Corporations Lag On Adopting Social Media

    June 29, 2009

Social networking has increasingly become more visible in the workplace, and its functionality is being leveraged by companies globally, according to a new survey from Frost & Sullivan.

A majority (80%) of respondents said they personally use Web 2.0 technologies to connect and share with friends and family while at work. More than half  (54%) said they use social media for professional purposes such as connecting with colleagues, generating leads, and working on projects.

Vanessa Alvarez
Vanessa Alvarez

"However, despite the current hype of social sites such as Facebook and Twitter, social networking platforms are still perceived as being used only for social purposes," said Vanessa Alvarez, Industry Analyst with Frost & Sullivan’s Unified Communications practice.

"Enterprises, both big and small, are still just beginning to understand the potential of Web 2.0 tools and public and private social networking platforms. The next level of productivity will occur when enterprises can use these tools to go beyond the social aspect, and harness the unlimited potential of these tools to more effectively manage workflows and drive business."

Social networking sites are the most used Web 2.0 tool. Nearly three-fourths of respondents report using social networking sites for personal use within an organization. Besides social networking sites, other tools used include, blogs, wikis, and teamspaces.

The majority of respondents indicated that their organizations have written policies concerning the use and access of social networking sites. Among those individuals working at companies without a written policy, 80 percent work in organizations that allow access to such sites, despite no formal policies.

The survey also found client relations, advertising, marketing, and other business communications are not part of most organizations’ use of social media. The majority of respondents said their organizations use social media primarily for internal use, staff relations and training.

"Social networking and other Web 2.0 technologies are literally changing the way people think about collaboration, and how willing they are to share information," says Melanie Turek, Industry Principal with Frost & Sullivan’s Unified Communications practice.

"Organizations have always looked for ways to make their employees more collaborative; today, they need to look for ways to make their collaborative employees more effective."