Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Feds and Social Media: Numbers Reveal Good…and Bad

Located just outside of Washington, DC, the Tower Club is one of those swank business networking venues that plays host to a myriad of corporate and government-focused events.

This morning was no exception as industry research shop Market Connections in partnership with TMP Government unveiled the latest edition of its “Federal Media and Marketing Study.”

Good news: the number of federal government workers who are actively engaged in social media and online communities continues to increase at an exciting pace.

Bad news: only 20 percent of the 2,303 survey respondents are allowed to access social sites from their government office, while nearly half were unclear if the government agency where they are employed has a social media policy.

OK…there is still quite a ways to go for social networks to emerge as the bedrock of professional insight and intelligence. Yet, when you look at the continued decline in traditional media readership and trade show attendance, it’s apparent there is an ongoing shift in influence.

Here are a few additional highlights from the study:

--52 percent of the respondents work for civilian agencies with the remaining 48 percent working in defense/intelligence.

--75 percent of the respondents are at least 45 years of age. (Yes…there is going to be a mass exodus of retiring federal workers in the next 5 to 10 years.)

--Most often cited federal government trade publications read are: Government Executive (51%), Federal Times (46%), Federal Computer Week (42%), Government Computer News (30%) and Defense News (26%).

--Web sites most often visited for news include: CNN.com (47%), GovExec.com (44%), MSNBC (36%), FoxNews.com (36%) and WashingtonPost.com (35%).

--Social networks most frequently visited are: Facebook (39%), YouTube (33%), LinkedIn (16%), MySpace (12%) and Twitter (11%).

--Two additional social networks – Govloop and GovTwit – were mentioned as influential in the federal market.

Full disclosure: Govloop's parent company is a Strategic Communications Group (Strategic) client. We also helped build the GovTwit community in partnership with our client BearingPoint.


Christopher said...

Just a FYI on this survey...
And I say this with full transparency that I work for Federal News Radio 1500 AM, but...
The survey did NOT include FederalNewsRadio.com on the list of Web news sources -- they only included the radio station under radio stations. That seemed unfair to me -- I brought it up to them at the time, and it still seems unfair.

That being said, it is clear that HOW people get information is changing these days.

Mark amtower said...

good post. I also noted the lack of Federal News Radio info (web) & supplied data during the event, to wit: 200,000 unique monthly visitors and 1.4 million page view monthly. Full disclosure - I am NOT an FNR employee but I do host a host there.
Also, re: events- it seems they are making a case to attend the larger events and ignoring the smaller (more targeted) ones completely. While I like Market Connections research, until this tool has more data, I would be hard pressed to recommend it.
And it was good seeing you!... Amtower

Anonymous said...

I'm actually surprised that Twitter only attracted 11 percent, for all of its hoopla...

dslunceford said...

Chris, that's certainly something that they should rectify going forward. With all the resource WFED has put into distributing its stories/content via online media (web, Twitter, FB) it *is* unfair.