Initial Insights from Qnary's Executive Digital Presence Study

Qnary's 2017 Professional Digital Presence Study

When we started Qnary six years ago it was hard to convince executives that their online activities mattered to their professional success and advancement. Many seemed quite comfortable to focus all content and effort behind their corporate brand.  

Wow, how times have changed. Fast-forward to today and executives from big Fortune 500 companies to accelerated growth SMB's clearly realize that what they do on social media and digital media matters.

The results are in from Qnary's 2017 Professional Digital Presence Study and the corporate world is fully awake to the importance and need to manage, optimize and expand their empowered executive voices.

Executives appear to look up to and view positively those professionals that have strong social media presence. Over 73% answered positively when asked how they view senior leaders that have an active professional social media presence.

How do you view senior leader peers who have an active professional social media presence?


The term “thought-leadership” may be overused today but executives appear to be striving aggressively to share and convey their expertise. Joe Kurtzman, editor of "Strategy & Business," coined the term thought-leader back in 1994 for giving accolades to subject matter experts by positioning them as authorities. In Qnary's 2017 study a staggering 87% of professionals surveyed viewed that it is important to very important that they are seen as an industry thought leader in their field.

Do you think it’s important to be seen as an industry thought leader in your field?



Perhaps in the same way one might check out a prospective online blind date, professionals look one another up online. Over 90% of those surveyed stated that they look other executives up to review their backgrounds. Certainly a huge part of this searching is related to recruitment of employees. A part of this activity also appears to be reviewing whether executives are credible. The perception appears to be that if they don't have a robust online presence they are not an active or relevant executive.  

Do you look other executives up online to review their background?


Executives appear to be aware that they need to have an active social media profile to grow their career prospects. A healthy 63% stated that an active professional presence can help their careers.

Do you think having an active professional presence on social media can help your career?


Interestingly there appears to be less worry associated with being active online by professionals. Over 87% of respondents were only somewhat worried to not at all worried about cyber security. And when asked about PR crisis, people did not seem worried. Also, 87% were only somewhat worried to not at all worried about a possible PR crisis. This lack of fear may be related to the confidence that executives are now having online or the lack of understanding of the true PR and cyber security risks.

Are you worried about your cyber security when participating online?


Are you worried about a possible PR crisis for your business when you or your employees are participating online?


No matter what, it is clear that 2017 is a watershed year for professional activity online and 2018 promises to be a banner year as well. Over 75% of professions were likely to very likely to use social media more professionally over the next year.   

Will you use social media more professionally over the next year?


The study results point clearly to the interest and desire of professionals to increase their digital media presences. Professionals provide such a powerful new dimension to the storytelling of their enterprises and brands. And executive content cuts through. People want to hear from people about what they are doing and thinking and planning. Please reach out for a copy of the complete study that will be issued out in Mid-October.