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Social Media – What’s the Purpose?

Just read an interesting article on a Washington survey from the National Journal. Interesting to see that Social media seems to be a bigger deal to Government than private sector. The results:

  • Over 1/2 of Capitol Hill staffers, federal executives and employees of corporations, lobbying firms, nonprofits and other private sector organizations view Twitter as “pointless babble.”

  • Almost 1/3 called Twitter a “passing fad.”
  • Twitter is useful if you want to reach the outside-the-Beltway audience.
  • People using Twitter inside the Beltway are those whose job is to inform people outside the Beltway
  • Almost 20 percent of congressional employees said they use Twitter on a daily or weekly basis, but only 6 percent of feds do so, and 85 percent of them do not Tweet at all.
  • 1/2 of federal executives visit social networking sites in general, vs. 82% of Hill staffers and 67% of private sector employees.
  • Congressional employees report the highest level of personal use.
  • Private sector respondents had the highest rate of using the sites for professional purposes.

A little about the survey respondents:

411 federal executives, more than 75 percent of whom were GS-14 or higher. Almost 60% over the age of 50, and 70% have been in public service for 15 years or more. Over 1/2 of Hill staffers surveyed were 30 years old or younger.


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Adriel Hampton

Interesting stats! I’ve seen Twitter and other social media tools compared to the telephone, just tools. But one reason I think that Twitter is getting a bad rap is it’s like when the telephone first came out: “How do I use it?” “None of my friends has one.” “It’s just a bunch of busybodies and layabouts who need their own telephone.” We can call social media sites just tools, but for someone who’s never used them, they are pretty alien.

Radiah Givens-Nunez

@Adriel agreed tools to help individuals/ organizations maintain(strengthen), and or create new relationships. In addition, it allows organizations to observe activitity that was hidden without this technological tool. For instance: what your competition is up to, what people are saying in reference to your niche/service/product, damage control, etc….

Alice M. Fisher

It is hard to change well entrained modes of communication, such was the case with the advent of computers/internet, can you imagine NOT using either today? How about consider going back to using a Commoder 64? Understanding the strategic and practical application for useage is important and how people use media generationally is critical. I would not use a lawn tractor to trim a shag rug, I would not use a drill to stir a martini, wrong tools for application or job can impact the results for end result. Know thy tools well and their functional and strategic reason for use.