Senior Executive Social Networking Survey ( November 2009)

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Senior Executive Social Networking Survey ( November 2009)

  1. 1. SENIOR EXECUTIVE social networking survey
  2. 2. Executive message We hear a steady drum of discussion about the impact of online social networking as a growing way for companies to reach consumers. Well-known companies, such as Ford and Best Buy, use several online social networking services, maintain large monitoring staffs and attract millions of followers. But it’s not yet clear exactly how social networking will change business to business communications, so Margolis & Company and Young Presidents’ Organization asked leaders and decision makers for their thoughts and plans regarding online social networking in a business to business context. We created the Senior Executive Social Networking Survey to shed light on the question. From September to October 2009, we interviewed 100 CEOs and Senior Executives about their viewpoints and investment plans for social networking in the B2B space, interviewing 85 YPO members and 15 other business leaders in the Americas, Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia/Pacific. YPO is an international education and networking organization with members in more than 100 countries. This is clearly a time of transition and explosive growth, and the contrasts between the “old era” and the “new era” are striking. A recent story in The Wall Street Journal went so far as to say that email’s “run as king of communication is over” and that social networking services will command a significant share of the new world. Justin Kistner, Webtrends’ head of social media marketing, explains that social networking pieces still must adhere to proper ethics, fact gathering and story telling, but that the distribution model in the new world removes the “middle man.” The industrial media brands we have trusted are clearly under enormous pressure to remain a force, while their star reporters individually brand themselves in the new social networking venues. Social networking levels the playing field for growing small and medium-sized enterprises. Most companies understand we’re experiencing a paradigm shift. This is the Wild West and the protocols are being established by the week. Interestingly, one senior executive we interviewed from a FORTUNE 50 company who enthused about the importance of social networking in his company’s customer management also revealed that most of the same company’s networks blocked rank and file staffers’ access to social media. The Senior Executive Social Networking Survey results reflect contrasts in policy and approach. More than eight out of ten of the leaders responded that a traditional newspaper or magazine piece still was preferable to a piece in a prominent blog. At the same time 80 percent of the companies plan to allocate more resources to develop social networking strategies over the next two years. We believe that social networking will enhance speed and augment relationships with customers and clients. However, online networking will never be a substitute for real human interaction. On behalf of YPO members and Margolis & Company, we hope that our readers find this survey useful for future planning and discussion. We wish to thank all the leaders that participated and for TNS for validating and co-processing the results. We look forward to hearing your perspective. Dan Margolis Simon Preston President & Managing Partner YPO-WPO International Chairman 2009-2010 Margolis & Company YPO Pennine and YPO Greater Europe Chapter dan@margoliscompany.com press@ypo.org Twitter@danmargolis www.ypo.org 2
  3. 3. SENIOR EXECUTIVE Personal attitudes survey social networking towards social networking
  4. 4. “ We monitor Twitter, Facebook,YouTube and Google so anytime someone references ‘Boingo’ we review it in real time and respond as appropriate.This is a fantastic way to understand what people are saying about the company and manage a poor customer experience and turn it into a win. Customers are blown away when they tweet and we Q1 Continued immediately respond to solve the issue. ” — David Hagan, President and CEO, Boingo Wireless Q1 Which social media services do you use for business purposes? 75% 62% 42% 37% 16% 3% 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% Other None 4
  5. 5. Social media services used for business purposes by sector Q1 Continued Consumer Financial 67% 80% 73% 50% 43% 20% 50% 30% 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% Professional services Technology 94% 74% 56% 57% 56% 35% 39% 35% 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% 5
  6. 6. Social media services used for business purposes by sector Q1 Continued 100% 80% 60% 40% 20% 0% Other Total Consumer = 30 Consumer Financial = 10 Financial Services Healthcare = 1 Professional Services Industrial = 6 Technology Other Professional Services = 18 Technology = 23 Other = 12 6
  7. 7. Number of social media services used for business purposes by sector Q1 Continued 2.32 2.67 2.58 2.47 2.13 1.9 1.0 1.5 2.0 2.5 3.0 Total Consumer = 30 Professional Services Financial = 10 Other Healthcare = 1 Consumer Industrial = 6 Technology Financial Services Professional Services = 18 Technology = 23 Other = 12 7
  8. 8. “ Social media provides the opportunity to reach consumers directly and at a more individual level, versus mass advertising. ” — Margaret Hardin, President & COO, Munchkin Q2 Which is more valuable — a story written about your company in a prominent newspaper or business magazine or a story about your company on a prominent blog? 2% 16% Blog Newspaper / magazine N/A 82% Consumer = 30 Financial = 10 Healthcare = 1 Industrial = 6 Professional Services = 18 Technology = 23 Other = 12 8
  9. 9. “ We are regulated by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and are very concerned that regulators will penalize us for using social networking sites. ” — Douglas Rodgers, CEO, FOCUS, Investment Bankers Q3 Are you more likely to respond more quickly to a question or inquiry from a known business contact you receive through social networking messaging (e.g Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter) versus your regular business email? 2% 20% I respond faster to known sources From social networking messages From regular business email N/A 78% Consumer = 30 Financial = 10 Healthcare = 1 Industrial = 6 Professional Services = 18 Technology = 23 Other = 12 9
  10. 10. Ways of using social networks
  11. 11. “ Social media will impact all industries, not just ours. Social networks are the closest thing to ESP that CEOs can use to determine what his or her customers are saying about their company and/or brand. I have a great deal of experience in social media and feel that the transformation has begun - those that don’t embrace it will be left behind. ” — Rajeev Kapur, Chairman and CEO, Greenwala Q4 Should your company invest more resources (time, money or both) for social media management in the next year or two? 4% More resources / 80% 19% Much more resources 20% None or much less / Somewhat less 4% Same amount of resources as current More resources Much more resources None or much less 61% 0% Somewhat less Consumer = 30 Financial = 10 Healthcare = 1 Industrial = 6 Professional Services = 18 Technology = 23 Other = 12 11
  12. 12. Future investment in social media management by sector Q4 Continued 100% _91% _83% _13% 80% _80% _80% _76% _17% _75% _8% _20% _33% 60% _19% _67% _78% 40% _67% _60% _43% 20% _61% 0% Total Consumer Financial Professional Technology Other Services Services More resources Consumer = 30 Much more resources Financial = 10 Healthcare = 1 Industrial = 6 Professional Services = 18 Technology = 23 Other = 12 12
  13. 13. “ The phrase ‘social networks’ is much more relevant than ‘social media.’ Social media are simply tools which vastly improve the functioning of pre-existing and new social networks. ” — Dave Maney, Chairman, Headwaters Incorporated Q5 How hard is it to manage business correspondence that is sent through social media sites? 16% Very easy / Easy 21% Very difficult / Difficult 37% 5% 42% 5% Easy Very easy Very difficult Difficult 32% Manageable but occasionally difficult 13
  14. 14. “ We’ve been getting a lot of questions about social networking.We are intrigued how it may help our firm and our portfolio of companies and how it can be used for branding, marketing and greater awareness of products and services. ” — Michel Glouchevitch, Partner, Riordan, Lewis & Haden Q6 How much has the use of authorized social media for business opportunities increased in your company over the past year? 5% 20% 21% Use has dropped significantly Use has dropped a little (1%) Use is the same as a year ago Use is increasing Use is very much increasing 53% 14
  15. 15. Future investment in social media management by sector Q6 Continued 100% _95% _17% 80% _75% _73% _70% _70% _78% _17% _20% _63% 60% _20% _26% _23% _58% 40% _44% _50% _53% _40% 20% 0% Total Consumer Financial Professional Technology Other Services Services Use is increasing Use is very much increasing 15
  16. 16. “ Social media will improve relationships with customers, the profiling and knowledge of customers’ needs and trends, help drive innovation and R&D for new solutions, and improve customer care and company reputation. ” — Juan Carlos Fouz, CEO, IZO SYSTEM Q7 Social networking plays an important role in deepening your business relationships with colleagues, clients and potential clients. Please select the response most accurate for your business and company. 10% Very strongly 66% 16% Strongly Agree 40% Agree 28% Somewhat 34% Disagree 6% Very strongly 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 16
  17. 17. Deepening business relationships through social networking by sector Q7 Continued 100% _89% _17% 80% _79% _9% _66% _66% _10% _22% _8% 60% _56% _26% _8% _50% _13% _16% _20% 40% _50% _10% _50% _44% _33% _40% _30% 20% 0% Total Consumer Financial Professional Technology Other Services Services Agree Strongly agree Very strongly agree 17
  18. 18. “ It’s like being at a cocktail party and we just get to stand aside and listen. Social media allows us to be more aware of what people are saying to each other about our company and address the issues and concerns. ” — Executive, FORTUNE 50 company Q8 Do you expect social media to play a bigger role in next two years in deepening your business relationships and increasing your access to new information? 10% 15% Same as today 26% 11% 20% more 50% more 100% more More than 100% compared to today 38% 18
  19. 19. “ We believe the largest single value is creating a loyal following of peers who are interested in our technical blogs we are working to create. Our biggest challenge is creating meaningful content. ” — Scott Irwin, President, Aktion Associates Q9 Do you have a social media strategy for your company? If yes, please rank the following in order of importance, with “1” being most important and “5” being the least important. 46% 17% 8% 7% 12% 10% Marketing 11% 27% 21% 14% 16% 11% Email 8% 18% 21% 26% 16% 11% Innovations 8% 15% 22% 21% 23% 11% Customer Support 9% 5% 15% 10% 47% 14% Others 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% Most important 2 3 4 5 Least important N/A 19
  20. 20. “ Social media is an investment of image so that fact and perception of fact can coincide and thus reinforce the brand. When East works with West, and South with North, it will help understanding of cultural norms and reduce pre-conceived notions by further bringing people together. ” — Robert Wong, Founding Partner and CEO, Robert Wong Executive Consulting Q10 How much do you use social media for communicating with friends, colleagues and business contacts for purely social correspondence, versus how much for business related communication? 16% 28% 4% Only social Mostly social 10% Equally social and business Mostly business Business only 42% 20
  21. 21. Accessibility and restrictions
  22. 22. “ Social media will increase customer service awareness and consumer approval of products, as well as highlight features and benefits and/or shortcomings and deficiencies. ” — Allen Furrer, President, Ascend Wireless Q11 Does your company limit employee access to social media services and sites while at work? 21% The organization strongly encourages employees to maintain social networking accounts and usage during business hours 51% Most sites are permitted with few limitations 9% Some sites are blocked and hours of use are somewhat limited 12% Most sites are blocked or use is limited to non-business hours only 7% Social media sites are blocked by network services 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 22
  23. 23. Limitations on access to social media by sector Q11 Continued 100% _70% _50% 80% _70% _51% _47% 60% _25% 40% _39% _21% _25% _23% 20% _20% _9% 0% _-10% _-6% _-25% _-9% _-7% _-17% _-7% _-6% _-12% _-4% -20% _-17% _-7% _-25% -40% -60% Total Consumer Financial Professional Technology Other Services Services Social media sites are blocked by network services Most sites are blocked or use is limited to non-business Consumer = 30 hours only Financial = 10 Some sites are blocked and hours of use are Healthcare = 1 somewhat limited Industrial = 6 Most sites are permitted and there are few limitations Professional Services = 18 Technology = 23 The organization strongly encourages employees to maintain Other = 12 social networking accounts and usage during business hours 23
  24. 24. “ In the professional services space, where there is not a single brand, but two important brands — the company brand and the individual brand of the professional, the challenge or the opportunity is to effectively manage these brands together. And social media enables this. ” — Gray Hollett,VP of Marketing, Boyden World Corporation Q12 How often do social media and related topics surface in discussions with your executive team? 21% 29% Never Occasionally Sometimes Often 26% 15% Very often 9% 24
  25. 25. Social media topics in discussions with executive teams by sector Q12 Continued 60% _27% 50% _17% _15% _42% 40% _17% _30% _33% _33% 30% _29% _22% 20% 10% 0% Total Consumer Financial Professional Technology Other Services Services Often Consumer = 30 Very often Financial = 10 Healthcare = 1 Industrial = 6 Professional Services = 18 Technology = 23 Other = 12 25
  26. 26. Attitudinal segments
  27. 27. “ Social media helps us get the word out on our new products... putting a human face on our company. ” — Chuck Tanner, Wholesale Interiors Construction of attitudinal segments - Indicators (I) Number of social media services used for business purposes Personal attitude Q2 Which is more valuable – a story written about your company in a prominent newspaper or towards social business magazine or a story about your company on a prominent blog? networks Q3 Are you more likely to respond more quickly to a question or inquiry from a known business contact you receive through social networking messaging (e.g. Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter) versus your regular business email? Q4 Should your company invest more resources for social media management in the next year or two? Q6 How much has the use of authorized social media for business opportunities increased in your company over the past year? Ways of using Q7 “Social networking plays an important role in deepening your business relationships with social networks colleagues, clients and potential clients.” Please select the response most accurate for your business and company. Q8 Do you expect social media to play a bigger role in next two years in deepening your business relationships and increasing your access to new information? Q10 How much do you use social media for communicating with friends, colleagues and business contacts for purely social correspondence, versus how much for business related communication? Institutional Q11 Does your company limit employee access to social media services and sites while at work? restrictions Q12 How often do social media and related topics surface in discussions with your executive team? 27
  28. 28. “ In Brazil, business is more personable. It’s important to maintain eye contact. Brazilians want to hear you, see you and feel you, so social media is not a substitute for that real connection, but rather a complement to it. — Robert Wong ” Construction of attitudinal segments - Indicators (II) • All indicators included in each attitudinal segment regarding three dimensions are recorded in scales • The closer to change towards using social networks for business, the higher the scale • Sum of all indicators in every attitudinal segment goes from “0” to “100” • Scale is split into three categories: Personal attitude Ways of using Institutional towards social social networks restrictions networks 0 - 40% Rejectors Leisure Restricted 41 - 70% Followers Let the business in Unrestricted 71 - 100% Leaders of change Market developers Encouraged Construction of attitudinal segments - Indicators (III) • After constructing three attitudinal segments (personal attitude towards social networks, ways of using social networks and institutional restrictions) all of them are combined to define a final segmentation. • The results of the three dimensions are converted into five categories: Promoters Believers Led Reticent Resistant 28
  29. 29. Analysis by segment Number of social media services used for business purposes Personal attitude Institutional restrictions towards social networks 15% Leaders of change 36% 40% Unrestricted 55% Encouraged Followers 30% Rejectors 24% Restricted Social network uses 16% Market developers 26% Leisure 58% Let the business in 29
  30. 30. Analysis by segment: attitudinal segments 16% 22% Promoters — Making changes happen Believers — Enthusiastic but not proactive towards changes Led — Fitting to expected 23% changes in the future Reticent — Slower to change from traditional habits 31% Resistant — Unlikely to adopt social 8% networks as a tool for business 30
  31. 31. Number of social media services used for business purposes 100% _23% _13% _6% _6% _30% _25% _50% _50% 80% _8% _8% _17% _31% _35% _17% 60% _23% _33% _17% 40% _30% _22% _17% _22% _28% 20% _17% _17% _16% _13% _10% 0% Total Consumer Financial Professional Technology Other Services Services Promoters Believers Led Reticent Resistant 31
  32. 32. Final thoughts The data shows that while only 20 percent of the participating leaders use social networking primarily for commercial purposes, most executives believe social media in a business to business context will achieve significant growth in the next two years. The slight resistance executives expressed about social networking derives more from old habits than any fundamental philosophical rejection of social networking or the new media’s services. We asked the participating leaders to respond in a business context, though a number of the respondents based their projections on a consumer model. We conclude that this is because the business to business model is so new. The effectiveness of the “promoters” will be important to define the growth rate in the business sector. From the survey, the professional services sector, and to some extent the consumer sector, are the most likely to promote the use in commercial activity and business communication. Consumer sector executives already show predisposition for social media, especially in their personal lives. Social media will only further merge our business and personal lives, according to several top national business reporters we interviewed. Social networking will also force marketers to become succinct and targeted in their communications to elevate their brands. With increased consumer expectations that marketing messages will become briefer and briefer, we must ensure we do not misread basic outcomes by minimizing necessary information too much. As we accelerate down the social networking highway, we expect there will be a modest correction to again further appreciate in-depth content. One conclusion is certain: In the new world with tens of thousands of interesting choices, relevance and relationships will remain crucial. We welcome your input and we’re eager to continue the conversation. 32
  33. 33. About the survey For the survey preparation, Margolis & Company and YPO developed the questions and TNS validated the methodology. The executive interviews were by invitation only and were conducted online and by telephone through a structured questionnaire. Margolis & Company analyzed each interview and TNS co-processed the data. Special thanks are due to Birgit Johnston, Lisa Spangenberg, Sheldon Renan and Steve Gumplo for their contributions to the survey. We also wish to thank Urbana Creative for its perspective and support. About Margolis & Company Founded in 2005, Margolis & Company specializes in business to business public relations and thought leadership. The firm, based in Santa Monica, California, focuses on national and international positioning in the professional/financial services, entertainment/sports and government/non-profit sectors. Margolis & Company’s track record is tied to more than 15 years of building deep relationships with thousands of top-level national and international media contacts, corporate executives, government officials and community leaders. Decision - makers know the firm is committed to client issues and services that make a difference and are worthy of their attention. For more information, visit www.margoliscompany.com. About YPO YPO (Young Presidents’ Organization) is a not-for-profit, global network of young chief executives connected around the shared mission of becoming Better Leaders Through Education and Idea Exchange TM. Founded in 1950,YPO today provides 17,000 peers and their families in 100 countries with access to unique experiences, world-class resources, alliances with top learning institutions, and specialized networks that help them enhance their business, community and personal leadership. For more information, www.ypo.org. 33

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