When it comes to using social media, engineers are apparently just as hip as the rest of us. That's the conclusion the Society of Automotive Engineers International has drawn following a survey of engineers that revealed 61% use social media sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.
The May survey of 1,153 mobility engineers, who work in the aerospace, automotive, and commercial-vehicle industries, also found that 55% of respondents said they use social media sites for work-related reasons, and that over half are allowed access while at work.
"Mobility engineers have discovered that social media sites are great ways to exchange information on technical issues," said Bill Cariello, manager of web strategy for SAE International, who oversaw the survey, in a statement. "If you work for a big company, you can probably walk down the hall and find the resources you need to solve an issue, but if you work for a small company, those resources might not be readily available. Social media sites give these employees access to a vast number of potential resources."
For business and personal use, LinkedIn was the biggest draw, with 84% of respondents saying they use the site, followed by 59% who said they use Facebook. Thirty percent of respondents said they use YouTube.
In North America, 70% of respondents use Facebook versus 59% globally; and 67% of North American respondents use LinkedIn as opposed to 46% globally, according to the findings. YouTube is more popular among mobility engineers globally -- 45% said they use the site as opposed to only 29% in North America.
Age did not play a significant role in determining the popularity of one social media site over another, according to the survey findings, although mobility engineers who are 35 and under use YouTube more frequently -- approximately 20% more than all other age groups. In the 45-55 age group, LinkedIn was ranked the most popular.
SAE International is an organization of more than 128,000 engineers and related technical experts in the aerospace, automotive, and commercial vehicle industries globally. Its members come from more than 100 countries and the group has created over 2,600 global standards for the automotive, construction and agricultural equipment, heavy truck, bus, and specialty-vehicle industries.