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Posted by Nigel Fenwick on January 14, 2010
When we embarked on this project I wasn't sure if it would be a complete failure or a roaring success. Still, the optimist in me suggested it might work. The timing of launching the survey, just before the Christmas Holiday period was risky. However I'm pleased to say the results so far have been better than expected.
Those of you who read my original blog post, "Can Social Media Penetrate The Exec Suite?", know that this survey was also an experiment to see the reach of social media into the C-Suite. So let's look at that question first. Based on the interim results at the end of December 9% of the respondents reported being at the C-level. That's certainly above the percentage we might have expected based upon the number of C-Level execs in the general population. So even at this early stage we might reasonably conclude it is possible to penetrate the C-Suite through social media.
Of all the respondents 93% reported accessing social media while at work; not surprising since we relied upon social media to distribute news of this survey. Clearly people in your organization who already use social media are doing so while at work. Some might argue that if the organization doesn't allow social media access then would we not have pre-filtered these respondents by virtue of how the survey was conducted. On the contrary – 38% reported that their employer did not sanction access, or that they were unsure of their employer’s policy. This means that there is a significant number of employees in your workforce accessing social media even though your policy doesn't sanction such access.
Talking of policy, 45% reported their organizations have a published social media policy, 11% weren't sure and 44% indicated their organization doesn't have a policy. Given the increasing numbers of people accessing social media, it's important to get a social media policy in place and make sure your employees know about it.
When it comes to reasons behind the use of social media, staying up-to-date with news was the most common reason given, with 84% of respondents suggesting this was a primary use of social media for them. Not far behind, at 77%, was using social media as a source of ideas to help at work – This suggests employees are using social media to help increase their knowledge and ability to perform their job.
This is a small sample of the results from the survey. A more detailed report will be published soon after the survey closes. You can receive a summary of the analysis simply by completing the survey so I encourage you to spend five minutes today to complete it and at the same time email a link to the survey to a couple of colleagues or friends who might also be interested in the results.
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