At two recent lectures on Mobile Technology I surveyed participants on their use of social media. It was a simple eight question survey not directly related to the topic I was covering. Several points concerning the participants:
- They covered a wide age range with many in the 30-50 year range.
- They were above average in tech knowledge based on their professions.
- Some were small business owners and others worked for companies of all sizes in the computer training field.
Three of the four questions ask about their use of Facebook and Twitter. The last question ask whether they owned a smartphone or tablet computer.
- Nearly 80% had smartphones but only 17% had a tablet.
- While two-thirds used Facebook weekly only one-quarter used Twitter that often.
Business application - use of Facebook and Twitter:
- Facebook was used to communicate with clients by 40% of participants but only 20% used Twitter for that purpose.
- In a similar vein 33% used Facebook to receive information from companies while 24% used Twitter to do that.
With a total of eight possible responses, a rough measure of "tech savvy" would be the number of boxes each person checked - have a smartphone, use Facebook weekly, etc. etc. Using that measure no one scored the maximum of eight while 26% checked three - typically Facebook weekly, have a smartphone and one additional item. 19% checked four or more but 7% did not check any of the eight boxes.
This was a small sample but I think the results are informative. First and foremost, even though everyone is told they have to use social medial to communicate with stakeholders, a significant majority don't do that at the present. As you might expect the few "heavy hitters" dominated the results and 38% had no business contact at all with others using social media. This is after several years of hearing how Facebook is taking over the world and "everyone" is doing it.
Like most surveys of this type, I made no attempt to assess how well these techniques worked - are people just tweeting and hoping it works or can they measure actual success in product sales or revenue results.
There are many other social media platforms I did not include - primarily to keep it simple. I assumed that a significant number where on LinkedIn but evaluating actual usage would have been somewhat more difficult. Several other lesser known services were considered and will be included in future studies.