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The New Symbiosis of Professional Networks

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Presented by Vanessa DiMauro, …

Presented by Vanessa DiMauro,
SNCR Senior Fellow, Leader Networks
6th Annual SNCR Symposium
Nov. 3-4, 2011
Harvard University's Faculty Club

Published in: Technology, Business

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  • 1.  
  • 2. About This Study
    • Focus of the study:
      • Users of online professional networks
      • Examination of current use of online professional networks
      • Online preferences
      • Changes and predicted changes in use of online professional networks
    • Sample composition:
      • 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
  • 3. 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.
  • 4. 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.
  • 5. 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.
  • 6. 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
  • 7. 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).
  • 8. 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
  • 9. 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
  • 10. 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
  • 11. 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
  • 12. 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
  • 13. 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
      • Very few foresee no change in social media usage
  • 14. What we think this means...
    • Professionals now use their social media peer groups and online communities as reliable inputs into their decision-making
      • 2009-10 was about exploring and experimenting with online relationships whereas 2010-11 is about capitalizing on them.
    • Thought leadership is the professional currency of the future
      • Professionals and organizations are now being defined by the quality of the content they exchange, curate and create.
      • However, few content creation channels have stood the test of time as there is less content being created as professionals have learned to curate only the best
    • New rules for collaboration in social media environments emerge
      • Endorsement is at the center of collaboration in social media communities
      • The endorsement (via read, share, like, retweet) drives influence that enables better decision making
    • And, anytime anywhere access to our professional peer groups is a growing necessity
      • Mobile access to online communities and professional networks is the new norm
      • Therefore, relationships are more fluid and on-demand as professional now have the online networking skills to reach the experts they need, when they need them.
  • 15. Thank you!
    • For more information or to get a copy of the full study you can contact me…
    • Vanessa DiMauro
    • CEO, Leader Networks
    • Senior Research Fellow, SNCR
    • [email_address]
    • http://www.leadernetworks.com
    • 617-484-0778
  • 16. Demographics
  • 17. Gender and Age
    • Question: What is your gender?
    • Question: What is your current age?
      • Slightly more than half of the respondents were male
      • A wide range of age groups were represented, with about two thirds of respondents falling between the ages of 36 to 55
  • 18. Professional Role
    • Question: Which of the following categories best describes your professional role in your organization?
      • Close to two in ten respondents reported that they are the CEO in their organization
  • 19. Primary Business
    • Question: Please indicate your organization’s primary type of business
      • One third of respondents described their organization’s primary type of business as “Business Services”
      • Another quarter reported that their primary type of business was computer products
  • 20. Number of Employees
    • Question: Approximately how many full time employees does your organization have worldwide including all divisions and locations?
      • About half of respondents indicated that they work for an organization with less than 100 full time employees
      • At the other extreme, more than a quarter work for organizations with 10,000 or more employees
  • 21. Responsibility
    • Question: Which of the following best describes your responsibilities in making decisions on products and services in your company or organizational unit?
      • Close to half of respondents reported that they are the final decision-maker
      • More than four in ten reported that they participate in the decision-making process, while one in ten do research in support of the decision-maker
    Note: Those who indicated that they had no decision-making responsibility were excluded from the study
  • 22. Size of Budget Managed and Influenced
    • Question: What is the average size of the budget that you 1) Manage and 2) Influence?
      • A third of respondents influence budgets of $1 Million or more, while just over one in ten directly manage budgets of that size

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