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Developers’ Social Scene

February 22, 2012

Each year we do a special syndicated survey focused entirely on tactical marketing focused on software developers.  It’s the one report we do that’s not focused on technology adoption but instead looks at outreach methods, purchasing authority, influencers and so on – and it’s one that I write myself.  So, lately I’ve been steeped in the various aspects of reaching and persuading developers and of course a big focus this year is social media.

Ok, so we all know that social media is huge for advertising and exposure to the general public  – but does it work with developers?  Of course, developers are not aliens from outer space, they are people and yes they do use social media.  In this latest survey 48% say they use social networks.  Does that seem like a small percentage? Well, not surprisingly use is related to age.  Well over 60% of developers 25 years old and younger report using social networks, but only 23% of those over 60 do. On the other hand, multi-player games are more popular with those between the ages of 30 and 40 than any other groups.

But at the end of the day, the real question is not about the demographics of developers who use social networks but about the effectiveness of outreach efforts directed across that media. And when it comes to the popularity of social media vs purchasing authority, it’s weighted towards the buyers.  Social networks are more used by developers who can personally authorize expenditures of $5000 and up than by those who can spend $100 or less.

Of course we also chart which networks developers find valuable for their development efforts and a really interesting thing happened this year.  The number of developers citing Facebook as a valuable resource was cut almost in half while at the same time Google+, new in the survey, picked up almost as many developers as Facebook lost.  More about that next time…….

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