As many of you likely know, we recently concluded what was the first phase in a two part effort to survey the access and application of social media within workers' comp. It is the most comprehensive look ever performed for this topic in our industry. The first survey was deliberately short, and was designed to help the authors be assured that the second, more in depth one, would ask the right questions needed for the topic.
The first survey did not disappoint, and we have learned some surprising things about what services we use, and why we use them. Unfortunately, in order to not affect or influence answers in the next phase, we will not be able to release all of the final results until after this process is complete. There are some things, however, that I feel we can disclose today that will not affect any outcome in the next phase.
So what can I tell you?
First, response was strong. We had 1,098 people complete the survey over two week's time. Females represented a slightly larger portion of respondents who submitted fully completed responses, with 53.2% vs. 44.5% for males.
If there is one thing I feel safe in revealing at this point, it is this: Mobile social media is not only the future, it is now. While 91.7% of people told us they access social media from desktop computers, a very impressive 62.8% do so through Smartphone's and 38.9% use tablet devices for that task.
Drilling down a bit, we find that women are taking the lead over men in mobile access of social media sites. Amongst females 41.1% use tablets to access social media and 65% use Smartphones. Among men it was 37.5% and 60.8% respectively.
The time we spend on social media sites was pretty widely dispersed, but was indicative of how much social media has penetrated our industry. The largest group of respondents, 27.7% indicated they spent between 5 and 20 minutes a day on social media sites. Over 11% indicated they spend more than an hour a day on such services, while only 3.7% indicated they do not use social media every day. 9.2% said they use social media less than 5 minutes a day. It should be noted that about 15% of the respondents did not answer that question.
Here again females generally held a bit of an edge over their male counterparts, spending more time accessing these services. While 78.6% of males reported spending less than 40 minutes per day engaged with social media, only 62.1% of females were in those categories. 11.9% of males reported daily use of more than 60 minutes, compared to 14.4% of females. The “40 to 60 minute per day” category had an even greater variance, with males coming in at 10.2% compared to females 18.6%.
Interestingly, females also led among people who said they do not us social media daily. 4.9% of women were in this category, compared to 3.6% of men.
Also, the type of job you have does not appear to have a great deal of influence over the time you spend on these sites. While the people who told us they held “C-suite” positions had a larger block in the 40 minutes and over categories (30.1%) than most groups, those who indicated they were in administrative positions actually surpassed them with 34.4% in that category.
One has to wonder if they are being tasked with doing their C-Suite bosses social media responsibilities. Then again, maybe I've been reading too much Dilbert.
There is much more that we have learned, and our expectations are high for the second phase survey, which should be available by the end of this month. This has been a collective effort conducted by the WorkCompResearch Division of WorkersCompensation.com, the Work Comp Analysis Group on LinkedIn, Jody G. Thompson Marketing Services, and noted columnist Peter Rousmaniere. We thank those who took the time to respond to this project, and ask that you watch for the next survey to help us clearly define what social media means to us as an industry.
I will be releasing the full and final results in April at the Mississippi Workers' Compensation Education Conference in Biloxi. A full electronic report will be available to the industry online immediately following that conference.