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Social Media Has Changed The Business Buying Process…but how?

When we understand how social media changes professional decision-making, organizations can be more efficient, timely and supportive in how they interact with customers- ultimately leading to better engagement and decision-making in business. 

I am pleased to announce the launch of the 2nd annual New Symbiosis of Professional Networks research study.

I am conducting the study along with Vanessa DiMauro, CEO, Leader Networks as part of our 2009/2010 fellowship with The Society for New Communications Research (SNCR).

This annual study, explores how social media is impacting business by better understanding how business leaders use social media and social networks to support and inform their decisions. 

Participants in this year’s study will receive a free summary copy of the results. A link to the survey and last year’s findings can be found on the research website.  

About the Research

The New Symbiosis of Professional Networks is an annual research study designed to benchmark the impact of social media on enterprise decision-making. 

The social nature of decision-making has increased significantly, connecting generations of professionals to each other—changing the dynamics of customer relationship management, marketing, and communications – forever. 

In the first study, we focused on professionals’ use of social media—and it all comes back to the strength of the relationship. Human relationships and peer-to-peer decision-making are inherently interrelated.  Professional networks facilitate vast interactions, connections, and networks of people by enabling collaboration anywhere and at any time. 

Communities of practice, professional networks, social media, email, and SMS are among the tools that enable multi-channel access for individuals (employees, customers, partners, and suppliers).

In this second study (in the series) we will further examine the role of social media on decision-making among enterprise users and explore the dynamics of trust as well as the value of engagement and collaboration to support decision making and innovation across company operations for internal and external purposes. The study explores the following questions:

  • Is social media regarded as a trustworthy source of information for professionals? 
  • What do enterprise decision makers value most when interacting with peers through social media and social networks? 
  • How do enterprise decision makers use social media to gather information, advice and support peer collaboration; and how do they compare to traditional off-line networking and knowledge share? 
  • What tools and sources of social media are relied upon by professionals to make decisions? 
  • Will social media change the business and practice of enterprise-level operations (internal and external)? 
  • How do business leaders use social media for customer engagement/support; innovation of products and service; employee engagement; strategy development; sales and marketing? 
  • What has changed since 2009 in terms of social media usage and trust among professional decision-makers

The methodology for this study will be a two-pronged approach.  A survey will be issued to gather quantitative data about professionals perceptions and experiences with social media in support of their decision-making.

Following the survey, select interviews will be conducted using a semi-structured interview guide among a set of survey respondents who are willing to participate in the second phase of the study.  The final study report will blend the survey research findings and the interview results to offer a well-rounded examination of the social media for decision-making process and opportunities and essentially helps us all use social media more effectively in professional settings. We need your help to make this a success! 

Please take the survey to contribute your point of view to this research and help us spread the word to your colleagues, fans and followers!

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  • Hi Donald,
    Knowing well the quality of the thinking (and a fan of the blog contents) of your colleague Vanessa, am very interested in seeing these results and strongly endorse participation in the survey.
    Thanks for sharing it here.
  • Marilyn,
    Thank you so much for supporting this research effort! Your support means a lot.  We are really excited about this study and we believe it will help inform the industry about how to use social business as part of the value chain. We will of course share the results with all participants so everyone can benefit.

    thank you so much,