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Press Release

NetMediaEurope Study Reveals IT Buyers Use Social Media Without Knowing It

Six-country study from NetMedia Europe highlights that IT pros are suspicious of social networks


  • Six-country study from NetMedia Europe highlights that IT pros are suspicious of social networks, but still rely on them for information
  • Facebook is most popular social media platform for business users
  • UK remains the heaviest user of social media

Only 12 percent of IT decision makers across Europe believe they use social media to inform their decisions. That is the key finding from a six-country study conducted by NetMediaEurope, publisher of eWEEK Europe UK (www.eweekeurope.co.uk), the online publication designed for the new era of IT.

However, on close questioning, more than treble the amount of respondents (38 percent) claimed to react to social media discussions at least once per week. And 23 percent are heavy users of social media, employing it in ways which support their IT decisions.

The research, the first of its kind from NetMediaEurope's new research unit, questioned IT buyers across Europe, and looked into how people use Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, when selecting office and technical equipment.

When it came to how IT decision makers use social media, one third (33 percent) admitted to being moderate users - going onto social networks to keep informed. 12 percent of respondents claimed to be high profile users - being very active, and adding their own content to relevant sites.

And, when gauging opinion on how IT related information is exchanged on social networking sites, one third of respondents said they could live without these sites, one third were neutral, and the remaining one third admitted to relying heavily on them.

Commenting on the findings, Dominique Busso, CEO of NetMediaEurope, said: "It is possible that the very transparency and ease of use of social media has masked the extent to which people use these sites. Respondents tended to talk about using advice from experts and other individuals, without focusing on the fact that that advice is increasingly brought to them through social media.

"I firmly believe social networking sites are here to stay. IT pros seem almost suspicious of social media, but are all too keen to use the platform when they perceive they are getting value from it."

Adding his comments, Peter Judge, editor-in-chief at eWeek Europe UK, said: "The finding that one in eight IT decision makers consciously use social media for purchasing, and one in four uses them as a support tool, suggests there has been a big change, given that the use of social media was all but prohibited from general use in companies a few years ago."

Key findings:

- A high proportion use Facebook for business purposes (51 percent is the European average, rising to 73 percent when it comes to corporations). Twitter and Linkedin are rated less highly (in corporations, 45 percent used Linkedin, and less than 40 percent said they used Twitter).

- 51 percent said they use social media for networking; 47 percent as a useful information tool and 46 percent for marketing purposes.

Country findings:

- The UK remains the heaviest user of social media, or the European capital of Twitter (54 percent, compared to 13 percent for Italy). IT pros invest time and presence on social media.

- German IT professionals invest time in social media, and consider it a reliable support of IT purchase. They mix traditional and modern through highly skilled marketing knowledge, and rely heavily on Facebook (76 percent).

- Spanish IT managers consider themselves very active with regards to social media tools, even if they also remain loyal to traditional market models.

- French IT professionals declare themselves more passive then their European fellows with regards social media.

- Italian IT pros seem to be the least interested in social media tools and their market model is more top-down.

The results of the research will be presented on 7th April in London, at a closed event being hosted by Peter Judge, with a panel session on the theme of ‘the influence of social media in business today'.

100 IT decision makers surveyed across France, Germany, Spain, Italy, The UK and The Netherlands - January-March 2011.

Notes to editors:

Launched in March 2009, eWEEK Europe UK (www.eweekeurope.co.uk) , is an online publication aimed at everyone interested in the impact that technology will have on the future of their business. It provides insight on sustainable IT to a rapidly growing audience that increasingly sees the issue as business-critical.

Already established in mainland Europe and the US, eWEEK provides a one-stop shop for advertisers and sponsors looking for innovative pan-European opportunities.

eWEEK Europe UK is published by NetMediaEurope, which was founded in July 2007 as a result of an MBO by senior VNU managers.

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