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Procurement's usage of social media: A peek into 2012

Social media, even in the procurement arena, has created quite a buzz as of late. The PIU has ged about the topic from all kinds of angles, including what tools are out there, who uses them, and what the benefits of using them are.


Here are some hot-off the press social media stats coming from our forthcoming CPO Strategy Survey.


Polling 250 CPO and other senior procurement professionals from around the world and across industries, we found out that the single most frequently used social media tool is LinkedIn, a global professional networking site.


Not surprisingly then, recruitment emerged as one of the top benefits of using social media tools.


For some of us, this may be stating the obvious: the trend of using social media tools is even picking up within procurement organisations. In fact, one-fifth of our respondents indicated that a critical source for market intelligence is indeed social media.


It is interesting to note, however, that not all social media are the same. Despite their global reach and the internet as a whole, procurement professionals are looking for intelligence specific to the geographies they cover. Procurement organisations based in Germany, for instance, indicated a preference of using Xing over LinkedIn. Even though Xing promotes itself as a professional networking site for Europe, it is predominantly used by users in German-speaking countries.


These findings suggest what we have argued before, that region-specific websites and social media tools might be better suited for users to build knowledge and a network than those that aim for global coverage.


Nonetheless and not surprisingly, social media is still a somewhat underutilised, or perhaps even misunderstood, tool in the procurement sphere. More than half of our sample indicated that social media represents a medium to high degree of risk to their respective organisations. It remains a tool viewed with much curiosity, though enough scepticism, to be reserved for mostly private purposes, or so is the prediction for 2012.

Maggie Slowik
Posted by Maggie Slowik