a spike in growth rate, but their growth rate dropped after losing to UConn.

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Wisconsin’s biggest win against number 1 ranked Arizona caused a massive spike in growth rate. After they lost to Kentucky in the Final Four, their growth rate dropped off.

Take a look at two teams that performed differently than expected:

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Syracuse was expected to go the distance. Instead they lost in their second game to Dayton. After their early loss, their fan growth rate became lower for the rest of the tournament.

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Dayton was a VERY unexpected team that went very far before finally losing to number 1 ranked Florida. Each win came with a bigger spike in growth rate before dropping off after their loss.

The takeaway from all of this is that real world events have a direct effect on social media. Take advantage of it. Real-time marketing can be incredibly lucrative if done correctly. If you are performing well, users are ready and willing to jump on board your bandwagon.

Take An Instant Selfie With This Magical Mirror


Meet S.E.L.F.I.E., the “The Self Enhancing Live Feed Image Engine”. Triggered by simply standing in front of the mirror and holding a smile, hidden LED’s indicate a countdown, then simulate a “flash” as your photo is taken. The photo is then automatically posted to Twitter (with a watermark/logo).

Find out how it works and see it in action:

A MacMini powers the facial recognition software:


The LEDs (controlled by an Arduino) visualize the countdown timer:


All components are hidden behind the 2-way mirror:


A custom vinyl graphic on the floor let’s you know exactly where to stand:


Want one for yourself? Have some ideas for our next experiment?  Hit us up!

Valentines Day 2014: Breakups, Hookups, and a House of Cards


While some take Valentine’s Day  as an opportunity to propose, others — like Saint Valentine — choose to let their love die. Curious to see how 2/14/14 played out, we looked at data from Facebook’s Social Advertising Platform the weeks before and after Valentine’s Day to see how people wore their hearts on their sleeves (or in this case their profile). Here’s what we found:

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Although we were hoping to see bigger disparity, there were some interesting takeaways:

  • 200,000 fewer 18-24 year-olds who identified as single the week after Valentine’s Day
  • 200,000 more 25-34 year-olds who identified as single the week after Valentine’s Day
  • 2,000 more people aged 55+ identified as “engaged” the week after Valentine’s Day (congrats!)

Why were the changes not quite as drastic as we had  anticipated? For plenty of reasons… but it’s quite possible that people were too busy watching House of Cards to hitch or ditch their significant other. We looked into interactions involving “Valentine’s Day” and “House of Cards” across social media. Here’s what we found:

The generated wordcloud shows greater mentions of “cards” than “Valentine’s” across social.


Tweets mentioning both “Valentine’s Day” & “House of Cards”:


Even celebrities and major media outlets were  on board with having a romantic evening with the Underwoods.

Mandy Moore

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From Scribbled Notes to Facebook Posts: Valentine’s Day 2.0


Back in elementary school, picking out Valentine’s Day cards for the class was serious business. Whatever theme you selected said a lot about who you were as a person…

Kittens and princesses? Hopeless romantic.
TV/Movie Themed? Trendsetter.
Homemade? Nerd-city.
Teacher Card? Overachiever.

Gone are the days when an extra piece of candy guaranteed you a [play]date. We’ve upgraded from cubbies to inboxes, emotions to emojis, and scribbled notes to Facebook posts.

For all you traditionalists out there, we commend your commitment to paper cards! For the rest of you, iSL has you covered to keep spreading the love.










StuperTroll XLVIII: 10 Ways Social Media Marketers Can Avoid the NFL’s Wrath


Super Bowl XLVIIIBecause of NFL regulations, brands are not allowed to actually use the official name of Sunday’s event (hint: it rhymes with Stupor Troll) or the participating team names (The Denver Wild Horses and the Seattle Ocean-bound Predatory Birds) without permission.

Be careful to stick with these regulations when posting, blogging or tweeting!

Here’s 10 clever ways to reference the “event” without violating any copyright laws:

  1. The Big Game: in 2013 it was the most watched telecast so “big” might be an understatement.
  2. Super Sunday: it’s like Black Friday and Cyber Monday for football!
  3. Football’s Big Night: in some households this could mean every Sunday and Monday night during regular season.
  4. The 48th Annual Last Football Game of the Season: because truth.
  5. Not Halftime: although actual halftime is a big deal. Roughly 3 million people tuned in just to watch Madonna perform in 2012.
  6. Wholetime: because everyone likes a good play on words.
  7. Excuse to drink on a Sunday: as if you need an excuse to power through one of the 57.1 million cases of beer that will be sold.
  8. Puppy Bowl for Humans: did you know they’re doing a kitten bowl too? Copy cats.
  9. The sporty stuff around the great commercials: airtime is running an average of $150,000 per second so the sporty stuff better be good.
  10. Superb Owl: Not a Harry Potter reference.

Or you can just do this: