IT professionals cite social media as the most trustworthy online source of information when making purchasing decisions, according to the inaugural IT Social Media Index, which measures social media consumption trends among IT decision-makers and influencers, reports MarketingCharts.
Launched by online professional community ITtoolbox and PJA Advertising + Marketing, the study also seeks to determine how social media tools and user-generated content are used to evaluate IT purchasing decisions.
Among the key findings of the study:
- Executive-level decision-makers spend nearly 3.5 hours per week consuming or participating in social media - the highest usage profile of any IT audience.
- Nearly two-thirds of IT professionals surveyed say social media content and user-generated tools have made for a more informed purchasing decision; nearly three-quarters say such content and tools have made their lives more efficient.
- Overall, vendor websites, followed by user-generated content and editorial websites and trade magazines, are the most referenced information sources for IT purchasing information.
- Vendor websites are referenced often or very often by 61.5 percent of respondents.
- User-generated content is referenced often or very often by 42.6 percent of respondents.
- Editorial websites and trade magazines are referenced often or very often by 40.7 percent of respondents.
- Paid analyst research, catalogs and buyer's guides are referenced often or very often by 24.75 percent of respondents.
MarketingCharts provides some other findings from the study.