Social media: Saints, Giants, Jets are on top

Social media headlines may say otherwise, but more than the London Olympics are happening in the sports world.

Case in point, the New England Patriots beat the New Orleans Saints 7-6 on Thursday with the NFL preseason underway. But which NFL team excels at social media? The Saints hold an advantage, according to Klout.

While some football fans question the value of preseason games, many social mediaphiles dispute the merit of social media influence scores. But on both fronts, there’s plenty of debating and dissecting.

One of several sites looking to gauge social media influence, Klout generates a score for social media users based on followers, retweets, replies and more. By Klout’s calculations, the Saints have the greatest influence of any NFL team in the social sphere. Out of a possible 100, New Orleans has a Klout score of 71. The Patriots are second with a score of 70.

Meanwhile Kred, another company aiming to measure social media influence, puts the New York Giants on top. Kred’s analysis takes into account followers, retweets, replies and total mentions. The Giants received a Kred score of 987 out of 1,000, edging out the Patriots (just like in Super Bowls XLII and XVLI).

If social media superiority is simply a matter of quantity, the Giants’ MetLife Stadium co-tenants, the New York Jets, take the crown on Twitter. Gang Green boast more than 425,000 Twitter followers as result of what has been a major social media push within the organization. Second on that list, once again are the New England Patriots.

The Dallas Cowboys made headlines last weekend when the team became the first NFL team to hit 5 million Facebook likes. (Turns out Cowboys coach Jason Garrett is not one of them.) Willing to guess which team is No. 2 behind Dallas on the world’s most popular social network? The Pittsburgh Steelers. In this instance, New England comes in at No. 3.

Fortunately for the Patriots (and the other NFL teams that didn’t come out on top of any of the categories), social media success doesn’t play a role in winning games -- preseason or otherwise.

Elsewhere in the social mediasphere

Tennessee Titans Kenny Britt took to Instagram to express his frustrations with a fine he received for missing an injury rehab appointment.

Indiana basketball coach Tom Crean learned the difference between a direct message and a tweet.

Rio Ferdinand took to Twitter to tell Usain Bolt he would try to hook him up with that much-talked-about Manchester United tryout.

Speaking of Bolt, the Jamaican sprinter’s 200-meter win set a new Olympic conversation record. His gold-medal performance generated more than 80,000 tweets a minute, according to Twitter.

Fed up with online criticism, Angels catcher Bobby Wilson quit Twitter.

Spotfire’s “Social Mania” offers some some fun insights and visualization into the social media conversation around the Olympics. [H/T @CutlerDave]

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