Business & Economy

Over 90% business executives use social media: Survey

NetIndian News Network

New Delhi, March 22, 2012

More than 90% of business executives use social media in India, and spend anywhere between 30 minutes and 6 hours every day on sites such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Skype and Google+ from their notebook PCs, smartphones and tablets, a new study has shown.

According to its findings, 88% of executives in India use social media primarily as a tool for better professional networking, 75% chiefly for social networking, while 15% use it for finding new career or employment opportunities.
The study titled Social Media Usage Habits of Business Executives in India, March 2012, was published today by CyberMedia Research (CMR), a technology, entrepreneurship, healthcare, utilities and user intelligence firm.
"Social media takes a lot of time, and time spent online by Indian executives in a day runs up to 6 hours. This has raised concerns about loss of time and productivity. However, our study reveals that at the workplace, social media is being increasingly used by professionals for multi-tasking and for better time management. Our survey respondents feel that social networking tools help them communicate faster, with a larger audience in a relatively shorter time span," Anirban Banerjee, Associate Vice President, Research and Advisory Services, CMR, said.
For professional interactions, Linkedin is used by more than 90% of business executives in India, while 80% indicated using Twitter, and 70% used Skype. Facebook is now being increasingly used for social communications by businesses, and this is gradually replacing other forms of outbound communication.
For personal and social networking Facebook, Google+, Twitter, MySpace and Orkut emerged amongst the top five used social media platforms. Google+ is being used by nearly 65% of business executives, while 64% use Twitter.
Prabhu Ram, General Manager, Research and Consulting, CMR, said: “A majority of the established social networking platforms have developed a unique positioning for themselves amongst users. For instance, while Linkedin is used for professional networking and lead generation, Facebook is preferred for social networking. As per our survey results, a ‘new generation’ tool like Google+ is being used in both professional and personal settings within a short span of its launch.”
According to the survey, respondents indicated multiple modes for accessing social networks. While notebook PCs remained the most preferred medium for accessing social platforms, an interesting trend is that the use of smartphones to access social networks now exceeds that of desktop PCs. Interestingly, tablets are gaining traction amongst the respondents, and 15% reported its usage.
Faisal Kawoosa, Senior Manager, Research and Consulting, CMR, said: “Indians have traditionally favored personal computers at work and home to log online. An interesting trend that emerges from our study is that smartphones are being increasingly used for connecting to social networks at workplace and home, providing a unique uninterrupted user experience.”
As per CMR’s India Monthly Mobile Handsets Market Review for CY 2011, February 2012 release, in 2011 the India smart phones market witnessed launch of 150 models by over 30 vendors. Overall smart phone shipments touched 11.2 million units in calendar year 2011 recording a year-on-year growth of 87%.
This rise in the adoption of smart phones added to the increase in use of social media for personal and professional interactions and raised concerns, particularly amongst operators, about its impact on other forms of traditional communications, including phone usage, text messaging and email. 
Social media usage has resulted in decrease of e-mail communications. CMR survey respondents indicated a preference for social networking tools over email for business communications with contacts in their social network. Only 15% of respondents indicated using emails "frequently" for communicating with contacts already present in their social networks.
Similarly, SMS / text messaging has taken some impact from the ascent of social media. A majority of our respondents indicated using social networking tools over text messaging for communicating with contacts present in their social network. Only 27% respondents indicated using SMS / text messaging frequently for contacts on their social networks.
However when it comes to phone usage, 63% of respondents still prefer to call. This shows that phone usage has been least impacted by the rise of social media.
The CMR Social Media Survey 2012 reveals that an overwhelming 93% of respondents are not inclined to pay a fee for their social network usage. Seven per cent of respondents indicated they would be willing to pay, if Social Media sites offer premium features and content. 
“Users would largely prefer to have free access to social networking platforms. However, if social media sites provide new, user-specific applications, content and premium networking tools and metrics, professional users may be willing to pay a fee. This indicates there could be some traction amongst target users going forward, if social networking service providers are able to put together the right package and able to demonstrate a reasonable RoI," Banerjee said.
For the purposes of the study, social media was defined as “the technology and platforms that enable creation, collaboration and consumption of user-generated content by participants and the public at large through the internet. This includes the use of various online technology tools that enable individuals and organizations to communicate easily via the internet for sharing information and resources.”
As social media continues to gain traction and become a critical part of mainstream culture and business communications, its impact on business and personal communications needs to be studied. 
A press release from CMR said the study was designed with the aim of examining the use of social media by business executives, the tools used for social networking, as well as other issues surrounding the use of social media. For building corporate image, brand and product awareness, and reputation management, user-generated content is an important means.
The online survey was conducted from December 2011 to February 2012 and 300 business executives acrossIndia and across industry verticals participated in it, the release added.