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Social media’s ‘most influential’ sports journalists

On Twitter, we use each person’s number followers as a way to keep score.

It seems simple: More followers = larger audience = better reputation = more influence.

But it doesn’t necessarily work that way. What does a follower count really reveal? It’s good for stroking a Twitter user’s ego, but beyond that, the translation of followers to social influence is difficult to quantify.

A user with a large, but inactive following might not have the same influence as someone with far fewer, but more engaging followers.

That’s where Klout steps in.

The website provides social media users with a score that “measures influence based on your ability to drive action.” Klout looks at three factors—true reach, amplification, and your network—to come up with a score that gauges a user’s influence.

Using Klout scores, I have re-ranked the previous list of most followed sports journalists, and the results show a significant difference in their influence, compared just to their following.

Here is the list:

                                                            Klout Score                Follower count

Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter)              89                                885K followers

Darren Rovell (@Darrenrovell)                  83                                110K followers

Skip Bayless (@RealSkipBayless)             83                                238K followers

Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN)                   83                                251K followers

Bill Simmons (@sportsguy33)                    82                               1.4 million

John Clayton (@ClaytonESPN)                  82                               205K followers

Peter King (@SI_PeterKing)                      80                               605K followers

Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora)      80                              125K follows

Chris Mortensen (@mortreport)                 79                               398K followers

Jay Bilas (@JayBilas)                                79                               140K followers

Trey Wingo (@wingoz)                              78                               450K followers

Keith Law (@keithlaw)                              78                                359K followers

Jay Glazer (@Jay_Glazer)                         78                               170K followers

Jim Rome (@jimrome)                               77                               445K followers

Rich Eisen (@richeisen)                             77                               230K followers

Michael Smith (@MrMichael_Smith)          72                              100K followers

Jason Whitlock (@WhitlockJason)             72                               94K followers

J.A. Adande (@jadande)                            71                              165K followers

Michael Wilbon (@RealMikeWilbon)         70                              165K followers

Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA)     69                               98K followers

Chris Broussard (@Chris_Broussard)         69                              168K followers

Andy Katz (@ESPNAndyKatz)                    68                            101K followers

A couple points worth noting when looking at each Klout score compared to follower count:

  • Football is still king: five of the top 10 Klout scores are from journalists who primarily cover the NFL.
  • ESPN is still king: Seven of the top 10 scores are from ESPN personalities.
  • Engagement pays: Darren Rovell—possibly the most engaging person on this list—has one of the highest Klout scores, but was near the bottom of this list in terms of followers. That interaction plays key role in his Klout score. Conversely, Chris Broussard and Mike Wilbon aren’t as active as some of the others on the list, and that hurt their scores.
  • NBA’s popularity could be hurting: Maybe it’s the off-season or the lockout or another set of circumstances, but I found in interesting that four the country’s elite journalists covering the NBA are all at the bottom of this list.

Category: Branding, New Media Thoughts, Social Media, Sports, twitter

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