Diver Matthew Mitcham is the most influential Australian Olympian on Twitter, beating out high profile swimmers, basketballers and cyclists in the engagement stakes.

While Mitcham ranked well behind cyclist Cadel Evans and swimmer Stephanie Rice for number of followers, his influence score was the highest according to Edelman Public Relations’ TweetLevel research, which analyses levels of popularity, engagement and trust.

Mitcham’s frequent engagement with followers through retweets and replies, and regular tweeting, gave him an engagement score of 83.8. Swimmer Libby Tricket and basketballer Patrick Mills were also able to generate high levels of influence among their follower bases.

According to Matthew Gain, Director of Brand and Digital Marketing at Edelman, “Sheer follower numbers alone are not the only indication of an individual’s influence on Twitter, the rate of engagement with your followers and how many RTs you generate all impact your influence.”

Olympians competing in swimming and diving dominated the top 20 spots, making up 45% of the most influential users. Three Australian basketball exports occupied a spot in the top 10 thanks to their high profiles in the US.

Image credit: Phillip Myers