You would expect IT professionals to lead the way in their usage of social media, and that’s just what turned up in the results of the 5th annual Hiscox DNA of an Entrepreneur survey. It’s notable not just that IT professionals are using social media, but also some of the different ways that they are using this growing communications channel.
How IT Professionals Use Social Media
Customer service/keeping in touch with customers – 41%
Communications/PR/marketing – 34%
Internal communication – 25%
Benchmarking/market research – 16%
Prospecting – 13%
IT professionals had the highest rate of social media usage for internal communications of all the industries surveyed. Why is this significant? As first adopters of new technologies, people in the IT field often lead the way in utilizing new technologies years ahead of the rest of the general population and the business world. While printed mail began its gradual decline years ago and even e-mail seems antiquated to the younger Millennial generation, social media usage is still on the rise with the IT sector leading the way.
Does this mean that the financial services industry, which reported using social media half as much as IT professionals for internal communications, should incorporate this into their future operations? What about the manufacturing sector, where only 6% reported using social media for this purpose? Is there anything that would raise their adoption rate to match the IT professionals we surveyed?
Do You Need To Always Be On?
Are there any downsides to the always on social media adoption being led by IT professionals? Possibly. Not only were IT professionals most likely to use social media for a variety of reasons, they were also the second most likely industry to report trouble sleeping due to worries about their business (47%). Who led the way? The social media laggards in the manufacturing sector. That might be correlated not so much to social media use as their ongoing adaptation to the changing global economy. This means organizations can be located wherever it is most efficient for the marketplace. Team members don’t even need to meet in person any more – they can just communicate over social media.
How are other industries that you work with using social media in their businesses? Please share your thoughts in the section for Comments below.
Hunter Hoffmann is Head of US Communications for Hiscox, a company that provides specialized business insurance for IT professionals including consultants, project managers, programmers, developers, designers, and many more. Follow him on Twitter @hhsez.