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In Social We Trust

From the AMA - a summary of the 2nd Annual New Symbiosis of Professional Networks research study that explores impact of social media on enterprise decision-

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In Social We Trust

  1. 1. In Social We Trust: Business Leaders Log On for BetterDecision MakingBy Vanessa DiMauro, Leader Networks Peter Auditore, SAP Don Bulmer, SAPIt may be fun to fan and follow, but do today’s social media channels offer businessprofessionals any value when it comes to decision-making that impacts performance?The 2nd annual New Symbiosis of Professional Networks research study by The Societyfor New Communications Research (SNCR) sought to dig below the surface ofFacebook and Twitter to discover the impact of social media on enterprise decision-making. The study was supported by quantitative data gathered via online survey of 114professionals to understand their perceptions and experiences with social media insupport of their decision-making.The survey was revealing in its findings of the way in which today’s businessprofessionals interact with and feel about social media. Four key findings include: It’s Not All About the “Big Three” While nearly all (97%) of professionals surveyed use LinkedIn, the use of smaller (niche) professional networks are being used to find peers and content specifically related to the work 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. 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. As social networks have evolved to become knowledge and communication networks, access to thought leadership content is now the #1 reason professionals surveyed visit networks and communities. Moreover, professionals are collaborating with each other via the thought leadership content they generate, curate or share. No longer is collaboration an experience between a limited number of people. Eight in ten respondents use online social networks to identify trends and key topics for further exploration while just over a quarter use them to help reach a professional decision.Marketing Thought Leaders 1 May 2011
  2. 2. Source: Society for New Communications Research  Social Business is Occurring within Professional Communities of Practice. Professional communities are being used more frequently to inform business strategy and support new products and services. In fact, the survey results revealed that 80% of respondents are able to accelerate decision process and information/strategy development by participating in communities. Moreover, the overwhelming majority of respondents (87%) conduct research via search engines to inform decision-making. The value of a company website as a destination for supporting/informing a decision has dropped by half from 2009 but still ranks #2 (43%). Online professional networks and communities are now equal in importance to the corporate website to support decision-making.  Professionals Share and Consume Content 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 with high quality content yielding 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 Access to Online Professional Networks is the New Norm. Relationships are more fluid and on-demand as professionals now have the online networking skills to reach the experts they need, when they need them. Marketing Thought Leaders 2 May 2011
  3. 3. Statements Percent AgreeI am able to reach and connect with other  73% professionals and experts due to the network  Collaborating with others provides me with fresh  71% insight, ideas, and actionable information  My collaboration with peers is strengthened by online  65% connections and made more efficient  My connections online have shared information with me  60% that inform the work I do in meaningful ways  Collaborating with others saves me time and money  49%  I find people are more willing to collaborate online  47% and share information than offline  I only collaborate or connect online with people I  19% already know  Online connections are best for sales and marketing  6% but not for collaboration  Connecting to others or collaborating does not  3% interest me      Source: Society for New Communications Research    Professionals Value Online Communities To Connect and Compete. Most respondents find value in establishing or increasing their professional network and in increasing competitive brand monitoring and positioning. Significantly more professionals value professional networks for monitoring competitive brands over their own company brand. Respondents also clearly appreciate the ability to reach out and connect with others and to gain fresh insight, ideas and actionable information.Vanessa DiMauro is the CEO of Leader Networks. Don Bulmer is Vice President of GlobalCommunications at SAP and Peter Auditore is Senior Director, Industry Analyst Relations, SAP.Together, they collaborated on the 2nd annual New Symbiosis of Professional Networks researchstudy sponsored by the Society for New Communications Research (SNCR), an AMA partner.Marketing Thought Leaders 3 May 2011