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Our Readers Use Social Media For Tech Buying

Peter Judge has been involved with tech B2B publishing in the UK for many years, working at Ziff-Davis, ZDNet, IDG and Reed. His main interests are networking security, mobility and cloud

Facebook and Twitter are heavily used in IT decisions. Next: will your firm give you a tablet?

Social media scored highly in an eWEEK poll of information sources for IT buying decisions, with Facebook beating more traditional sources such as news sites.

Facebook in particular, scored highly in our poll, which allowed multiple answers to the question “Where do you get information for IT purchases?” This agrees with the  first research report from eWEEK’s parent company Net Media Europe, which used a large sample across Europe to track the use of social media in business-to-business purchasing.

Is Facebook better than us?

Plain web search still came top in our poll, with nearly 24 percent of the votes cast.

However, the second most popular choice was Facebook, which got 15 percent of the votes. We view this with mixed feelings given that it beat specialist news sites – such as ourselves –  into third place with 13 percent.

The result does at least support our decision to run a Facebook fan page, and the idea that social media effort could pay off financially. However, we have no immediate plans to shut up shop on this site and move over to the social media site completely.

It’s also a bit of a surprise, considering two months ago, eWEEK readers en masse clicked the option in an (admittedly slanted) poll to label social media in the office as “a pointless waste of time“.

Further down the list, Twitter got about 11 percent, and we suspect its mooted emulation of Facebook’s fan pages could boost that further. LinkedIn was further down on six percent.

“Real world” interactions were led by trade shows, at nine percent, colleagues at eight percent (good to know you have some trust in your workmates!) and sales people on six percent.

Finally, we left paper magazines off the list, which was an oversight. But only one person reminded us of it in the “Other”option. Now that is a sign of the times!

Next: will your firm take the tablets?

We’ve heard plenty about the use of tablets in business. Gartner has urged businesses to start using them, and AMI finds small-to-medium businesses (SMBs) are adopting them, though so far only three percent have got that far.

eWEEK readers aren’t sure, however. When we asked you two months ago which tablet you would like, one in five of you said you would prefer a notebook.

Two months on, we want to know if that has changed. Do you want a tablet at work now, and if your firm gives you one, do you have to forfeit one of your other mobile devices?

Pick the option that matches what your company provides for you – or click “Other” if you have some other combination of devices in your pockets and bags.