2016 NBA Conference Finalists: Fake Twitter Followers

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Who of the NBA finalists (Cleveland Cavaliers, Oklahoma City Thunder, Golden State Warriors and the Toronto Raptors) takes the honest approach in their Twitter fandom

The road to the 2016 NBA Finals is almost at its end, and four teams remain in the hunt for glory as the Conference Finals reach their climax: Cleveland Cavaliers, Oklahoma City Thunder, Golden State Warriors and the Toronto Raptors.

Four hugely popular teams, each boasting more than 1 million Twitter followers apiece, but which outfits are the real deal and whose followings are built on a bed of lies and online bots?

ausinformer.com investigates who of the four finalists takes the honest approach in their Twitter fandom and whether that could have any impact on their NBA success in the social media age.

Conclusions in short

  • Kyle Lowry has the most genuine Twitter following, with 95% of his 430,000 followers being real
  • The Warriors boast the smallest percentage of fake followers of any finalist (23%)
  • LeBron James has the most fake followers, with around 13 million (42%) of his 31.4m followers being fake. But Kevin Durant has the highest percentage of fake followers - only 47% of his 13.4m followers are real
  • The Raptors boast the biggest percentage of fake followers of any finalist (40%)

2016 NBA Conference Finalists: Fake Twitter Followers

Team

Followers

Real %

Cleveland Cavaliers

1.16m

63 (725k)

Golden State Warriors

1.74m

77 (1.31m)

Oklahoma City Thunder

1.30m

69 (890k)

Toronto Raptors

1.11m

60 (663k)

We analysed the top five most followed player accounts of each conference finalist, and the Warriors also topped that poll: despite being the most followed franchise of the four finalists (1.74 million—at least 400,000 more than any other team), the Warriors have managed to cultivate a humble approach in Oakland. 

Golden State Warriors Meet Shining Standard

As the statistics show, the Golden State Warriors sit as the team to beat by some margin when it comes to developing a true Twitter following, with more than 1.3 million (77%) of their massive 1.74 million followers proved to be genuine article.

Not only is Steph Curry’s outfit the only team to smash the 70% mark in real followers, but the numbers show their players also follow suit.

Golden State Warriors: Top 5 Players

Golden State Warriors: Top 5 Followed Players

Followers

Real Follower %

Steph Curry

5.34m

68 (3.57m)

Andre Iguodala

934k

86 (805k)

Klay Thompson

527k

89 (439k)

Draymond Green

446k

86 (339k)

Harrison Barnes

438k

83 (357k)

 

 

Real Avg. = 82%

Unfortunately for them, it appears the nice guy may finish last as they trail Oklahoma City Thunder 3-1 after four games, with Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook gleaming for the latter.

Oklahoma City Thunder: Top 5 Players

Oklahoma City Thunder: Top 5 Followed Players

Followers

Real Follower %

Kevin Durant

13.7m

47 (6.05m)

Russell Westbrook

3.16m

70 (2.20m)

Serge Ibaka

720k

67 (469k)

Enes Kanter

286k

85 (128k)

Nick Collison

153k

76 (116k)

 

 

Real Avg. = 69%

LeBron Leads Cavaliers in Quantity, Not Quality

Four games into the conference finals and the Cleveland Cavaliers have let slip a 2-0 series lead to draw 2-2 with the Raptors, where big meets little in terms of Twitter following.

And LeBron James is a fitting poster child for his team in terms of social media honesty; sure, King James boasts a gargantuan 31.2 million followers—more than twice the amount of any other finalist—but only 18.1 million (58%) of those are real: 

Cleveland Cavaliers: Top 5 Players

Cleveland Cavaliers: Top 5 Followed Players

Followers

Real Follower %

LeBron James

31.2m

58 (14.3m)

Kyrie Irving

2.8m

68 (1.79m)

Kevin Love

1.95m

56 (1.09m)

JR Smith

587k

76 (444k)

Iman Shumpert

492k

74 (279k)

 

 

Real Avg. = 66%

On the flipside, the Raptors are the final four’s underdogs in online presence as well as in competition. Greivis Vasquez is the team’s most followed star, but even then, the Venezuelan  has just 610,000 followers, 31% of which are faux.

That being said, being small comes with its advantages. Among them, the Raptors’ top five stars average 76% genuine followers—yanked up by the stellar 95% rating of Kyle Lowry, who apparently has no time for fake friends:

Toronto Raptors: Top 5 Followed Players

Toronto Raptors: Top 5 Followed Players

Followers

Real Follower %

Greivis Vasquez

610k

69 (416k)

DeMar DeRozan

471k

65 (250k)

Kyle Lowry

430k

95 (407k)

Terrence Ross

174k

75 (131k)

Landry Fields

159k

76 (121k)

 

 

Real Avg. = 76%

Will the Cavaliers’ booming fandom come to their aid in the end, or can Toronto’s lesser-followed flair clinch them a first-ever spot in the NBA Finals?

The growing trend appears to be the more popular a player becomes, the more fake followers they inevitably attract, although the Golden State Warriors are fighting against it with all they’ve got.

 

NB! Twitter Audit was used to check accounts, 20 in total (five per team), all of which were verified.

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