Two Out of Three Communication Professionals Don’t Think Twitter’s Popularity Will Last

Press Release

Two IABC surveys report on views and usage of Twitter by business communicators

The social media version of this release is available at: http://socialmediareleases.x.iabc.com.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – 30 June 2009 – News about celebrity Michael Jackson’s death took Twitter by storm last week with people sharing their shock and sadness on the popular micro-blogging site. Yet, in a recent poll conducted by the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) Research Foundation, 67 percent of respondents said Twitter will not continue to be as popular two years from now.

The online IABC poll received more than 450 responses and asked participants about their views on Twitter’s popularity after two years. According to the poll results:

  • Of the 67 percent of respondents who said Twitter will not be as popular, 64 percent said Twitter will still be around, but less popular while 36 percent said Twitter will fade away.
  • Of the 28 percent of respondents who said Twitter will continue to be popular, 56 percent said the micro-blogging service would be used even more frequently while 43 percent said it would be as popular as it is currently (see chart below).

“It is fascinating to see how Twitter has been used recently to communicate with the world. The Iranian conflict has been documented through tweets from people who are literally in the middle of it all. It’s an incredible way to bring tragic events to life in a way that we’ve not experienced before,” said Robin McCasland, chair of the IABC Research Foundation.

“Consider what has happened since the news of Michael Jackson’s death was announced last week: There has been an ongoing flood of tweets that run the gamut from standard news bites to individuals’ personal and heartfelt remembrances of an iconic pop star. While Twitter may not be “the” tool in a year or two, it’s clear that millions of people have embraced the concept of sharing their thoughts and information with the world anytime, anyplace—instantly.”

In another survey, released earlier this month by the IABC Research Foundation and Buck Consultants, nearly 1,500 communication professionals commented on their use of Twitter for employee engagement. According to the survey:

  • 52 percent of respondents said they were not currently using Twitter nor did they plan to use it in future
  • 27 percent they planned to use Twitter in future
  • 21 percent of respondents said they are currently using Twitter

The survey also asked respondents about their use of blogs, podcasts and other social networking sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Yammer.

  • Facebook: 18 percent using, 19 percent plan to use, 63 percent not using nor plan to use
  • Yammer: 20 percent using, 29 percent plan to use, 51 percent not using nor plan to use
  • LinkedIn: 5 percent using, 5 percent plan to use, 89 percent not using nor plan to use (see chart)

See the complete results at http://www.iabc.com/rf/pdf/EmployeeEngagement.pdf.

Other key survey findings about social media usage include:

  • Company blogs are the most popular social media tool currently in use (47 percent), with discussion boards ranking the highest for future planned use (33 percent). (See chart)
  • Fifty-six percent of top executives are not using social media at this time, and nearly half (46 percent) of organizations are not measuring social media’s effectiveness. (See chart.)

About IABC

The International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) is a global network of communication professionals committed to improving organizational effectiveness through strategic communication. Established in 1970, IABC serves more than 16,000 members in 80 countries and 100 chapters. For more information, visit www.iabc.com.

Founded in 1982, IABC Research Foundation serves as the research and development arm of the International Association of Business Communicators. The Foundation supports and advances the practice of organizational communication by providing IABC members with research that bridges the divide between communication theory and practice by offering in-depth knowledge and tools that improve organizational communication performance and strengthen the communication profession as a whole. For more information, visit www.iabc.com/rf.

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