Social Media Enters the US Workforce - eMarketer

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Social Media Enters the US Workforce

Majority of US employees say social network profiles will be important to their careers

June 25, 2015

Social has a position in the workplace after the job search ends. Based on recent research, social media plays a role throughout US professionals’ careers—and it can be both positive and negative.

Importance of a Social Network Profile to Their Career According to UK and US Internet Users, May 2015 (% of respondents)

May 2015 polling by Scredible looked at internet users ages 20 to 45 who were fully employed. Among respondents from the US, 54% said social network profiles would be important to their careers in the next five years. In comparison, 26% said the opposite. US respondents were far more convinced of social’s importance than those in the UK, among whom 39% said social network profiles would be important to their careers in the next five years, vs. 41% who disagreed.

Business-to-business salespeople aren’t the only ones who can leverage social to excel. When a May 2015 study by Allstate Corporation and National Journal asked US adult consumers about the importance of mastering social media for having a successful career, 68% said it was somewhat (38%) or very (30%) important, vs. 13% who said it wasn’t important at all.

In all, three-quarters of US professionals polled by Scredible said their social profile could have a positive effect on their reputation at work, vs. 57% of those in the UK. However, mixing social media and work can also turn sour if one messes up one too many times on such networks, and 25% of US respondents said they weren’t more active on social media due to worries about what their current and future employers would think—a less-positive role profiles could play down the line. Fewer than one-fifth of UK respondents said the same.

Despite beliefs that social was important in the working world, the majority of US respondents thought that banning social media in the office was a good idea. But it wasn’t due to its potential negative impact. Fully 38% thought social should be banned because it was a distraction, while only 11% felt the same because it could damage a company’s reputation. Just 11% thought it was a bad idea to ban social. Among respondents from the UK, response rates were similar.

For US professionals, there’s a fine line between using social to boost success at work and taking it too far.

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