A survey of business leaders on their use of online professional networks shows that 52% use those networks to keep track of peers and colleagues; 44% use them for access to thought leadership/information not provided elsewhere; and 43% use them to showcase themselves or their company. The study, by Society of New Communications Research (SNCR) fellows Don Bulmer and Vanessa DiMauro, involved 356 participants, a quarter of them CEOs. Other survey highlights include:
• 48% say they lightly rely on professional networks for data/advice/insight to support business decisions; 25% say heavily; 23% say little; and 4% say not at all.
• The top online networks used by professionals: LinkedIn, 92%; Facebook, 51%; Twitter, 41%; and Plaxo, 13%.
• Of the top online steps used to inform decision making, 75% say to conduct research via search engines; 73% to visit the company Web site; and 42% to seek peer referral.
• Just 14% strongly trust online information. The majority of respondents (69%) say they “somewhat” trust it. PRN