But let's look at it another way. Engineers do not use B2B publications "to request or share business information, and 81 percent never use the technology to collaboratively solve technical problems." No, they use email, which is social media.
The UK PR firm, Napier published an update on a similar survey last year and found that in europe, engineers have more than doubled their use of social media to research a company between 2009 and 2011, which generally ties into the accepted adoption curve. The EE Times survey showed almost 20 percent of engineers do use social media for collaboration and work research, which means use has jumped the chasm. Those who aren't currently using it are technology laggards.
But let's just say that social media isn't useful to engineers. Why would it not be useful to them when clearly millions of other people in other industries are adopting it? It comes down to content. if you take a look at what most companies are doing with the social media programs, you'll find that they are only regurgitating data sheets, marketing brochures and content already found on their website. There is no reason to look at a corporations social media site if their is nothing particularly noteworthy to read or watch.
Social media is not mass communication, but the companies that serve engineers are still treating it like banner ads.
Hi Brian, thanks for sharing this incredibly valuable (and revealing!) information. I think this aligns well with our expectations of where engineers prefer to engage.
What concerns me is that no guidance is provided on how engineers use other, less commercial social platforms, such as blogs, discussion forums and online communities to collaborate. If any questions had been asked around these, I'm confident the results would show that engineers are more social than they may think.
For instance, at National Instruments, we have more than 175K registered engineers on our community where more than 57% of technical questions are answered by each other (i.e. non-NI employees). They are solving each others problems and providing best-practices and thought-leadership.
I'm happy to share more examples of how we see engineers effectively using social platforms and paradigms to get work done. Just let me know.
Thanks again and take care.