I was reading this article and as a Cincinnati based IT consulting firm owner, found it interesting. Social networks are influencing our everyday lives more and more each day. This research was conducted by Don Bulmer from SAP and Vanessa DiMauro According to them, there were six key findings:
1. Professional decision-making is becoming more social - enter the era of Social Media Peer Groups (SMPG).
Professionals want to be collaborative in the decision-cycle but not be marketed or sold to online; however online marketing is a preferred activity by companies.
2. The big three have emerged as leading professional networks: LinkedIn, Facebook & Twitter.
The convergence of Internet, mobile, and social media has taken significant shape as professionals rely on anywhere access to information, relationships and networks.
3. Professional networks are emerging as decision-support tools.
Decision-makers are broadening reach to gather information especially among active users.
4. Professionals trust online information almost as much as information gotten from in-person.
Information obtained from offline networks still have highest levels of trust with slight advantage over online (offline: 92% - combined strongly/somewhat trust; online: 83% combined strongly/somewhat trust).
5. Reliance on web-based professional networks and online communities has increased significantly over the past 3 years.
Three quarters of respondents rely on professional networks to support business decisions
6. Social Media use patterns are not pre-determined by age or organizational affiliation.
Younger (20-35) and older professionals (55+) are more active users of social tools than middle aged professionals.
There are more people collaborating outside their company wall than within their organizational intranet.
After reading this, a Bad Company tune came to mind, “Run with the Pack”. There is certainly safety in numbers. My question is this: If everyone is doing the same thing, are they giving up any competitive advantages?