Among Decision-Makers, LinkedIn The Most-Used Social Network for Work

By Evan LePage | 2 years ago | No Comments

New data from Forrester confirms that LinkedIn is the most-used social network for work among ‘decision-makers’.

Using data collected from 283 of these business leaders at North American or European companies with over 100 employees, they were able to determine that LinkedIn was used by 81% of respondents; 48% used LinkedIn for both business and personal purposes, while 26% used it for business primarily, according to a post by Zachary Reiss-Davis.

Forrester Most Used Social Network For Work

The wide use of LinkedIn for business illustrates the broad acceptance of the social network’s contribution to business success. Be it recruiting, networking, marketing or anything else, business leaders are clearly recognizing the value of LinkedIn at work.

Facebook showed the opposite trend. While 81% of ‘decision-makers’ also use Facebook, the greatest number of them (42%) used it for primarily personal purposes compared to 37% for both business and personal. Clearly, there’s still a case to be made for why high-level employees should be using Facebook to accomplish work goals.

Forums Outperform Major Social Networks

Although the stats are good news for LinkedIn, and arguably for Facebook as well, the data showed that decision-makers are still more inclined to use forums for business. “Communities or forums that appear to be independent of any single vendor or brand,” beat out all social networks among those surveyed, with 85% of those surveyed visiting these forums, and a large majority of them for both personal and work purposes.

Photo by Victor1558.
Decision-makers still lean more towards forums than social networks for work purposes. Photo by Victor1558.

Vendor support or discussion forums also proved to be widely used among decision-makers. While they fell slightly behind LinkedIn and Facebook (at 80% usage), more of the business people surveyed used these forums for work purposes than either of those social networks.

And both types of forums were far more used than other leading social networks, including Twitter (62% usage), Google+ (49% usage), and Pinterest (32% usage). Obviously forums have business advantages that lead to them outperforming these social tools. While we don’t know what they are exactly, anonymity and the business-focused nature of forums may play a role.

Social Media Use For Work Now Widespread

Overall Forrester’s data, collected using B2B Social Technographics, showed that 100% of the surveyed ‘decision-makers’ used social media for work purposes. This remarkable stat make it clear that the business benefits of social are starting to sink in.

So which of these networks do you use most for business?

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Blend_Marketing 5pts

We wonder what the definition of 'use' in this study really is. It was probably left up to the respondents to determine the meaning of the question 'do you use LinkedIn' and many may have confused this with 'do you look at LinkedIn'. 

We don't disagree with the findings, LinkedIn is the most popular, but knowing how professionals really use the network should influence how marketers approach it. 

The fact that forums and communities rate so highly among professionals is also a sure fire sign that brands need to think beyond social media marketing for true reach and engagement.

wickitservices 5pts

Interesting stuff. I certainly agree that business focused forums are the most useful places to connect  and discuss in depth specific issues rather than general *marketing* guff.

I wonder how this changes when self-employed and micro-business owners are asked the same questions? I have yet to meet a micro-business owner who has felt the benefit of LinkedIn though many swear by Twitter. Purely non-scientific and anecdotal evidence, of course, so it would be good to see real statistics.