What do the NBA Playoffs look like through the eyes of social and factored in social media presences? Well, it would have LeBron James of the Miami Heat winning his first finals MVP. theScore has run some interesting analytics with our old friends at Sysomos and found that James beats Kobe Bryant, placing the Los Angeles Lakers into second spot.
The road to the finals was a tough one, with factors such as: Facebook likes, Twitter followers, Google+ circles and Twitter Interactions to decide each round of the bracket.
NBA Social Media Playoff Key Findings*:
- Most Connected: The team with the most overall connections (Likes, Followers and Google+ Circles) was the Boston Celtics with more than seven million.
- Least Connected in the League: The team with the least overall connections was also the league’s worst performer on the court (and worst winning percentage in NBA history)- the Charlotte Bobcats with just over 166,000 total connections.
- Most Interactions on Twitter: The team with the most interactions (@reply’s, RT’s and tweets) was the Miami Heat (@MiamiHEAT) with over 1 Million during the season.
- Least Interactions on Twitter for a Playoff Team: The team with the least interactions who made the playoffs was the Indiana Pacers with 212,000.
- Total Connections: The total of NBA Team Connections on their official Facebook Fan Pages (Likes), Twitter handles (Follows) and Google+ (Circles) pages compiles to over 55 million.
- Linsanity: There were more than 3.1 million tweets about Linsanity or Jeremy Lin – more than the sum of all tweets to or from the official handles of all Eastern Conference teams (2.8 million)
- NBA Mentions: “NBA” was mentioned more than 18.6 million times on Twitter throughout the season. More than 3x that of the NHL or the MLB
- Kardashian Effect: Lamar Odom who was actually released by the Dallas Mavericks on April 9th due to his poor play and inconsistency, managed to find himself in the power rankings of most followed players in the NBA. This is possibly due to his marriage to reality TV megastar Khloe Kardashian, who has more than 6.7 million followers.
In this simulation Kobe cost the Lakers the championship. If Kobe ever does join Twitter, will he overtake LeBron? And would his following be enough to close the gap to defeat the Heat’s collective following?
*Note all statistics were as of April 26, 2012, the final day of the 2011-2012 NBA Regular Season
*For all twitter data – popular social media monitoring solution Sysomos was used.