Social network participation increasingly affects executive decision making, according to 2nd Annual New Symbiosis of Professional Networks study

New Symbiosis of Professional Networks Study Benchmarks the Impact of Social Media on Enterprise Decision-Making

San Jose, CA, March 17, 2011 -- The Society for New Communications Research (SNCR), a global nonprofit research and education foundation and think tank, announced the results of the 2nd annual New Symbiosis of Professional Networks Study led by SNCR Fellows Donald Bulmer, Vice President, Global Communications, Industry and Influencer Relations, SAP, and Vanessa DiMauro, CEO of Leader Networks. The study -- supported by quantitative data gathered from more than 100 senior business professionals and executives -- benchmarks the impact of social media on enterprise decision-making.

This study extends the research Bulmer and DiMauro began in 2009 and 2010 focusing on professionals’ use of social media for decision-making. The 2010-2011 study examines the dynamics of trust that professionals have within their social media communities, as well as the value of engagement and collaboration to support decision-making and innovation across company operations for internal and external purposes.

Of the 114 executives who participated in the study, most were key decision makers in their respective companies that ranged in size from under 100 to over 50,000 full time employees.

Key Finding include:

Social networks have evolved to become knowledge and communication networks, and access to thought leadership content is now the primary reason professionals visit networks and communities. Professionals are collaborating with each other through the thought leadership content they generate, curate or share. No longer is collaboration an experience between a limited number of people.

While nearly all professionals surveyed (97%) use LinkedIn, the use of smaller (niche) professional networks are actively being used to find peers and content specifically related to the work that they do (by role, industry, geography, etc.). Professionals are finding the right mix of large open networks and private communities to support their learning, networking and decision-making activities.

Professional communities are being used more frequently to inform business strategy and supporting new products and services (much more than in 2009). A majority (80%) of respondents are able to accelerate decision process and information/strategy development by participating in online communities. Endorsement (e.g. like, read, share, retweet) is at the center of collaboration in social media communities. “The Crescendo Effect” in social media environments has great impact on buying decisions. High quality content yields transparency and credibility.

“Business professionals are changing how they collaborate as a result of online professional communities and peer networks,” stated Bulmer about the study.

“Professional collaboration is changing from a small professional exchange into an interaction with content in more public ways,” added DiMauro. “The consequence of sharing content online is enhanced influence.“ Additional findings and insights from the 2nd Annual New Symbiosis of Professional Networks study will be posted through out the week on Don Bulmer's blog, Everyday Influence and Vanessa DiMauro's blog, Building Online Communities for Business.

Visit for the full study results.

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 focused on the advanced study of the latest developments in new media and communications, and their effect on traditional media and business models, communications, culture and society. For more information, visit


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