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Summary:

Companies are offering up social media and “web footprint” rankings on everything from celebrities to Supreme Court Justices. Some recent examples make one wonder if there’s a point to all this.

Number 1 foam hands rankings
photo: Shutterstock / Kittisak

Another week, another set of social media stats to “reveal” that so-and-so is more influential than so-and-so on social media. A growing number of companies are touting these rankings, which now cover everything from sports to the Supreme Court, as key insights to the ways of the world. But are they really?

The most recent example comes by way of an outfit called Unmetric that sent me a “full report” that shows the Dallas Cowboys have the most Twitter and Facebook followers while the Chicago Bears are the “most engaged” on social media. This feat of research also included a nifty infographic with bar charts and more:

Umetric NFL Screen Shot 2012-12-04 at 5.16.40 PM

Unmetric, of course, is far from the only company cooking up rankings from online media. There’s Klout to rank people like Biebs and Obama as well as rivals like PeekYou which offers more rarified fare like the rank of the Supreme Court justices:

PeekYou screenshot

At this rate, it won’t be long until a company comes along to offer multi-media rankings for the neighborhood cats.

All of this raises the question of whether there is anything useful about all these studies and metrics. Does it matter that Bears fans are more “engaged” than Giants fans? Is it helpful to know that Clarence Thomas ranks #3 for web presence even though he’s regarded as sub-par jurist?

According to PeekYou CEO Michael Hussey, the point of the company is to “explore the web from a people perspective” and to show their media influence.

While some of these stats are no doubt useful to marketers, it remains to be seen if media/social media rankings will grow into a useful science or if they’re just a fad to feed our insatiable craving for rankings.

  1. As a professional who has been in the space for about a decade (measuring online reputation, tracking patterns, trying to understand influence, etc), these tool sets are simple ways of trying to understand what an average person in a niche looks like online.

    When they mature past the gamified ‘I want to be on top’ results and move towards deeper questions about specific goals or connections, we’ll begin to see far more meaningful results outside of marketing (dear god, perhaps even something that can make the web “better”)

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  2. Amplifinity couldn’t agree more. Our platform tracks, GENERATES AND MEASURES social behaviors so a company can make sense of their brands social presence. It’s really time to move beyond FB likes and Twitter followers. Would love to talk more about it with you. @amplifinity
    Thanks for the blog.

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  3. Social Media Marketing has been widely used in China recent years through all kinds of industries from B2B to B2C. However since there is no effective tools or ways to measure the effects it is difficult to justify how many businesses are brought about by social media and so as to analyze the huge amount data .

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