Social Networking Survey Results

Social Networking is here to stay and we can not ignore it.  It is expanding at lightning speed and integration with every day platforms and applications are announced daily.  After last week’s announcement of Google buzz, Microsoft is announcing the integration of LinkedIn, Facebook and MySpace into Office 2010 which is coming in June.

Companies are increasingly more concerned with allowing people to access to social network during business hours.  The need to implement a Social Networking Policy is growing fast.  In the light of my current business occupation, I have done a survey among my contacts to get an initial idea of the state of mind.  Here are results of my findings.

It is clear business has discovered social networking as a means to reach out to its target audience.  Over 95% of the respondents indicate they are using social media on a very regular basis for business.  Over 62% have also embraced social networking on a personal level.

Question 1: What are you using social networking for?

Personal only 3,20%
Business only 34,40%
Both 62,40%

The IT department is having great concerns that people are using the company infrastructure.  There are issues such as security breaches, bandwidth and intrusions that come up as major headaches.  Management on the other hand is more and more concerned about other issue such as time wasting and image loss.  Are these concerns warranted?  The results to the next question confirm this there is some reason for concern.

Question 2: What platforms are using to participate to social networking?

Work PC 84,90%
Home PC 72,00%
Mobile platform 21,50%

From these numbers, we can conclude that company infrastructure is used to participate to social networking which is normal as 90%+ are using social networking for business purposes.  Interesting to note that 1 in 5 is using a smartphone to participate into social networking.

As part of my research, I also wanted to get an insight into which social networking platforms are being used.  Due to the nature of the audience in the survey, business social networking is over represented.  However, the numbers are still valid to make some assumptions and conclusions.

There are 3 clear leaders that come out of the research which is not really a surprise.  LinkedIn, Facebook and Plaxo.  Then there is a middle group with applications such as blogs, microblogs (Twitter), RSS feeds, YouTube.  And finally there are the odd one’s out such as gaming, podcasts, virtual worlds, Flickr.

Question 3: What social media are you participating in?

LinkedIn 97,80%
Facebook 60,20%
Plaxo 49,50%
Blogs 31,20%
YouTube 24,70%
RSS Feeds 24,70%
Twitter 22,60%
Flickr 5,40%
Podcast 4,30%
Gaming 2,20%
Virtual world 1,10%

Taking the concerns of question 2 around infrastructure and management issues and combining the information from question 3 around where people are active, it is fair for any company to ask which, if any limitation, rules or guidelines need to be created.  Research done by Manpower recently indicated that about 75% of companies worldwide do not have a formal policy in place.  The numbers below are only a confirmation of this survey.

Question 4: Does your company have a social media policy (that you are aware of)?

Yes 15,10%
Partly (Blogging) 11,80%
No 62,40%
Do no know 10,80%

As we know there are risks involved when people participate to social networking.  The line between personal life and business life is getting blurred and integration of different application will make this even more blurred.  When does business end and personal life begin?  It is getting more obvious that social media/networking policies are drawn up to protect companies and individuals from liabilities, law suits and abuse.

For more information on how to create a “Social Networking Policy”, comments or this survey, contact Mic Adam at info@vanguard-leadership.be

As I am sharing the results of my findings with you, and in order to collect a little more detail I would like to request that you participate in this 30 second follow up survey: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/7LC77BS

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3 Responses to “Social Networking Survey Results”

  1. Alain Renier Says:

    Dear Mic,

    Interesting results of course. There is still a lot of things to be done.
    Best regards,

    Alain

  2. Xavier Mezquita Says:

    Congratulations Mic, really interesting!.

    Social networkings are more dangerous than common people think.

    From a headhunter view, it’s a miracle but it is also a serious threat for the job boards, it could dramatically change the actual market.

    Xavier Mezquita
    Managing Director

  3. Frank Geelen Says:

    Dear Mic,
    thank you for this intresting and valuable information.
    best regards,
    Frank Geelen
    CFO Siemens IT Solutions and Services

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