Our Survey said... executives on social media use

The Shared Services and Outsourcing Network is not the first place you might turn to for advice on social media – their expertise is outsourcing – but they do a lot of online networking with executives and last Friday they published the results of a survey asking nearly 700 executives about their social media habits.

The immediately striking piece of data is that over 85% of all executives answering this survey use LinkedIn as their tool of choice. With so many executives using the same tool, the value of participation in that network should be apparent to all.
But, take a look at the main inhibitors of their social media use – what causes them an issue or deters them?
  • Poor discussions or wrong people in the group (quality of discussion)
  • Solution providers constantly pushing their products (quality of participants)
  • People adding contacts for the sake of adding a new contact (e.g. LinkedIn’s – L.I.O.N)
  • Sensitive information (who else is seeing this information?)
It’s interesting to see that the issues faced by executives on LinkedIn are those faced in the real world, vendors pushing their products too much, people networking for the sake of it… just the kind of issues that stop a lot of buy-side executives attending conferences.
Over 46% of the executives questioned are only active on social media networks for 1-5 hours per month, so perhaps one reason they have yet to gain any value from these networks is that they are hardly ever logged in. 
But then what came first, the chicken or the egg?

David Terrar blogging for FutureStory at the Northeast Economic Forum - Feb 2010