The vast majority of professionals worldwide are using social technologies for business purposes, according to an August 2009 survey by Mzinga and Babson Executive Education. A full 86% of respondents to the survey of professionals from a variety of industries said they had adopted social technologies. This underscores that social media isn’t just a fad – business professionals are adopting social media and getting results.
The survey included a variety of interesting information including which specific business areas professionals are using social media for. The most common use of social media is for Marketing, with 57% leveraging social media for this purpose. This isn’t surprising since the marketing opportunities of social media are vast.
Surprisingly, 39% are using social media for internal learning and collaboration. This is a big opportunity for many businesses – to leverage social media internally to drive collaboration and to create a learning culture.
29% are using social media for customer service and support, which isn’t surprising as customers increasingly look for customer service help on Twitter, Facebook and even their blogs. 25% are using social media for sales – this is a number that will probably increase as the opportunity for lead generation, prospecting and research through sites like LinkedIn become more main stream. In addition there are a variety of options to directly drive sales online through e-commerce solutions or increased visibility with sites like ebay, craigslist and online coupon sites.
21% are using Social Media for Human Resources, probably primarily in the area of recruiting, which is one of the key ways many organizations are using social media. For recruiting social media can be used to find and qualify potential candidates.
Only 16% are using social media for strategy, which can be pretty broadly interpreted. Finally 14% use social media for product development. Just listening to social media has a number of key benefits, including the opportunity to understand what customers think about your product, your competitors and your category.