Examination of current use of online professional networks
Changes and predicted changes in use of online professional networks
The survey “The New Symbiosis of Professional Networks” was administered online to 114 participants
Participants were notified through blogs and direct email invitation by study sponsors
Close to two in ten (18%) respondents identified themselves as the CEO of their organization, with close to half identifying themselves as a “Director” (20%) or “Manager” (24%)
Company size ranged from less than 100 to over 50,000 full-time employees
Age was well distributed with the greatest proportion in the 36-45 range
10 countries were represented, with 76% of respondents living in the US
All respondents were either the decision makers or influenced the decision maker
Key finding #1: Thought leadership is the new currency of online professional collaboration
Business professionals are changing how they collaborate as a
result of online professional communities and peer networks.
Social networks have evolved to = knowledge and communication networks.
Access to thought leadership content is the #1 reason why professionals surveyed visit networks and communities.
Professionals collaborate with each other through the thought leadership content they generate, curate or share. No longer is collaboration an experience between a limited number of people.
Key finding #2: The collaboration recipe = 1 to 2 large networks + 1 to 2 niche communities
While nearly all professionals surveyed (97%) use LinkedIn, the use of smaller (niche) professional network are being leveraged to find peers and content specifically related to the work that they do (by role, industry, geography, etc.).
Professionals are finding the right mix of large open networks and private communities to support their learning, networking and decision-making activities.
Key finding #3: Social business is starting to happen within professional communities of practice
Professional communities are being used more frequently to inform business strategy and supporting new products and services (much more than in 2009).
80% of respondents are able to accelerate decision process and information/strategy development by participating in communities.
Key finding #4: Professionals share and consume quality content within their professional networks as a way of exerting influence
Endorsement (via like, read, share, retweet) is at the center of collaboration in social media communities.
“ The Crescendo Effect ” in social media environments has great impact on the buying decision. High quality content yields transparency and credibility.
Professional collaboration is changing from a small professional exchange into an interaction with content in public ways. The consequence of sharing content online = influence
Mobile Devices To Access Professional Networks are On The Rise: 59% of Respondents Use them To Access Professional Networks
Essentially all respondents access social networks on a PC or Mac and about 6 in 10 respondents in 2010 access a professional network using a mobile device
2010 showed a significant increase in the use of mobile devices to access online networks (15%) increase. 59% of respondents access online networks via mobile devices (vs. 44% in 2009).
The Majority Of Professionals Use Online Networks Daily To Inform Their Work
Question: On average, how often do you visit the networks or communities you belong to?
Question: How has this changed over the last three years?
80% of respondents access social networks one or more times a day with change in use increasing for 88% of respondents over the last three years
More than four in ten visit professional networks many times each day
Many Professionals Use A Combination Of “Big Three” Networks Plus Smaller, Selective Online Communities
Almost all respondents participate in large public networks or communities
Two thirds participate in open social media networks such as Twitter or Yelp
About half participate in midsize or specialized communities
And They Prefer To Engage Deeply With Peers In A Few Networks
Most respondents were split evenly between preferring to deeply experience a limited number of networks and joining many networks but only participating heavily in a few
Professionals Value Online Communities To Connect and Compete
Networks are trusted environments for relationship management and decision support
Significantly more professionals value professional networks for monitoring competitive brands over their own company brand
Top Three Benefits Of Online Community Participation
People And Content Found Within Online Communities Are Widely Used To Identify Business Trends And In Support Of A Professional Decision
When Faced With A Professional Decision, Survey Respondents Are Likely To…
Eight in ten respondents use online social networks to identify trends and key topics for further exploration
Just over a quarter use them to help reach a professional decision
While Professionals Value Collaboration, Their Companies Seek To Invest In Social Media Marketing Programs
Question: In what ways do you see your company’s external use of social media changing over the next 1-2 years? (select up to 3)
More than half of respondents foresee more marketing programs and content distribution in the next one to two years