07:20 AM

New Study - Does Social Media Influence Business Decisions?

[Here is a guest post from Don Bulmer, Vice President, Global Communications Industry and Influencer Relations at SAP. He is also a Research Fellow at the Society For New Communications Research (SNCR), a Palo Alto based think tank. I'm a founding fellow of SNCR.]

The New Symbiosis of Professional Networks

By Don Bulmer

A great deal of attention and research has been devoted to evangelizing social media as a new form of customer-centric relationship building. Build a network or use social media to deepen customer intimacy has become the mantra of today.

However, what is often overlooked is the impact of social media to change behaviors, and the potential to leverage social media to impact professional's decision-making processes. While everyone is endeavoring to capture the mindshare of the buyer, few understand what success truly looks like.

The New Symbiosis of Professional Networks is a seminal research study by The Society for New Communications Research (SNCR) designed to understand how business leaders use online communities and peer networks to support their decisions.

SNCR Research Fellows Vanessa DiMauro, CEO, Leader Networks andDon Bulmer, VP, SAP and SNCR Board Member are conducting this study.

This study will examine the role that social media has on decision-making among enterprise users. Specifically this study will explore the following questions:

- Is social media typically regarded as a trustworthy source of information for professionals?

- Does social media offer effective tools to access information, advice and engage in professional collaboration? How do they compare to traditional off-line networking?

- What are the tools and sources of social media that professionals rely on to make decisions?

- Will social media change the business and practice of enterprise-level operations?

The results of this study will offer a set of best practice models for effective social media programs to support enterprise decision-making activities, identify opportunities for social media programs to deepen their effectiveness and for professionals to leverage social media efforts to support their practice.

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.

The survey is open to all users and members of professional networks. You can access the survey at http://www.newsymbiosis.com/. All who participate in the survey will receive a free copy of the study results in October.

About the Society for New Communications Research (SNCR):

The Society for New Communications Research is a global nonprofit 501(c)(3) research and education foundation and think tank dedicated to the advanced study of new communications tools, technologies and emerging modes of communication, and their effect on traditional media, professional communications, business, culture and society.