CyberMedia Research Social Media Survey 2012

More than 90% business executives in India use Social Media; of this, 82% use social media at the workplace, 15% indicated they do not access social media at work, while 3% are non-users

88% of ‘users’ classified their primary purpose of accessing Social Media platforms as ‘professional networking’, 75% indicated ‘social networking’, while 18% go online for ‘job search’

Social Media takes up a good part of an executive’s day – time spent online ranges between 30-60 minutes and goes up to 6 hours per day, but helps executives multi-task productively

Linkedin is used by more than 90% of respondents for business purposes; Google+ is used by over 50% executives in professional settings and nearly 65% executives for personal social networking

Laptop PCs are the most preferred medium for connecting to social platforms; while the use of smartphones for connecting to social networks is now equal to desktop PCs, 15% of respondents also use tablets to go online

While social media has impacted the use of email and SMS for communicating with contacts already on a social network, phone usage has not seen any marked negative impact

New Delhi / Gurgaon : More than 90% of business executives use Social Media in India, and spend anywhere between 30 minutes to 6 hours every day on sites such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Skype and Google+ from their notebook PCs, smartphones and tablets.

This was reported in a new study titled Social Media Usage Habits of Business Executives in India, March 2012, published today by CyberMedia Research (CMR), a Technology, Entrepreneurship, Healthcare, Utilities and User intelligence firm. According to the study findings, 88% of executives in India use Social Media primarily as a tool for better professional networking, 75% chiefly for social networking, while 15% use it for finding new career or employment opportunities.

Figure 1. Driving Factors for Usage of Social Media (% of respondents, n = 300)

*Source: CyberMedia Research Special Report “Social Media Usage Habits of Business Executives
in India” (March 2012)

Average Time Spent on Social Media Platforms
“Social media takes a lot of time, and time spent online by Indian executives in a day runs up to 6 hours. This has raised concerns about loss of time and productivity. However, our study reveals that at the workplace, social media is being increasingly used by professionals for multitasking and for better time management. Our survey respondents feel that social networking tools help them communicate faster, with a larger audience in a relatively shorter time span”, stated Anirban Banerjee, Associate Vice President, Research and Advisory Services, CMR.

Indian Executives’ Favorite Social Media Hangouts: Professional versus Personal
For professional interactions, Linkedin is used by more than 90% of business executives in India, while 80% indicated using Twitter, and 70% used Skype. Facebook is now being increasingly used for social communications by businesses, and this is gradually replacing other forms of outbound communication.

For personal and social networking Facebook, Google+, Twitter, MySpace and Orkut emerged amongst the top five used Social Media platforms. Google+ is being used by nearly 65% of business executives, while 64% use Twitter.

According to Prabhu Ram, General Manager, Research and Consulting, CMR, “A majority of the established social networking platforms have developed a unique positioning for themselves amongst users. For instance, while Linkedin is used for professional networking and lead generation, Facebook is preferred for social networking. As per our survey results, a ‘new generation’ tool like Google+ is being used in both professional and personal settings within a short span of its launch.”

Preferred means of connecting to Social Media sites
According to the CMR Social Media Survey 2012, respondents indicated multiple modes for accessing social networks. While notebook PCs remained the most preferred medium for accessing social platforms, an interesting trend is that the use of smartphones to access social networks now exceeds that of desktop PCs. Interestingly, tablets are gaining traction amongst the respondents, and 15% reported its usage.

Figure 3. Indian Executives’’ Favorite Means of Connecting Online
(%age of respondents, n = 300)

*Source: CyberMedia Research Special Report “Social Media Usage Habits of Business Executives
in India” (March 2012)

According to Faisal Kawoosa, Senior Manager, Research and Consulting, CMR, “Indians have traditionally favored personal computers at work and home to log online. An interesting trend that emerges from our study is that smartphones are being increasingly used for connecting to social networks at workplace and home, providing a unique uninterrupted user experience.”

Impact of Social Media on Other Communications
As per CMR’s India Monthly Mobile Handsets Market Review for CY 2011, February 2012 release, in 2011 the India smartphones market witnessed launch of 150 models by over 30 vendors. Overall smartphone shipments touched 11.2 million units in calendar year 2011 recording a year-on-year growth of 87%.

This rise in the adoption of smartphones added to the increase in use of social media for personal and professional interactions and raised concerns, particularly amongst operators, about its impact on other forms of traditional communications, including phone usage, text messaging and email.

Social media usage has resulted in decrease of email communications. CMR survey respondents indicated a preference for social networking tools over email for business communications with contacts in their social network. Only 15% of respondents indicated using emails ‘‘frequently’ for communicating with contacts already present in their social networks.

Similarly, SMS / text messaging has taken some impact from the ascent of social media. A majority of our respondents indicated using social networking tools over text messaging for communicating with contacts present in their social network. Only 27% respondents indicated using SMS / text messaging frequently for contacts on their social networks.

However when it comes to phone usage, 63% of respondents still prefer to call. This shows that phone usage has been least impacted by the rise of social media.

The Way Forward: Will Paid Social Media Work?
The CMR Social Media Survey 2012 reveals that an overwhelming 93% of respondents are not inclined to pay a fee for their social network usage. 7% of respondents indicated they would be willing to pay, if Social Media sites offer premium features and content.

“Users would largely prefer to have free access to social networking platforms. However, if Social Media sites provide new, user-specific applications, content and premium networking tools and metrics, professional users may be willing to pay a fee. This indicates there could be some traction amongst target users going forward, if social networking service providers are able to put together the right package and able to demonstrate a reasonable RoI”, concluded Anirban Banerjee, Associate Vice President, Research and Advisory Services, CMR

About the CMR ‘Social Media Usage Habits of Business Executives in India’ Study

1) For the purposes of this study, Social Media is defined as “The technology and platforms that enable creation, collaboration and consumption of user-generated content by participants and the public at large through the internet. This includes the use of various online technology tools that enable individuals and organizations to communicate easily via the internet for sharing information and resources.”
2) As Social Media continues to gain traction and become a critical part of mainstream culture and business communications, its impact on business and personal communications needs to be studied. Therefore, this study was designed with the aim of examining the use of social media by business executives, the tools used for social networking, as well as other issues surrounding the use of social media. For building corporate image, brand and product awareness, and reputation management, user-generated content is an important means.
3) Online survey conducted from December 2011 to February 2012. 300 business executives across India and across industry verticals participated in the survey. The survey provides insights into the social media behavior of business executives:

  • Accessing Social Media
  • Time spent on Social Media
  • Most preferred platforms
  • Impact on other traditional forms of communication
  • Impact of Social Media on productivity
  • Free versus Pay Social Media platforms: Will Pay work?

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