Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Enterprise 2.0:: Engineers Use Social Media

From my company blog post

If "Web 2.0" was the next iteration of the web, is "Enterprise 2.0" the next iteration of business? There seems to be some evidence to support this as not only a viable theory but a hugely important one. Under its current trajectory social media is going to lower internal corporate barriers and walls. This is largely because Social media provides a window into the customer's life. The shift poses a huge marketing opportunity that has been widely documented. In much of the chatter something (important) has been ignored, what social media means to product designers. The problem Apple encountered with the iphone 4 wasn't found by the media, it was found on the Social Web. Look at the data this 1 user provides, highlights the problem, explains how to recreate the problem and even how to avoid it.

As a designer you would be able to see the issue, test it yourself and save time on the fix just by watching what 1 guy figured out. It appears Apple knew about the problem when the product was lunched but if they didn't the Social web had some answers. This week I came across and interesting study (thanks to.. @MikeDemler for pointing it out and @SAEintl for creating it) about how engineers are using social media. I don't know the confidence intervals of this study but it is a sample of 1,153 completed surveys, with a 12.6% completion rate so it should be fairly representative of the class. Drilling down into the data there are some very interesting trends amongst engineers when it comes to social media...

#1 61% of engineers are using social media

#2 Of that group 55% are using Social Media for business purposes (at least some of the time)

This group represents a mindset that generally would not fit the classic techno-graphic profile of heavy social media users. This can be seen in the classes derived from the study. Look closely at the youngest group in the study they are under 35.


The question that this leads me to is "how is social media being used by this group of respondents?"...

Again there is something else shocking in these numbers (kind of)... 11% are using social media to solve problems, 10% are using social media to find new suppliers, and 20% use it to get technical information. To this (likely growing) group social media is a resource that actually drives real results.

Social media is a tool for use far beyond promotional marketing. Demonstratively it is a tool that can be used in product design, understanding distribution issues, and price point analysis. Social Media when listened to correctly can provide substantive insights into why products aren't selling, and what the public thinks about them. That is just 1 area of Social Media and it has nothing to do with promoting everything to do with marketing!


The official ages from the study are listed below::