IT Decision makers find Social Media valuable

This is by far the most important report I’ve seen this year for the IT industry.

If you’re trying to prove to your executives at your company that a social media program is important, this will be important data to bring forth.

This recent report from Research IT Toolbox (which I’ve saved and am picking apart on my flight) demonstrates that IT decision makers are using social media to make decisoins.

The full PDF is available for download (PDF)

Key Findings from the report:

1) IT Decision Makers consume more Social Media than Vendor Content
Is it true? the Corporate website is irrelevant? I think so.


IT decision-makers and influencers spend an average of 3 ½ hours per week consuming or participating in social media, more than they do consuming editorial media or vendor content. Executive decision-makers have the highest usage profile among IT audiences. Using our new Social Media Index, which uses Business Manager consumption of social media to calculate a mean score of 100, IT audiences score as follows:
o Executive Decision-Maker: 121
o IT Decision-Maker: 96.5
o Business Manager: 100
o IT Analyst: 121
o Developer: 111

2) Vendor websites are the most referenced? I see a discrepancy in the report, as it suggested that decision makers are using the vendor website to make decisions. In the previous finding one, that’s a clear contradiction.


IT decision-makers and influencers reference vendor Web sites more (and trade magazines and editorial web sites slightly less) than user-generated content for making purchasing decisions, but trust user-generated content more than they do either of these traditional content sources.

3) Although websites are the most references, social media is more trusted


Although IT decision-makers and influencers reference vendor and editorial Web sites more than user-generated content for making purchasing decisions, IT trusts user-generated content morethan they do these traditional content sourcesWhat

4) Most decision makers think that social media is helpful
Social media is helpful in making better decisions. Perhaps it is more objective, or customer opinions matter the most


Nearly two-thirds of respondents believe that social media content and user-generated tools have made for a more informed purchasing decision, and more than three-quarters believe they have made their lives more efficient.

5) Objectivity in social media is the most important
Authentic voices from other customers are the most important


The single most valuable thing about social media for IT decision-makers and influencers is its objective feedback on products and services from multiple sources.

6) Most agree that Social Media makes things more efficient


By a three-to-one margin, IT decision-makers and influencers believe user-generated content and social media tools have made life more efficient.

Thanks to Sam Levin for the link.

  • http://www.dallasfreeman.com Dallas Freeman

    Excellent find Jeremiah, I see why you labelled it as the most important report you’ve seen for the year.

  • http://markharrison.wordpress.com Mark Harrison

    >> 1) IT Decision Makers consume more Social Media than Vendor Content
    > Is it true?
    > that the Corporate website is irrelevant?

    If you read a report that said:

    “Human Beings consume more oxygen than the consume water”

    Would you ask:

    “Is it true?
    That water is irrelevant?”

    There’s a huge difference in saying “You need Social Media to help your business” and saying “You only need Social Media to help your business”.

    Necessary Sufficient

    As an “end user” of consultancy services, I’m looking for SNO experts that say they need to work WITH websites / PR / press and the like rather than those that imply that everything else is irrelevant.

  • http://markharrison.wordpress.com Mark Harrison

    Oops – I had written “Necessary (NOT EQUAL TO) Sufficient” as a less than, greater than pair…

    WordPress clearly interpreted that as a null tag….

    I meant to write:

    “Necessary IS NOT THE SAME AS Sufficient”

  • http://www.web-strategist.com/blog/ jeremiah_owyang

    Mark

    Good points, irrelevant is a strong word, no doubt.

    If IT decision makers trust social media more, then corporate websites (and collateral) need to evolve to be trusted.

    We know that corporate websites are not going away, but they could sure be improved.

    Kindly read the post that I point about the evolution.

  • http://www.webstrategyblog.com Karen O’Brien

    I agree – this is one of the most important studies to date on IT and Social Media! We sent this out to our clients and there was a lot of positive reaction… many of them have been looking for such a study that showed an influence of social media with IT decision-making.

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  • http://blog.analystrelations.com Ludovic

    Interesting results. But, isn’t the fact the sample is self selecting from IT Toolbox says a lot already?

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