Some 65% of business professionals are connecting via personal and professional social networking websites, according to a recent survey on online social networking conducted by the Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp) – the erstwhile HRI.
Among the other findings of the i4cp study:
- The most popular site used for professional networking was LinkedIn, followed by Yahoo 360 and MySpace.
- About half (52%) of respondents whose organizations are using social networking sites do so to keep internal staff and remote employees connected, while 47% of total respondents use the networks to connect with potential clients and to showcase their skills. A total of 35% say they use networks to assist them in finding a job.
- Networks are also being leveraged to raise the IQ of organizations: Over half (55%) of those using the networks do so to share best practices with colleagues, and 49% use them to get answers to issues they are currently facing.
- Of those respondents who do not use social networks, the top reason (37%) is that they don’t know what networks to use.
- The majority of respondents (59%) said they would likely use social networks if they knew that such use would assist their professional development; 31% say they already do
- Some 77% said would welcome using them if they thought the networks could aid organizational efficiency; nearly 16% said they already use them in their organization.
“Companies and employees have often gravitated to trade associations and shows for one primary benefit: community,” said Jay Jamrog, i4cp’s SVP of Research. “Social networks have opened a new dynamic in bringing that community online, and the ability to share what’s working and what isn’t in real time is invaluable to many employees today.”
“We expect to see this continue in earnest among corporations, and we particularly expect to see the small- to medium-size business market gravitate here so that they can augment traditionally thin staffs with expertise from larger organizations.”
The Social Network Practitioner Consensus Survey was conducted by i4cp, in conjunction with HR.com, in May 2007. A total of 323 organizations participated.