If federal CIO’s are judged by how well they lead by example in the social media revolution, then a new study suggests not enough of them are walking the talk.

An analysis of 31 federal chief information officers, just released by MeriTalk, reports that certain federal CIOs are much more engaged than others on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Among the CIO’s most actively engaged online using the leading social media platforms: GSA’s Casey Coleman, Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives’ Rick Holgate; NASA’s Linda Cureton; and Federal CIO Steve VanRoekel.

Taking a Moneyball approach to gauging federal CIO social media engagement, the folks at MeriTalk assigned points based on Facebook utilization, LinkedIn connections, Twitter tweets and followers, and a ratio of the number of Twitter followers divided by the number of people followed.

All of these measures, in our estimation, are artificial gauges of actual engagement — especially the followers-to-following ratio where those who have many followers are somehow discounted for not be as engaged as those with few followers. But MeriTalk had to start somewhere.

What the exercise uncovered of note is that CIOs are not big Facebook users – only seven of 31 executives have accounts – while LinkedIn was far more popular, with more than 80% having LinkedIn profiles.

Twitter proved more hit or miss. Few CIOs have accounts and fewer still tweet regularly. The study found that if you remove the top three tweeters, the remaining federal CIOs generated a total of only 396 tweets in the last six months.

Based on the aggregate engagement scores, here’s at least one scorecard that’s certain to be a topic of discussion at the next Federal CIO Council meeting:

Federal CIO – Agency – Social Media Score
Casey Coleman GSA 8
Rick Holgate ATF 8
Linda Cureton NASA 7
Steven VanRoekel OMB 7
Brook Colangelo White House 5
Roger Baker Veterans Affairs 5
Frank Baitman HHS 4
Richard Spires DHS 4
Shawn Kingsberry RATB 4
Darren Ash NRC 3
Luke McCormack DoJ 3
Malcolm Jackson EPA 3
Mike Wash NARA 3
Robert Brese DoE 3
Simon Szykman Commerce 3
Teri Takai DoD 3
Tim Schmidt Transportation 3

“The net takeaway, said Steve O’Keeffe founder of MeriTalk, which makes a business of helping suppliers market to federal executives, “is you can’t afford to rely on social media today as the primary communication channel to reach all Federal IT decision makers.”

Click here for the full list and more on the MeriTalk study.