Bi-annual Queen's School of Business Executive Study Focuses on Social
KINGSTON, ON, June 12, 2012 /CNW/ - A new poll of 400 Canadian business
leaders by Queen's School of Business reveals decidedly mixed feelings
about social media. While four in ten (39 per cent) bosses say social
media is something they need to use—whether they want to or not —close
to an equal number (35 per cent) say they use it heavily because it's a
good opportunity for the business, with the remaining 24 per cent
saying it doesn't add any value. Despite these divisions, a strong
majority of executives (72 per cent) are planning to invest the same or
more on social media versus last year.
The survey also reveals that many executives worry about how the use of
social media by their employees might affect the company's reputation.
For example, the vast majority of executives (91 per cent) agree that
employees should be mindful that even when using social media on their
own time they are still representing the company.
"What happens on Twitter doesn't just stay on Twitter," said Kate Rowbotham, Professor of Human Resource Management, Queen's School
of Business. "People may feel that their participation in social media
is personal but the boss doesn't necessarily agree that your opinions
are just your own. We have seen a number of examples of overexposure
on social channels by individuals that has had a negative impact on the
The mic is always on
Close to nine out of ten business leaders (88 per cent) say that
participation in social media after hours can potentially have an
"extremely positive or negative" impact on the company's brand.
One third (34 per cent) disagree with the notion that what their
employees do on their own time is their own business.
Two in ten bosses (22 per cent) feel social media use by employees
outside 9-5 should be monitored.
Over two thirds of executives (68 per cent) report that their
organization has policies on the use of social media at work, while two
in ten (18 per cent) forbid social media usage at work.
It's not what your company can do on social media - but what social
media can do for your company
Increasing brand awareness is perceived by executives as the top benefit
of using social media, mentioned by four in ten (39 per cent) of
respondents. Rounding out the top five responses on the number one
benefit were: recruiting talent, gaining a deeper understanding of
their customers, getting new business/ growth and networking.
"Too many organizations are using social media to amass shallow
acquaintances, when the goal should be to develop fewer, more
meaningful friendships," said Neil Bearse, who leads seminars on social
media for Queen's School of Business. "The fact that so few executives
say their companies are using social media to get to know their
customers suggests that those who do may be enjoying a significant
Other thoughts from the corner office
So much for employee engagement: Only a tiny minority of execs cited retaining top talent (four per cent)
or communicating with employees (three per cent) as the top benefit of
using social channels.
Execs are practicing what they preach: Eight in ten execs polled (82 per cent) are personally using social
media, with LinkedIn as the clear front runner among the channels.
Time to update the resume: When considering a new employee, one third of execs view social media
experience at least as important as speaking a second language or
having international work experience, and one quarter view social media
experience as just as important as years of overall experience or
What Boomers can learn from Gen Y: 51 per cent of execs "strongly agree" and a further 28 per cent "agree"
that social media is making it harder for older employees to compete in
Investing in social media makes cents: Seven in ten execs (72 per cent) report a greater or equal investment
in social media efforts this year compared to 2011.
Join the discussion on Twitter by following @QueensMBA. To download a PDF of the findings or sign up for a complimentary
60-minute webinar - The Art of Engagement: Using Social Media to Build
Customer Loyalty - on June 20th please visit www.business.queensu.ca.
About the Research
The Queen's Executive Survey was conducted by Environics Research Group
and involved telephone interviews with 400 Canadian executives from
March 16 - April 13, 2012. Respondents' job titles included president,
CEO, General Manager, COO, Vice-President and Director, among others.
The results are accurate within +/- 5.0 per cent, 19 times out of 20.
About Queen's School of Business
Queen's School of Business is one of the world's premier business schools - renowned for
exceptional programs, outstanding faculty and research, and the quality
of its graduates. Canadian executives regard Queen's as Canada's most
innovative business school, offering students academic excellence and a
superior overall experience. Queen's School of Business - where
Canada's first Commerce program was launched in 1919 - is located at
Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario. The School also delivers
programs at locations across Canada, as well in the U.S. and the Middle
East and North Africa (MENA) Region.
SOURCE Queen's School of Business
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