“We expected to see a number of respondents utilizing social networking sites like MySpace and Facebook for personal reasons, but we were intrigued at the high percentage of business professionals that use social networking for professional purposes,” says Jay Jamrog, i4cp’s SVP of Research. “In an age where more and more employees work remotely and people frequently change companies, it makes sense that the business community would turn to the Web to stay connected.”
The most popular sites for professional use? Tops in the survey by far was LinkedIn, a site aimed at the business professional, followed by Yahoo! 360 and MySpace, which is more often associated with a younger generation.
The study revealed that employees are quickly gravitating toward leveraging social networks for very traditional business uses. About half (52%) of respondents whose organizations are using social networking sites do so to keep internal staff and remote employees connected, while 47% of total respondents use the networks to connect with potential clients and to showcase their skills. A total of 35% say they use networks to assist them in finding a job.
But it’s not all about connecting in the conventional sense. Networks are also being leveraged to raise the IQ of organizations. Over half (55%) of those using the networks do so to share best practices with colleagues, and 49% use them to get answers to issues they are currently facing. This is an area that experts think could help social networking really take off inside corporations.
“Companies and employees have often gravitated to trade associations and shows for one primary benefit: community,” says Jamrog. “Social networks have opened a new dynamic in bringing that community online, and the ability to share what’s working and what isn’t in real time is invaluable to many employees today. We expect to see this continue in earnest among corporations, and we particularly expect to see the small- to medium-size business market gravitate here so that they can augment traditionally thin staffs with expertise from larger organizations.”
Of those respondents who do not currently utilize social networks, the top reason (37%) is simply that they don't know what networks to use. The majority of respondents (59%) said they would likely use social networks if they knew that such use would assist their professional development (31% say they already do), and a full 77% would welcome using them if they thought the networks could aid organizational efficiency.
The Social Network Practitioner Consensus Survey was conducted by i4cp, in conjunction with HR.com, in May 2007. A total of 323 organizations participated. For more information about this study, or to receive a full copy of the results, please contact Greg Pernula at firstname.lastname@example.org or via phone at (727) 345-2226.
About i4cp, inc.
Building on the 35-year history of its predecessor, the Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp, inc.) improves corporate productivity through a combination of research, community, tools and technology focused on the management of human capital. With more than 100 leading organizations as members, including many of the best-known companies in the world, i4cp draws upon one of the industry’s largest and most experienced research teams and executives-in-residence to produce more than 10,000 pages annually of rapid, reliable and respected research and analysis surrounding all facets of the management of people in organizations. Additionally, i4cp identifies and analyzes the upcoming major issues and future trends that are expected to influence workforce productivity and provides member clients with tools and technology to execute leading-edge strategies and “next practices” on these issues and trends. i4cp is a for-profit company with offices in St. Petersburg, FL.