Sharing the news about SAP SuccessFactors. Top Content and Influencers.

By now most everyone is aware SAP acquired SuccessFactors. The news was announced Saturday. A Google search for the story brings up nearly 3,000 "news" stories from the last 24-hours. That's a lot - relatively speaking. For comparison, Newt Gingrich brings up about 30,000 news stories the last 24 hours. (hey, HR Technology is popular but not THAT popular).

Given the magnitude of the SAP SuccessFactors story, I wanted to analyze it from within our human resources marketplace using our new social media analytics software, SocialEars.

SocialEars is a proprietary algorithm from HRmarketer that analyzes the online "social" activity of media outlets, journalists, analysts and other thought leaders in the human resource B2B marketplace to identify trending topics and the key "influencers" driving these discussions. Content aggregated and analyzed includes hundreds of thousands of media stories, blog posts, Tweets and other "shared content" on social sites. It allows you to quickly locate the key influencers on topics relevant to your business and locate the most popular "content". From here, you can do a lot of things like assemble timely and relevant news distribution lists, market research, network building, speaker identification, etc.

So I searched SocialEars shortly after noon on December 5th (Monday) for "SuccessFactors". Now keep in mind, by now every major business news outlet has covered the topic and there will be a lot more coverage to come over the next week - including Jason Averbook's webinar on December 12th about what it all means. Sounds like a must-attend event.

But my search was from earlier today so my analysis did not include content published after that time. For example, Matt Marshall from VentureBeat wrote a great article about the acquisition this afternoon (which I found on SocialEars moments ago) titled SAP-SuccessFactors: 9 reasons why this is a smart acquisition but it was a little late to make my analysis from earlier in the day.

And this actually brings up an interesting point about influence and popularity - it's relative. Top influencers and top "content" (articles, blog posts, tweets, etc.) change with time. It's also relative within groups. Those of us who work in the - relatively small and secluded - HR marketplace likely learned about the acquisition in a much different way than those outside our space. Those of us inside the space likely learned about the news from key analysts, bloggers, or other people in our networks whereas the masses learned about it on CNN. But that's an entirely different topic and blog post.

OK - so within our HR marketplace, who was instrumental in spreading the news and what was the most referenced content about the news?

The news was first announced by SAP and the official press release on SAP's web site was posted on December 3rd titled SAP TO ACCELERATE CLOUD STRATEGY WITH ACQUISITION OF SUCCESSFACTORS.

That press release was initially by far the most popular "content" about the story.

When I searched SocialEars today, the top "articles" about the acquisition were as follows:

1. SAP Buys SuccessFactors for $3.4B Signals SAP’s Commitment To Cloud, HCM, and Social
Posted by R "Ray" Wang, Principal Analyst and CEO at Constellation Research Group
Twitter ID: @rwang0

2. SAP To Buy SuccessFactors: Major Shift In Talent Management Market
Posted by Josh Bersin, CEO, Berin and Associates
Twitter ID: @Josh_Bersin

3. TechCrunch trivializes SAP's $3.4B (billion) cloud acquisition
Posted by: Michael Krigsman, CEO of Asuret, Inc
Twitter ID: @mkrigsman

4. SAP acquires SuccessFactors: a first take
Posted by: Dennis Howlett, Zdnet Writer and IT Industry Analyst and Commentator
Twitter ID: @dahowlett

5. SAP to Acquire SuccessFactors for $3.4 Billion
Posted by: Arik Hesseldahl, Senior Editor at AllThingsDigital
Twitter ID: @ahess247

How do we measure article popularity? That's the secret sauce of the SocialEars algorithm but basically it comes down to the amount of times these articles were referenced and shared by others.

So who were the people that shared the news of the acquisition? Seriously, a lot and its the wrong question to ask if you count every Tom, Dick and Harry who re-tweeted or shared the story. Frankly, if Dick has 5 followers on Twitter, has never written a blog post and doesn't know what LinkedIn is then his sharing of the story likely fell on deaf ears.

We want to know what people most influenced the news of the acquisition in our HR marketplace.

SocialEars delivered quite an extensive list.

Here are the top 10:
  1. Gautam Ghosh
  2. Paul Hamerman
  3. Jarret Pazahanick
  4. Alexia (Lexy) Martin
  5. Mark Smith
  6. John Hollon
  7. Laurie Ruettimann
  8. Phil Fersht
  9. Dean Da Costa
  10. William Tincup
How do we measure top influencers for a particular topic? That's another really secret sauce of the SocialEars algorithm but outside of the obvious (followers, reach, etc.) it's a combination of the authors published content on the topic(s) and how often their content is discussed and shared.

With a little dash of magic :-)

And tomorrow the lists will change. Cool stuff.

If you are interested in learning more about SocialEars, sign-up for our December 9th Webinar.

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