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The NBA Finals on Social: Who is winning the conversation?

The NBA Finals on Social: Who is winning the conversation?

The following is a guest blog by founder and CEO of On Base Marketing Justin Lafferty. Justin was formerly Editor of Adweek’s SocialTimes blog. Follow him on Twitter: @JLafferty21.

Once again, the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers are battling in the NBA Finals.

While the two teams have established themselves as the class of the league on the court, who is winning on social? Using Talkwalker’s social media analytics platform, we mined Talkwalker data, looking at how well the two teams have done from April 16 (the first playoff game) through May 31.

The Hashtag Game

Go on Twitter right now and tweet #DubNation or #ALLin216. These are the Warriors’ and Cavaliers’ official hashtags, and they’ve been given the emoji treatment.

NBA finals tweet

But so far, which has been more active on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram? Throughout the playoffs, we found more than 545,000 mentions of #DubNation compared to 328,000 for #ALLin216. Stephen Curry leads the way with this tweet, which has been retweeted more than 27,000 times:

Stephen Curry tweet

The Warriors’ hashtag is used most effectively on Facebook, in accordance with final score posts.

The Cavaliers’ most engaging use of #ALLin216 came after their game one defeat of the Toronto Raptors in the Eastern Conference finals. That post was shared nearly 23,000 times, reaching as many as 5.4 million people.

Cleveland Cavaliers tweet

Verdict:

NBA gif

Superstars

Two of the most marketable athletes in American sports are featured in the NBA Finals: Stephen Curry of the Warriors and LeBron James of the Cavaliers. But who are fans talking about most on social?

Talkwalker found 3.9 million social mentions of LeBron from April 16 through May 28, while Curry generated 2.7 million.

Looking at this chart, when Curry suffered a knee injury, he took a back seat in the social conversation. Curry missed two weeks in late April and early May. He suited up again on May 9, generating more than 478,000 social mentions upon his return.

curry lebron social buzz 2016 finals

Social listening data shows that Lebron James has owned a greater reach of conversation across the social-sphere.

Overall, Lebron had 58.9 percent of the share of voice this postseason, leading up to the NBA Finals.

Verdict: Lebron

Head to Head

So, overall, which team dominated the social landscape this postseason? It wasn’t even close. Talkwalker data shows that the Warriors were mentioned 1.2 million times on social in the weeks leading to the NBA Finals, compared to 693,500 times for the Cavaliers.

Conversation about the Warriors peaked at May 30, when the team finished off the Oklahoma City Thunder in the Western Conference Finals. Talkwalker data shows a summit of more than 189,000 social mentions that day.

Social chatter about the Cavs hit a crescendo on May 27, when more there were more than 70,000 mentions of the team when they defeated the Toronto Raptors in the Eastern Conference finals.

The Cleveland Cavaliers caught up with Golden State when they defeated the Raptors during the Eastern Conference Finals.

gsw cavs buzz

How are the Warriors doing it? A look at the most influential authors shows the Warriors’ official Facebook page topping the list. Interestingly enough, the Cavs are getting more engagement from their Instagram account than their Facebook page.

influencer gsw cavs

Given all this information, it’s safe to say that the Golden State Warriors have claimed social media’s NBA Finals.

Verdict:

gsw gif

For more information about how your business can track and analyze major events like the NBA Finals using social listening, contact us and speak to one of our expert consultants.

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