Study: 76 percent of communications professionals use Twitter

The study, which compared the social media habits of PR pros versus those of consumers, noted a disparity between the industry’s Twitter adoption and that of the general public.

PR professionals have continued to embrace Twitter.

In 2011, 76 percent of communicators in the United States and Canada used the site, nearly double the percentage from 2009, according to the Social Media Reality Check, a study by CNW and Leger Marketing.

At the same time, the percentage of consumers using Twitter continues to lag that of PR pros. The study said 32 percent of consumers belong to the site, quadruple the percentage from 2009, when CNW and Leger released its first Social Media Reality Check.

The purpose of the study is to explore professional communicators’ use of social media compared with consumer opinions on its influence over their shopping habits.

Some notable findings from the report:

• The top two “go-to sites” for consumers are Facebook and YouTube, although Wikipedia, Skype, and LinkedIn have gained in popularity since 2009.
• Half of consumers responding to the study said online reviews influence their buying decisions; 37 percent said they have bought a product they heard about via social media.
• The percentage of organizations with a budget devoted to social media has doubled since 2009, to 30 percent from 15 percent.
• 32 percent of PR pros said they have a dedicated social media team in place.
• Visibility and awareness topped the list of objectives for social media campaigns; only 31 percent of respondents said they have formal, measurable objectives in place for their campaigns.

The survey included U.S. and Canadian PR practitioners and consumers, along with investor relations professionals and institutional investors.

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