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Social Networking: It's Not Just For Your Kids Anymore

Posted By Jeff Moad, September 01, 2011 at 3:24 PM, in Category: Next-Generation Leadership and the Changing Workforce

Social networking web sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and foursquare have rightfully been thought of as playgrounds for the young. Baby boomers and thirty-somethings have been slower than their children to incorporate social networking into their daily lives. As a result, many manufacturing leaders have discounted the role of social networking within the enterprise.

That may be rapidly changing, however. According to newly-published research by Pew Internet, a project of the Pew Research Center, baby boomers and thirty-somethings are the demographic groups most rapidly embracing social networking.

According to the survey of 2,277 Americans, use of social networking sites by baby boomers age 50-64 has doubled over the past two years. Fifty-one percent of that group now say they use social networking sites, and 32% say they do so every day.

Meanwhile, social networking use by Americans age 30-40 has risen 45% over the past two years. Seventy percent now use social networking, and 46% now do so every day.

As more baby boomers and thirty-somethings embrace social networking--and as more young people move into and up the enterprise--it stands to reason that they will expect to communicate and collaborate using social networking conventions. Manufacturing leaders will need to figure out how to introduce these tools into their organizations in such a way that they enhance productivity while also protecting security.

So you see more of your company's employees embracing social networking? How and when do you expect social networking tools will be incorporated into your enterprise?



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Written by Jeff Moad

Jeff Moad is Research Director and Executive Editor with the Manufacturing Leadership Community. He also directs the Manufacturing Leadership Awards Program.



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