Picking a Champion with LinkedIn Data

March 23, 2017

Picking a Champion with LinkedIn Data

The Madness is officially in full swing! Busted brackets, broken hearts, and big dreams of cutting down the net — what’s not to love?

Today, we are announcing our pick to win the 2017 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament based on LinkedIn’s 467 million+ member profiles. College hoops fans are insanely dedicated to their school, but how dedicated are all of your students and alumni?

We selected our Sweet 16 picks by deriving a LinkedIn “Fan-gagement Score” looking at the data of one of LinkedIn’s fastest growing audiences — students and alumni. For each of the remaining schools in the Sweet 16, we developed a score based on the school’s stated number of students and alumni divided by the school’s students and alumni on LinkedIn. According to our calculations, the winner is….. The University of North Carolina. Big congrats to the Tar Heels!

As of the start of the tournament, UNC commanded an impressive 1.6 Fan-gagement Score, with with over 225,000 students and alumni on LinkedIn. More than 211,000 members are following UNC’s University Page here for the latest in school news and updates.

Now, if you want to better represent your school, here’s how to get on the court and get into the game on LinkedIn.

1. Education marketers and career centers looking to make it to our version of the Big Dance next year should check out our free Add to Profile button that can be integrated into your website or emails. This button can easily help increase your squad size and school spirit on LinkedIn. Then be sure to keep your followers and fans engaged by following these best practices for your LinkedIn University Pages.

2. If you are a student, step away from your bracket and make sure you’re fully repping your school. Be sure to update your LinkedIn profile with your school name and expected graduation year. But don’t just plug in the text. Use the “type ahead” function and select from the drop-down list to make sure you’re included in school searches.

3. Speaking of alumni, visit our Alumni Tool to connect with old classmates and other alumni in your industry. Nothing brings college basketball fans together better than March Madness, and nothing connects alumni better than LinkedIn.

Methodology: First, we ranked every school in the tournament with a ratio of the number of enrolled students to current students on LinkedIn. Then, we ranked every school with a ratio of the number of living alumni to the school's alumni on LinkedIn. If the school didn't have a published number we contacted a school representative. Finally, we added the two ratios to give us our “Fan-gagement Score.” Good luck with your bracket, and dream big!

To find other ways better represent your school download The Sophisticated Marketer’s Guide to Content Marketing: Higher Education Edition is an excellent next play.