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With social media becoming more and more important to both individuals and businesses, the importance of understanding who is "social" and who isn't only grows. After all, if we're going to truly understand how social media is being used, and how it can be used most effectively, we first need to identify who is using it the most.

NetProspex, a company which has built a crowdsourced directory of business contacts, has attempted to do that in its recently-released Social Business Report (PDF).

To do so, NetProspex looked at two primary metrics: the number of employees active on social networking services like Facebook and Twitter, and the "connectedness" of those employees to others on those social networks. From these metrics, NetProspex calculated a Social Index score, which is used to rank who's social and who's not.

The results?

The Most Social Professions

Social media is increasingly more than a distraction; for some professions, being active on Twitter and Facebook is good for business. That explains the most social professions:

  • Recruiting
  • Corporate finance/M&A
  • Sales support
  • Events (tie)
  • Product management (tie)

The Most Social Industries

According to the NetProspex Social Index, the five most social industries are all predominantly related to technology in some fashion:

  • Computer technology
  • Human resources and staffing
  • Telecom equipment (tie)
  • Computer network security (tie)
  • Computer storage equipment

The Most Social Companies

Social media has been embraced by many companies. On Facebook and Twitter, you can mingle with major media companies, brands and Fortune 500 stalwarts. Larger companies that are consumer-facing, or related to technology, have more employees, and many of those employees have a reason to associate themselves with their employers, which explains why the following companies topped the NetProspex Social Index.

  • The New York Times
  • Intuit
  • Juniper Networks
  • Adobe
  • Limited Brands

The Most Social Cities

Just as it's no surprise that folks from the world of technology and media are far more likely to "social" than their less-techie counterparts, it's no surprise that the most social cities are ones that have prominent tech hubs:

  • San Francisco, California
  • San Jose, California
  • New York, New York
  • Ventura, California (tie)
  • Austin, Texas (tie)

Defining "Social"

Of course, it's worth noting that how one defines "social" is subject to debate. Just because a particular company has a significant number of employees on Facebook or Twitter, or that they have a lot of friends or followers, doesn't necessarily mean that the employees and their employers are benefiting. Obviously, you have to play the social media game to win, but over time we'll hopefully be able to quantify who is getting the most out of being "social."

Patricio Robles

Published 29 July, 2011 by Patricio Robles

Patricio Robles is a tech reporter at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter.

2401 more posts from this author

Comments (8)

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Crystal

Impact and penetration would be an interesting build for this topic...'Social' for finance bodies doesn't necessarily guage their pervaded sentiment For example corporate finance social behaviour tends to be restricted to the confines of regulation boxed service talk - so these facts do not necessarily show those who are influentially expressing opinion...the importance of measuring impact is about seeing the reaction to 'stake in the ground' prompts.

about 5 years ago

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Crystal

Because social media is made up of many different types of applications, influence spreads in different ways depending on the platform you are in. This is why at Face, we have developed specific algorithms for each different channel we track. This helps us to measure what we call the “visibility” of the data alongside the volume. @crystalevansis

about 5 years ago

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Stuart P Turner

No surprises that Recruitment tops the list of professions, just another way for recruiters to harass unsuspecting victims...

I agree though, impact would definitely give this a bit more meaning.

about 5 years ago

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William King

Social Media is prevailing is occupying every one's thoughts. Almost everyone now is obsessed with social media sites. Saturating every topic and every theme of life and business in it. That is why we see every business is now indulging into it. Specially on Facebook, now we see that few big companies have started live communication with their followers and providing live help centers out there. And the purpose of these services is to win the trust and to increase the customers. Even we have seen that POLICE of few countries has also jumped in the social media to control the environment. And to teach people few basic laws.

about 5 years ago

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Stephen Turnock

For me the socialconnectedness metric is not an indicator of how social we Recruiters are – at least at the moment. More a measure of how active recruiters are in hunter-gathering still. For recruiters a vehicle and means to pull and push and that = not social! We need to measure valuable content and how well communities are engaged with us and how warm the engagement and loyalty comes back. Ok I haven’t worked it out yet but certainly a new recruiter performance metric will be how effectively well connected we are – not how many connections we have or job posts we push, which is different.

about 5 years ago

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Clay Williams

Signing up for Twitter last week makes me feel like we're a little late in the social media game, but even in the manufacturing industry, I'm fascinated by the connections to be made, and the resources available via social media.

B2B can be difficult and aside from networking with other MFG professionals, I'm not sure if there is much value because I don't see many of our clients online yet, but I think in the long term, jumping into social is smart.

about 5 years ago

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Deryl Patterson

Great insight. Thanks for sharing.

about 5 years ago

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Innes

Social media is a recent thing we have begun to embrace in our business and as a marketing tool for us. We make sure we portray ourselves on line just as we would in everyday life at face value.

about 5 years ago

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