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.

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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We’re Looking For An Apprentice To Help Launch Something Big


Hi there. We’ve been supporting our friends at Enstitute since they launched last year, as we truly believe that the best way to learn is to ‘learn by doing’. We’re looking for a 2014 apprentice to work closely with our executive and (newly formed) product team, to help build something special and bring something new into the world.


Although we’ve been talking on interns and the occasional design/dev apprentice for years, we’re now on the hunt for something/someone a little different. This guy/gal is wicked smart, eats web/mobile trends for breakfast, understands why/how hardware and software are coming together, and most importantly is hungry for a big challenge. Ideally, they have some background in programming, or at the very least have a deep understanding of the contemporary tech landscape.

The current deadline for application closes on 2/16, so this week is your week to apply. Read all about Enstitute, and help us find our next apprentice!

Our Facebook Demographics Post Goes Viral with a 250K Visits to ISL


On January 15th, we posted an update to our ongoing series on Facebook Demographics: “3 Million Teens Leave Facebook in 3 Years: The 2014 Facebook Demographic Report”.  Over the course of the next 24 hours the world took notice of our little blog post, and we’re still seeing it ripple through the interwebs (and are still fielding plenty of queries from media outlets from all over the world) and drove nearly 250,000 visitors to this lovely little blog.

The post went live at 10:30 am — By 4pm we cracked Reddit’s top 10, with 1700+ comments, after skyrocketing to the top of ‘/technology’.


Other sites quickly picked up the story, and the blog post continued to catch fire.  Here is a quick look at some of the social interactions individual media outlets hosted:

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Feature on WSJ:

Feature on CNBC:

Feature on Marketplace Tech Report:

Below are the other media sources that wrote about our blog post.  Perhaps our favorite, is Seeking Alpha’s take on Facebook’s recent stock performance:

While shares have received a boost from recent upgrades as of late, Facebook has been held in check thanks in large part to a report from iStrategyLabs, a digital strategy and marketing firm.


To check out the articles, just click the logo.



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3 Million Teens Leave Facebook In 3 Years: The 2014 Facebook Demographic Report


3 years ago, we published a report on 2011 Facebook Demographics & Statistics that covered gender, location, education, and more (US only). Recently we dove into Facebook’s Social Advertising platform to get a refreshed snapshot of the same data points to see what exactly has happened over time and to look at the numbers behind many recent claims: teenagers are leaving by the millions. Enjoy!

FB 2014

Top Insights:

1) Teens (13-17) on Facebook have declined -25.3% over the last 3 years.

2) Over the same period of time, 55+ has exploded with +80.4% growth in the last 3 years.

3) Of the major metropolitan areas, San Francisco saw the highest growth with +148.6%, a stark contrast with Houston which saw +23.8% growth.

We also took a closer look at the Teens (13-17 year olds) and the Folks (55+) to get a better understanding of their current representation on Facebook. Here you go:

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UPDATE — Thanks for all the feedback and comments on this post, here’s a quick clarification:

Many have commented on the fact that “Teens” (age 13-17 in this post) as we recorded in 2011 have now grown into the 18-24 year old demographic. While that’s true, the primary point of this post was simply to draw attention to the fact that Facebook’s Social Advertising platform shows 3 million fewer addressable 13-17 year olds today compared to 2011.