Large Study of Social Media Used By Business Professionals

Santa Monica, California (PRESS RELEASE – November 8, 2009) – — the Web’s leading ally for busy people interested in making more informed and effective business purchasing decisions – unveiled today results of its 2009 Business Social Media Benchmarking Study. Based on insights from 2,948 professionals across North America, the study provides extensive information on how businesses and business people use social media in the workplace.

Key survey findings include:

  • Webinars and podcasts are top social media resources for business professionals, used by 69% of those who turn to social media channels for business information.
  • Facebook is the dominant social network on which consumer-focused companies maintain one or more profiles, cited by 83% of respondents versus 45% for Twitter. Business-to-business (B2B) companies, however, maintain a presence on both platforms with 77% maintaining a profile on Facebook and 73% on Twitter.
  • Current trends to restrict access to social networks like Facebook or Twitter at work need to be re-thought in light of the business value in such activity.
  • Among respondents using social media for business purposes in their day-to-day jobs, 62% visit company or brand profiles on social networking sites and 55% search for business information on these sites.
  • Consultants and marketing communications professionals are the most active users of social media as a resource for business information, particularly in micro (<10 employees) and small businesses (10-99 employees). IT professionals have the lowest participation rate.
  • Both companies and employees are scaling a massive learning curve with social media.
  • The average company in this study was planning, developing or running seven different social media initiatives; 65% of respondents staffing those initiatives, and 71% of companies themselves, have less than two years of experience with social media for business.
  • Building brand awareness and brand reputation are two of the top social media success metrics, but nearly two-thirds of companies focused on these metrics have little to no insight into performance via standard or easily accessible reports.

“We are constantly analyzing trends to determine exactly what tools business professionals leverage most for purchasing,” said Ben Hanna, Ph.D., vice president, marketing, “This survey was a way for us to benchmark where businesses, and business people, are finding value in social media in order to further enhance our site offerings and better serve our users.”

The study also delved into business participation on, and attitudes toward, Q&A sites to support development of the company’s new offering, Answers ( Answers is an online resource where users ask questions about business challenges, products or services and receive high quality advice from experienced industry colleagues.

The survey was conducted online from August 11 to September 4, 2009.   2,948 unique respondents from the United States or Canada currently using social media as part of their normal work routine (e.g., read blogs, use Twitter to find business-related information, etc.) and/or work for a company involved in social media initiatives participated in the study. A copy of the complete study can be downloaded from

All questions about social media usage and specific results to the survey can be broken-out by one or more of the respondent profile dimensions. Contact Jonathan Cutler ( for more information or to request a custom analysis.

About (, a wholly owned subsidiary of R.H. Donnelley Corporation, is the Web’s leading ally for busy people interested in making more informed, more effective business purchasing decisions. The site has more than 8 million unique visitors per month and the company maintains a strong presence in the emerging world of B2B social media through Twitter, blogging and the recently launched Answers. The site directly connects B2B advertisers with active business buyers searching for products and services across all stages of the purchasing process.

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Anita Campbell Anita Campbell is the Founder, CEO and Publisher of Small Business Trends and has been following trends in small businesses since 2003. She is the owner of BizSugar, a social media site for small businesses.

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