Are you average, average or … just average?

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“How SME’s Use Social Media”

This headline is misleading.

I’m not going to tell you how SME’s use social media.

Its the title of an infographic produced by a well known accounts software company.

It has been widely shared but I don’t know why, because it is utterly useless.

This is how posts like this try to mislead us:

  • There is no source information to say how many companies took part in the research. It could have been five hundred –  it could have been five.
  • SME is a catch all for companies with up to 250 employees with a turnover of less than 40 million euros. There is no indication of the spread between small, medium and micro businesses, the split between B2B and B2C, sector, geographical spread, age of the business or any other crucial factors that could affect or skew the results.
  • Worst of all, the infographic blithely states the percentages for time spent, sites used and the reasons the businesses surveyed use social media, without any indication that any of them measure their results or achieve their purpose.

What is the point of knowing that 69% use social media for the purpose of getting brand awareness unless you also know how many were successful and if that is a good indication that you could do the same?

What is the point of knowing that Facebook is the most popular network used by the businesses in the survey unless you also know if they are similar to your business, what results they get and how?

Without knowing the raw data and how the questions are formulated and asked, surveys like this are worse than useless. They deliberately mislead.

There are three different ways to calculate an average and more ways to present data than there are bad infographics on social media.

That’s why the phrase “lies, damned lies and statistics” was coined.

Don’t believe anything until you see the data.

If you’d like help working out what really works for your business contact me now and we’ll have a chat about it! 

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