The Huffington Post reported recently the “50 Most Social Firms“. And like many “fast reader” people read the headline – then the list – Microsoft first – then write posts based on the “facts”.
Yet too many just couldn’t believe the results, and neither could I. As a good social media citizen I tried to dig a bit deeper and learn more about that “report”.
First, the “report” was provided by a lead generation and marketing company.
Now to the report itself. It was measured what social networks are most popular by employees. The leader was Microsoft and LinkedIn was dominant. Hmmm maybe the software giant is somewhat endangered? If LinkedIn is the only platform I am on that tells me: “Looking for a new job“. Make a quick check: Go through the profiles you will notice: only rarely business relevant group participation, well written job history… rings a bell?
Twitter participation was with 3% pretty insignificant – why the report used the term “Social media savvy” is unclear to me.
Then Analog Devices on position 12, way before IBM on position 48? Interesting isn’t it? Not sure why. Or the same reason as above?
Similar question marks across the line. Now – dealing with social media data and reporting tools one situation comes to mind: We search and compare addresses based on email domain names. So if users with an email domain name microsoft.com registers on LinkedIn than we could draw a conclusion that lots of Microsoft employees use social media – right? Wrong!
The much more “social media savvy” companies including Zappos, WholeFoods, Virgin… didn’t even show up on the report. Why? Because social media savvy people use their personal email address to register their presence – because it is first and foremost guess what: SOCIAL.
The more accurate term for the report would be something like this:
“Report of social network profiles created using the companies’ email address“.
But that title wouldn’t draw attention and wouldn’t create as many leads. But then the numbers actually add up. However it doesn’t say ANYTHING about Social Media Savvy NOR about ‘social firms’ NOR about the relationship between employees and social media usage.
All it really is – a marketing campaign from a lead generation firm being ‘clever’ with headlines hoping that average Joe is jumping on it – and average Joe did. It’s one of the risks we run with the “democratization of knowledge” – everybody can be an analyst, expert, industry specialist… you name it.