Nov 01 2013

CONJECT users favour LinkedIn

We recently surveyed a portion of the CONJECT user base to improve our user information. The targeted group were largely established UK users of the CONJECT platform (mostly registered between 2009 and 2011), and – as we have begun to use social media more extensively in our communications activities – we asked a couple of questions about users’ social media use.

Use of Social Media at workIt was perhaps not surprising given the conservative nature of many construction organisations (most of our sample worked for contractors, designers and other construction supply chain businesses), that only half (51.8%) of the 1,119 who answered these questions admitted to using social media at work. Note the “at work” – we suspect overall usage is higher when people are not working.

Looking at these at-work social media users, most of these – 472 (81%) out of 580 – were active on LinkedIn; 167 (29%) were active on Facebook, 94 (16%) said they used Twitter and 81 (14%) said they used Google Plus (the total exceeds 100% as some users were active on more than one platform). How does this compare with industry use of the key platforms?


Linkedin LogoLinkedIn’s own search tools suggest there are over 367,000 UK LinkedIn users who regard themselves as working in the construction industry. Most of our sample were drawn from services businesses – and UK government statistics suggests these total around 580,000 UK employees – so the total number of LinkedIn users would represent around 63% (obviously, many may well be from other non-service businesses). Even on these numbers, the high proportion in our sample would still be on the high side – but perhaps we should expect above average adoption as our sample was a highly web-savvy crowd, with a heavy preponderance of professionally qualified staff.


Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are blocked by more than half of UK businesses, a 2012 survey of CIOs and IT bosses suggested (but only 20% blocked access to LinkedIn). As a result, the low “at work” scores in our survey for Facebook and other platforms are perhaps to be expected. Again, outside work, we would expect usage to be above the 53% UK average, perhaps even above the 64% of all those active online.

We will be asking similar questions in future surveys, perhaps extending the selection of platforms in other geographical markets; for example, we might ask about Xing or Viadeo in mainland European markets, and perhaps also see how far social media is blocked by employers’ networks.

About the author

Michelle Mason

Michelle Mason leads the UK and MEAP Marketing team, with far too many years in B2B marketing to mention. A CONJECT newbie, Michelle is eagerly climbing a steep learning curve.

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1 comment

  1. Paul Wilkinson

    Interested results (and from a good-sized sample) that suggest some social media applications aren’t as widely used among contractors as they are among designers and other consultants, particularly if you compare it with other surveys.

    Su Butcher has blogged about her own UK survey of social media use, and those of two others in the UK construction sector (Darryl Store and Chris Ashworth). Chris’s survey sample size was comparable to Conject’s and from the sketchy information available (I haven’t seen the full report) it appears social media use hovers around the 50-60% mark among engineers, architects and contractors.

    I often ask construction audiences about their use of social media. From an initial show of hands, adoption can appear high, but if you ask users if they “use social media in their work” many of the hands go down. I think we need to be more probing in our questions and also think about the devices that may be used – some may get round work bans by using mobile devices, for example.

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