Sarasota, FL (WorkersCompensation.com) – The authors of the first extensive survey project involving social media use in the workers' compensation industry have released the final results from the program. The 190 page report is now available free of charge from WorkersCompensation.com. The final report includes detailed responses and comments to both the first phase survey and the follow up survey conducted a few weeks later. A brief two page summary is included. In addition to the full report, a PDF version of a survey summary presentation used at the recent IAIABC Forum 2013 is available for download. The authors included it as it contains some dynamic data that uses internal elements of the responses for gender and demographic comparisons not available in the direct data report.
This project was a collective effort conducted by the WorkCompResearch Division of WorkersCompensation.com, the Work Comp Analysis Group on LinkedIn, Jody G. Thompson Marketing Services, and noted columnist Peter Rousmaniere. This effort was the most in depth social media assessment conducted to date for the workers' compensation industry.
The effort found that Social Media is being used to a great extent by people within the workers' compensation industry, and is being utilized by senior management people at a level that was unexpected by the authors. People reviewing the survey results will likely find that relationships developed through social media are highly valued, as the majority of users said that they get business networking connections through social media, despite the fact that trust of the actual platforms themselves was low. The authors view this as not dissimilar to other communication platforms (telephone, radio, television, etc.) and how they were viewed in the infancy of their existence.
While the authors have gone to great lengths to summarize without “over interpreting” the results, one area of deep concern was highlighted by the effort. A very weak showing from younger respondents suggests that the workers' compensation industry is indeed a graying one. In fact, only 23% of respondents were under the age of 35. It was initially thought that a technology based survey covering technology services would bias to a younger, more technically savvy audience. There is a possibility that younger users just do not respond to survey requests, or their social media habits precluded them from learning of the survey. The other, more onerous alternative, and is that this phenomenon is less a reflection of how the industry uses Social Media and more a reflection of a larger looming issue; the aging of the workers' compensation field. If indeed it is the latter, the authors suggest that this is a prime area requiring further research and action by the industry as a whole.