Update: Looks like cone provided some more details in a revised copy of the report that’s now available. The survey is based on 1,092 surveyed, 525 men, 567 women. 1000 people is NOT report-worthy. 2.5x that follow my lame ass on twitter.

So I caught wind via Jackie Peters (whose path I crossed repeatedly during my last month of travel) of a report by Cone, INC that threw out the most absurd statistics I’ve ever seen in a report. That’s probably because I don’t waste a lot of time reading reports, though.

At any rate, the Cone report stated:

According to the survey, 93 percent of Americans believe a company should have a presence in social media, while an overwhelming 85 percent believe a company should not only be present but also interact with its consumers via social media. In fact, 56 percent of American consumers feel both a stronger connection with and better served by companies when they can interact with them in a social media environment.

Now hang on a second. 93% of Americans believe the same thing? Any thing? I don’t buy it. 85% of Americans believe that companies shoudl interact via social media? How many Americans have even HEARD of social media? Not 85%. I’m pretty sure that the percentage of Americans who’ve heard who the presidential candidates for the 2008 election are is less than 85%.

Of course, I know that these statistics are based on a census or survey, skewing the results based on whatever census audience the agency chose. This is the problem we’re up against, folks. No WONDER companies think that social media is a cure-all, and are willing to drink it by the gallon (to the tune of $400/hour).

Seth Godin said during the ONLY time I’ve seen him speak that “you can be the best in the world at anything you do because you’re in control of what ‘the world’ is”. Unfortunately, that same technique that’s helped many small companies and individuals self perscribe some happiness can be used for a dasterdly alternative. And reading this report is one frightening example of that.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m gonna go rinse my mouth out with some Kool Aide.