Your Relationship With Social Media in 2017: Weekend Poll Results

Late last week, I shared images and updates from professional development undertakings in two diverse locations: Angola and Washington, DC.  Here in Vancouver,  I was able to enjoy the successes and friendships celebrated by some great peers, all via social media.

That led me to ask, for the third consecutive year: Are you friends with social media? 

Guess which channels are most used by assistants?

LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter continue to lead the pack, for the third consecutive year. 97.5% of respondents reported using LinkedIn. 93% of you use Facebook, and 73% use Twitter.

YouTube is on solid footing with 70% of respondents, while 64% say you use WhatsApp and 58% use Pinterest.

45% of this year’s respondents use Google+, and 44% turn to Instagram. Snapchat? 16% of you report that it’s part of your life.


It’s not just for personal purposes; more than half of you use social media on the job

It’s unsurprising that 95% of respondents use social media for personal purposes. Are you surprised, though, to learn that 60% of you turn to social media as part of your professional role? It’ll be interesting to see if this percentage continues to climb in the years ahead.

Almost as many of you – 59% – turn to social media on behalf of your professional associations and networks. That’s impressive, particularly when you consider the speed and impact with which you can reach people and provide information.


Do you think Twitter’s increased character count will have an impact on how you use it?

Around the same time I published this latest Poll, Twitter increased the cap on characters for any given message, from 140 to 280. Twitter maintained the 140-character restriction for some languages, though, on the basis that more can be communicated in fewer characters when writing in Chinese, Japanese and Korean. Will this impact how relevant Twitter is to you?


Thinking of trying something new? 

It’s hard to believe, but it’s already a couple of years since I established a panel to discuss perspectives on social media. This panel consisted of American Bianca Constance, Diana from Berlin, Julia Schmidt from Brazil and Norway and Italy’s Michela Luoni, along with the UK’s Jennifer Corcoran,  Karen Johnson and Matthew Want The group explored a few questions that I think remain pertinent:

  • why social media is important
  • how it can add value
  • how to maintain the level of privacy you prefer

… and more. Take a few minutes to soak up these peers’ thoughts by following the drop-down menus under Tech/Social Media or Real Careers/International Panels/Social Media.


What about a social media detox? 

For some, there’s no need. In fact, 5% of respondents selected the response that read, “No need to, as I’m on a permanent social media detox!” To find out what the rest of you said, read on. You’ll find the data, and full results, below.

Social Media on iPad


Do you  use Facebook?

  • Yes:  93%, down from 97% in 2016
  • No: 7%, up from 3% in 2016

Do you use Google+?

  • Yes: 45%, up from 35% in 2016
  • No: 47.5%, compared to 55% in 2016
  • 8% of respondents (compared to 10% last year) selected “Other”. Comments included, “I have it but very rarely use it”, “Not very often but I have a gmail account …” and “Not anymore”.

Do you use Instagram?

  • Yes: 44% of respondents, up from 38% in 2016
  • No: 51%, down from 55% in 2016
  • 5% of respondents (compared to 7% last year) selected “Other”. People foffered comments such as, “Sparingly – need to use it more to highlight one of my brands” and “I have it but haven’t used it really.”

Do you use LinkedIn?

  • Yes: 97.5% of respondents, down from 100% in 2016
  • No: 2.5% of respondents – the first time readers reported that they don’t use LinkedIn

Do you use Pinterest?

  • Yes:  58% of respondents, down from 62% in 2016
  • No: 42%, a significant climb from 28% last year. Perhaps that has something to do with sentiments voiced in my 2016 poll on the topic. Then, one reader commented, “I try not to as I tend to lose hours when I go on there”.

Do you use Snapchat?

  • Yes: 16% of respondents, up from 13% in 2016
  • No: 84%, up from 80% last year

Do you use Twitter?

  • Yes: 73% of respondents, a significant decline from last year’s 93%
  • No: 24%, compared to 7% in 2016
  • 3% of readers selected “Other”, with one person commenting, “I have a Twitter account but rarely look at it”.

Do you use XING? (a business network platform that was founded in Hamburg, Germany)

  • Yes: 10.5% of respondents, up from 0% in 2016
  • No: 87%, down from 100%
  • 2.5% of readers selected “Other”. One does use XING, but only for business events, colleagues and friends. Another reader commented, “I am moderating a group with 1000+ members”.

Do you use WhatsApp?

  • Yes: 64% of respondents (that this is the first year I’ve asked specifically about WhatsApp)
  • No: 37%
  • One reader commented that s/he uses WhatsApp only with family members

Do you use YouTube?

  • Yes: 70% of respondents, up slightly from 67% in 2016
  • No: 21%, fairly consistent with the 20% in 2016
  • 8% selected “Other”. Some readers commented that they use it only for viewing videos/research purposes, rather than posting to it. One reader commented, “I have an account but am not active on it (yet)”.

I added some new questions to this year’s annual poll on the topic, in order to learn whether social media’s place in our lives is limited to business or personal purposes, or if it’s unlimited – extending to our professional associations and networks. Here’s what you told me:

Do you use social media for personal purposes?

  • Yes: 95% of respondents
  • No: 5% of respondents
  • While another 5% of respondents selected “Other”, their comments reflected the extent of their personal use of social media – and comments reflecting that they also use it for business.

Do you use social media as part of your job?

  • Yes: 60% of respondents, including some who selected “Other” but whose comments reflected that it’s not an expectation on the part of the employer
  • No: 34% of respondents
  • Of the remaining 6% who selected “Other”, one reader offered that her/his employer does not allow use of social media, in efforts to reduce hacking. Another reader offered that s/he uses social media for work-related personal development, but not as part of the job. That makes sense to me; it’s independent use of a resource that can help with career success.

Do you use social media on behalf of a professional association and/or network?

  • Yes: 59% of respondents, including a reader who selected “Other” and reported  using social media for professional events and networking
  • No: 41% of respondents

I asked you to identify any social media channels you stopped using in the last year; here are the channels that appeared on such lists

  • Facebook (which received the most mentions)
  • Instagram
  • Snapchat
  • Twitter
  • Other readers either commented that they’ve not dropped any social media channels in the last year. Some said they’ve limited their use of some forms of social media, and yet another steered clear of social media while ill. 

Have you adopted any new (to you) social media channel in the last year?

  • Yes: 30% of respondents, compared to 38% in 2016. This percentage includes readers who identified the new forms of social media (Twitter and Facebook) they adopted in the last year.
  • No: 71% of respondents, compared to 62% last year

I asked those readers who have adopted use of any particular forms of social media in the past year to list them. A couple of readers identified email accounts; here are the other products you identified.

  • Facebook groups
  • Google+, Google Community
  • Instagram
  • LinkedIn, LinkedIn company page
  • Orkut
  • Twitter
  • Vibre
  • WhatsApp

But what, I wondered, is trending upward? I asked readers to identify social media channels you use MORE now than you did this time last year. Twitter received significantly more mentions than anything else, with LinkedIn placing second and Instagram third. Here’s the full list.

  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Instagram
  • Facebook
  • SnapChat
  • WhatsApp

What about the forms of social media you’re using less this year? Here’s what you identified, again in decreasing order of frequency of mention.

  • Pinterest
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Gmail
  • One person, whom I’m sure is not alone, commented, “All of them. I can’t stand social media”.

Have you incorporated social media “detox” breaks in your life, as some do when travelling?

  • Yes: 50% of respondents
  • No: 38% of respondents
  • 8% of respondents selected “Other”. One reader identified channels s/he continues to use while travelling, while another noted using Buffer to schedule posts and catch up after travelling. Another reader reported limiting his/her time on social media.
  • 5% of you selected the “No need to, as I’m on a permanent social media detox!” option

2 Comments on “Your Relationship With Social Media in 2017: Weekend Poll Results

  1. Dan Rather was a known Broadcaster that retired. Now, a new generation knows him. How? “If you want to remain relevant, if you want to be part of the conversation, it’s not optional. You have to be on social media.” (Dan Rather, Nov 2017)

    We are all about networking – connecting – communicating. To stay in touch with the future’s direction, we need to keep watching and listening. Social media is KEY to our success both professionally and socially. #KeepingPulse

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