When you want to know what your employees think about social media and social media networking, there’s one easy way to find out: simply ask them. We typically find that the bigger the organization, the more unknowns there are when it comes to what employees think about social media in general and social networking in particular.
We also find that it’s not uncommon for senior leadership to assume that all employees feel the same way they do about social media channels – errr, that is that they’re a big time suck, not where “important people” hang out and really only for the young whippersnappers. Which, of course, we know is not the case at all. Not to mention some fairly dangerous assumptions.
That’s where surveys come in. Surveys are a valuable tool and allow you to move beyond assumptions and gather some data that might just be pretty insightful. And to our way of thinking, any time you can bring data into the equation and use it to drive your strategies instead of assumptions of a group of people who may or may not have their fingers on the pulse of anything related to the digital world … well, that’s a good thing.
How to Develop a Social Media Survey
Have we convinced you to quit guessing and start gathering data? Sweet! Want to know how to get started? Here are some good survey questions to consider posing:
Do you use social media networking sites?
If so, do you use them for:
- Personal use
- Business use
As an aside, here’s a screenshot of some recent results. As you’ll notice, a pretty hefty percentage of the respondents are using social media sites. No surprise to us, but perhaps surprising to senior management.
Do you think your clients (or prospective clients) use social media networking sites?
Do you have a LinkedIn profile?
Do you visit LinkedIn:
If you visit LinkedIn, how often do you post a status update or share a link?
Do you have a blog?
Do you read and/or comment on other people’s blogs?
Do you use Facebook?
If you’re on Facebook, how often?
- Several times a week
- A few times a month
Do you use Twitter? If so, how often?
- Several times a week
- A few times a month
Do you participate in industry or niche forums online or chat groups?
Do you find them professionally beneficial?
If you do participate in industry or niche forums, and only if you don’t mind sharing, which ones do you find to be the most beneficial?
Are there any social networks you’re curious about but don’t feel you know enough about them to participate?
If so, which ones?
If you identified social networks in the question above, would you be interested in learning more about how to more effectively use them – for personal or business use?
If you don’t currently use social media networking channels, do you have any interest in doing so in the future?
The thing we found most interesting about the above question is how many people responded that they are interested in using social media sites and potentially in knowing more. This not only shows us where their collective heads are at, it allows us to tailor our internal training programs to provide content that addresses this and helps us deliver content that helps our clients keep their employees happy. A win-win for all.
Take The Data, Use it to Formulate a Plan
These simple questions can go a long way toward helping you learn where your employees’ heads are at when it comes to social media and social media networking. Their answers to the questions posed above can help you formulate your own corporate social media policies and strategies, they can help you develop internal training programs and can help you avoid relying on assumptions – which I believe we mentioned is dangerous. We’d mention it less often, by the way, if we didn’t regularly come across people making those very assumptions on pretty much a daily basis. Sigh.
Do It. Then Do It Again.
Another thing we recommend is to not only survey your staffers, but that you do it with some regularity. Times change, people change, habits change. And when you can survey your team at regular intervals, you can use these data insights to show you how your culture is evolving and how their thoughts and opinions – on any subject matter, not only with regard to social media, change and evolve, too.
What do you say? Ready to find out what your team thinks about social media and social media networking? Do a survey, then come back and let us know if what you assumed was different than the data they provided as the result of a survey showed you.
Shelly Kramer is the CEO of V3 Integrated Marketing, a full service digital communications agency. She is a marketer, strategist, content creator, speaker and social media savvy geek focused on digital media and all forms of digital strategy, content strategy and creation and online marketing. To the astonishment of her many mathematics professors, she’s also become partial to stats, numbers, analyses and measurement of all kinds. You can find her online at V3 Integrated Marketing on Twitter, where she’s @ShellyKramer and on LinkedIn where she lurks often.