78 Percent of Executives Admit That Having a Social Strategy is Critical to Business Success

by Kate Brodock on 30 June 2011

Posted in: Discussion,From the Field,Social Media

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Jive Software came out with the results of study yesterday of 902 US-based knowledge workers that indicated that social business is a top executive strategic imperative, and, as you can imagine, amongst millenials.  Additionally, app stores are becoming more popular in business/enterprise settings, and while email may be growing, it’s not solving many of the communication issues in the enterprise.

We’ve highlighted many of the key findings of the report below. Check out the nice infographic that Jive put together to highlight some of the data also.

Let us know your thoughts below!

Key Findings of the Report:

Social Business is a Top Executive Strategic Imperative

  • 78% of executives admit that having a social strategy is critical to business success.
  • 66% of executives believe that social applications for business represent a fundamental shift in how work will get done and how companies will engage with customers.
  • 53% of executives believe they must adopt Social Business or risk falling behind.
  • 62% of executives cite the potential to achieve “better customer loyalty and service levels” and 57% anticipate “increased revenue or sales” as a result of implementing a Social Business strategy.
  • Online communities are an important source of information for making purchase decisions, especially for millennials.
    • 54% of millennials said that they are more likely to rely on and make purchase decisions from information shared via personal contacts in online communities versus 33% more likely to use information from “official” company sources.
  • However, only 17% of executives think that their companies are “ahead of the curve” in terms of adequate adoption of a social strategy.
    • Executives at mid-size companies are more confident in their social strategies than executives at large companies.

COMMENTS: Because millenials are the next generation of not only consumers, but of workers, it seems likely that the executive thought-process and the millenial thought process will converge, and perhaps close in on the “middle” group of employees, management, etc to close the gap, and get more buy-in throughout the organization.

The huge difference in commitment level for future social strategy implementation and the view of where executives view their company’s current social strategy could signify perhaps some low-level tipping point in adoption of social across all business sizes.  While past statistics have been similar in terms of where executives view their company, the numbers that have identified a social strategy as “critical,” “fundamental,” or that they “must” adopt social have not been that high in past years. I’m guessing that the number of respondents who feel more comfortable about their social strategy will rise – perhaps significantly – over the course of this year.


App Stores are Gaining Traction in the Enterprise

  • 70% of executives and 51% of millennials have downloaded at least 1 web-based application for work use either on their mobile device or personal computer.
  • 92% of executives and 82% of millennials believe that work-related web-based apps greatly or somewhat increased their productivity.
  • 58% of executives and 58% of millennials did not seek or receive permission from a systems administrator or an IT professional before downloading or using apps in the workplace.

COMMENTS: Not too much compelling (to me) here except the majority of respondents who didn’t get permission from IT specialists within their company.  I have a feeling that this means more and different types of phones are starting to be used in the enterprise (expansion from Blackberry, which has always been well-known for it’s extensive business applications).

This could perhaps indicate that more and more business functions are moving out of the IT department and somewhere else – very likely the Cloud – where you can easily bypass IT (think Salesforce).


Email Usage is Growing, but is Not Solving Communication Challenges

  • 77% of executives, 68% of millennials and 61% of general knowledge workers indicated that email usage in the workplace has increased in the last two years.
  • 89% of executives, 88% of millennials and 76% of general knowledge workers believe that they and their teams would be more productive if they could dramatically reduce the time spent writing and reading emails.
  • 73% of executives, 73% of millennials and 64% of general knowledge workers agree that social platforms will fundamentally change the way people share, connect and learn at work and with companies.

COMMENTS: Part of this trend is likely linked to the increased number of devices and increased speed of communication that have happened over the last 5-10 years. Email is now being treated as an immediate, often short response that goes with you everywhere, all day. Response to emails – which have less depth to them – comes faster, inboxes get fuller…. you get the picture.

Tools like Yammer and Chatter have been helpful in organizing conversations and setting action items within groups in enterprise settings, and offer a way to consolidate the tools being used (linked to an increase in app stores and social platforms).

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