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Brackets busted? Mine, too. In fact, I’ve never put together a really good NCAA Tournament bracket in my life; and I’ve been filling them out since before most of today’s student athletes (and a few of their coaches) were even born. So, why come back every year? Why continue to suffer defeat at the hands of someone whose selection criteria are team colors and mascot names?

Because it’s fun! What could be better than watching the world’s greatest reality TV series play out, and having an opportunity to interact with it? Win or lose, it’s all good – especially for the organizers.  While this year’s tournament is nearly over, the demand for brackets isn’t going anywhere. Savvy radio stations, newspapers, and web-based companies know that there is ample traffic-generating juice in a good interactive bracket, and that it’s not limited to early spring.

The Business Journal’s “Brand Madness” and other bracket-shaped contests driven by online voting give the contestants (usually businesses) a great opportunity to market themselves. But in doing so, the organizers also drive impressions up on their own sites because people love following brackets!

When I was in college, I put together a just-for-fun bracket on social media, with such thrilling matchups as BRITNEY SPEARS vs. MILLER HIGH LIFE and PEANUT BUTTER TWIX vs. GOODFELLAS. BACON was the #1 overall seed and eventual champion, because of course it was. Friends and friends-of-friends voted for their favorites and checked in regularly to see who won each round. Some even called me to get the latest updates if they weren’t near a computer.

The point is, if you need a simple way to drive traffic to your site or social media, you could do worse than to build your own bracket and give people an opportunity to participate. It should be interesting on some level (funny or educational, if not exciting), but it certainly doesn’t have to be complicated. Let the games begin and let the impressions increase!

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