Content Discovery Smackdown: Hootsuite vs. Buffer vs. KloutContent Marketing Minds: Ingredients of the Tastiest Content [Nutrition Label]From the Corn Field to the Digital Era: Content Marketing Starts with TrustContent Marketing: Is 2014 Really Shaping Up to Be the Year of Video?
Your Customers Aren’t Listening! How to Create Consumer Dialogue that Converts4 Tools for Nonprofit Social Listening and Reputation ManagementThe Promising Role of Social Listening in Treating Health IssuesThe Importance of Social Listening for Brands
- Public Relations
Facebook Testing a Way for Users to Buy Products on the Platform7 Website Tips to Attract More Shoppers to Your PagesHow eCommerce, Augmented and Virtual Reality Will Redefine the Retail ExperienceSearch Query Analysis to Increase eCommerce Website Conversions
- Content Marketing
Technology & Data
Social Startups: Bizible Connects All the Dots from Marketing Contributions to RevenueCreating the Perfect Profile for Your Social Media Marketing EffortUsing GPS and Localization for Social AnalyticsAnalytics and Prospect Intel: Discovering Your Ideal Prospect
- Big Data
- Tech & Innovation
3 Security Risks You’re Taking Every Day While Using Social MediaShould the President Have the Power to "Pull the Plug" on the Internet?How Safe is Your WordPress Website From Hackers and Other Malicious Attacks?
- Software & Tools
- Small Business
- Social Organization
Celebrating the Grand Re-Launch of Social Media Today! SBH Podcast Episode 8Why Should You Care If Your Employees Are Thought Leaders?Beyond Engagement: The Art of Managing Social-Media Risk in Employee Advocacy
Why All-in-One Social Media Management Systems Don't Cut It for Social Customer ServiceWhat You Should Know About Customer, Digital, and Contextual ExperienceSurging into Q3: How to Make It Better Than Q2Is How You Serve Your Customers Costing You Business?
Join us September 15th in Atlanta for The Employee Advocacy Summit and learn how to unleash the power of your employees.
Post your event here and we'll share it with our community. If one of our members is featured, we'll promote as well on their profile.
- Marketplace & Webinars
The SMT Marketplace
Your resource for exclusive content and insights from Social Media Today, and opportunities to reach our community of professionals.
The Social Business Book Club brings you books, discussions, and insights from today's to business thought leaders.
Join interactive talks and and panel discussions with leading thinkers and practitioners on social media and networked business, or browse the catalogue of recorded sessions - all completely free.
Reach Social Media Today's community of marketing and communications professionals in an editor-approved context with a native advertising package.
Research: Social Software Appeals More to Older Workers
Posted on June 28th 2013
Paul Leonardi, a professor of communication at Northwestern University conducted a carefully controlled experiment to determine the extent, if any, that social software can improve employee content discovery and relevant expertise location. A major credit card company was implementing an enterprise social networking tool called A-Life. The company wanted their 15,000 employees to have a better sense of who their colleagues were, and what they were doing, in order to reduce inefficiencies.
Leonardi persuaded the company to let him to perform to test the effectiveness of the social networking tool through quasi-natural field experiment. He decided to compare two demographically similar groups within the company: marketing and operations. Before the tool’s implementation, the groups were questioned about whom and what their colleagues knew. “The rationale for asking those two kinds of questions is that knowing who knows what is really important, but in many cases, even if we know who knows what, we can’t get to that person directly,”
The marketing group was given access to the social software. For six months, this group conducted much of its routine communication through the site instead of through email or in-person interactions. As predicted, after six months marketing group who used the enterprise social networking site improved their ability to find information by 31%. They also improved their ability to find people who knew the person with information by 71%. This improvement occurred despite the fact that employees sent, on average, just one message on the site per week.
Leonardi did not find that use of the social networking tool differed based on someone’s role in the organization. Ironically, he found that use instead differed by age: younger employees across the company were generally more skeptical of the tool. Leonardi explained that the younger employees, “would say, ‘Oh, I don’t want to be posting things my boss would see.’ … On the other hand, the senior employees didn’t have that same concern. For them, the technology was another mode for communicating about work-related matters.”
I often hear in conferences that social software appeals more to younger workers. The older workers “do not get it.” I always object to this whenever I hear it, usually to strong support from the audience for my position. The argument is that this group uses it in their daily lives so they will expect in their work life. This research found just the opposite. It is only one piece of research but it certainly pokes holes in the idea of providing social software to appeal to the younger generation.