40% Of Canadian Execs Use Social Media Because They “Need To” [STUDY]

It’s a good thing this survey of Canadian business executives was anonymous, or else plenty of people would be questioning how informed they are about their everyday business decisions.

Of the 400 executives polled on their approach to social media, 40 percent – or 160 total – say they’re using social media because they feel they need, but don’t necessarily want, be using it.

A quarter of the executives polled say they don’t use social media and they see no value in it, while 35 percent do indeed see the value in their use of social media and are quite active on it.

This mixed attitude towards Twitter, Facebook and the rest is pretty surprising given how pervasive it’s become in the business world. Big corporations like McDonalds and small businesses like your local neighborhood greasy spoon are all using social media to drive business.

But Queen’s School of Business in Kingston, Ontario found that Canadian executives aren’t quite on board the social media train. And their uneasy embrace of social mirrors the attitude that Americans have towards social media – becoming more informed through the links and opinions shared on their networks, but remaining skeptical about the trustworthiness of that information.

Two in ten Canadian execs say they allow no social media use at work, and another two in ten believe that social media use by their employees is so potentially dangerous that it should be monitored outside of the 9-5 work day.

Still, 68 percent do have a social media policy of some sort at their workplace, and they understand that it’s a potentially powerful tool: 88 percent believe that using social media after work hours can have a big impact on their business – but whether that’s positive or negative is still up for debate.

Four in ten execs believe that increasing brand awareness is the top benefit to be gained from social media use, followed by recruiting talent (even though only four percent of respondents actually used social media to hire), understanding their customers better, gaining new business and networking.

Even though a quarter of these execs say they don’t use social media and see no value in it, a significant number (one third) believes that social media proficiency on a potential new employee’s resume is just as valuable as speaking a second language or having international work experience.

And despite the mixed feelings about social media, 72 percent of those polled say they’re going to invest the same or more money into Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and maybe even Pinterest in 2012.

(Businessman starting at his computer image via Shutterstock)