Ranking NBA Teams Past and Present Social Media Influence Using Their Klout Scores

December 12, 2011; Oakland, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry (30) types on the computer for Twitter during media day at the Golden State Warriors Practice Facility. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Of the four major sports leagues, the NBA has embraced has embraced social media the most tightly.  In that spirit, it seems fair to evaluate the influence each team’s social media holds over its audience.  Klout, while not perfect, is the most well known method for measuring such social media impact.

Klout scours social media accounts, such as Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Instagram, and measures their data to create a “Klout Score.” Klout scores range from 1 to 100, with higher scores corresponding to a broader online social influence. The data below are broken up by NBA division, with measurements taken in June 2011 and May 2013.

A few notes:  Klout has reformulated its algorithms and measurement scales since 2011, so the scores of 2011 are not directly comparable with the scores of 2013.  Also, the scales aren’t linear — in fact, they’re probably closer to something logarithmic — so a score of 89 is actually better than a score of 88 by a good bit more than 1%.

Atlantic Division

Central Division

Southeast Division

Pacific Division

Northwest Division

Southwest Division 

Other team-based notes and trends:

  • There is likely a fair bit of playoff bias in measurements taken in June and May; for example, in 2011, the Mavericks and Heat topped the league during their respective runs to the NBA Finals.  Out of the playoffs in 2013, Dallas finished with a score much closer to the league average.
  • With a score of 95, Chicago finished with the highest 2013 score; Portland finished last with a mark of 84.
  • Milwaukee, Phoenix, and Utah finished in a surprising tie for the sixth-highest score, following five teams from bigger markets with more television exposure: the Bulls, Lakers, Celtics, Knicks, and Heat.

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