Executives See Value And Danger In Social Media

Worry over reputation

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Social media has become a common communication tool in the U.S., driven by the fact that Americans’ time on social networking sites has increased by 73 percent in the past year, according to a new survey from Minneapolis-based Russell Herder and Ethos Business Law.

When it comes to using social media in a corporate setting, fifty-one percent of executives surveyed said they fear social media could reduce employee productivity, while 49 percent said that using social media could damage a company’s reputation.

While executives are concerned about social media, they also see value in it, with 81 percent saying social media can improve customer relations and build their brands. Nearly 70 percent feel social networking can be valuable in recruitment (69%), as a customer service tool (64%) and used to improve employee morale (46%).

Do you see value in social media or do you have serious concerns about it? Let us know in the comments.

Perceived Value of Social Media

The most popular social networks being used include Facebook (80%), Twitter (66%), YouTube (55%), LinkedIn (49%) and blogs (43%).

Social Media Vehicles Being Used

"Particularly as Millennials compose a greater share of corporate ranks, social networks are likely to become more popular as communication channels with customers, colleagues and partners," said Carol Russell, CEO of Russell Herder.

The majority (74%) of executives said they visit social media sites at least weekly to read what customers are saying about their company, while 47 percent routinely monitor competitor’s use of social networking.  Over a third (36%) search social media sites to see what their employees are sharing and 25 percent use social networking to check the background of a potential employee.

"Social media is a far different animal than traditional technology, so a company’s current policies on IT matters are usually not sufficient," said David Baer, President, Ethos.

"And remember, all companies are different, thus the rules for defining and implementing a social media policy are not universal. They must take into consideration the form, substance, philosophy and culture of the organization."

What do you think? Let us know in the comments.

Executives See Value And Danger In Social Media
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  • http://www.trigeia.com Trigeia Twins

    Popular companies really dont have a choice. Social media is going to exist and users are going to use these sites to vent and complain about your product or service. You might as well jump on board and protect your brand and while you are there figure out how to make Social media work for there company. Social Media: More than Creating Connections http://www.trigeia.com/article.php?id=99437

  • http://www.homesolarpowersystems.org Home Solar Power Systems

    Social media helps to improve customer relations and build their brands. Its true. Most of us are using this as a tool for a getting in touch with new people, building communication etc……I personally use facebook, twitter , linkedin. Lets keep a watch on these social media websites. These might be part of our life in future.

  • http://www.neotericuk.co.uk/seo-london.php Seo London

    Social media sites are really necessary for today’s active businessmen to build strong customer relationship , market value and brand. But like other things these have also dark side that can harm the Brand value therefore these need to be used carefully.

  • http://www.signature.eu.com/ Smarter Marketing Tips

    Research from Institure of Direct Marketing would say otherwise “…almost 70 per cent of Britons do not regard checking social networking sites as a time-waster” – (Source: Institute of Direct Marketing, 16 April 2009)

    If your an online business, social networking is a great way to promote your business and stay in touch with your customers. However estimates puts the cost to UK business’ at around

    • James

      Yeah… sure… if you use it properly… not everybody does… for example… I am entirely inneffective at it and have a better success rate responding to classifieds, selling product on a website or building product, ect…

      Social media is not for everyone… That’s obvious…

      The cup is still half empty…

  • http://www.cheaperhoster.com Brian

    Are these North American social media usage stats? Different regions seem to gravitate to different social networks and I think Bebo, Friendster and HI5 are pretty big in other parts of the world.

  • http://www.linkedin.com/in/gregman2 Guest

    There are a number of analtyic platforms that are helping to rationalize the space. For example, see http://www.bluetweet.com. Also, I think Omniture has a a twiiter app that’s similar to Site Catalyst.

  • http://www.joethevoter.org Joe the Voter

    It is true that more companies are using social media and it is also true that this can have an effect on their reputation.

    I have noticed in recent health care reform debate that some anti-care agents are inviting people to follow them on various media source.

    I have also noted that the more radical their position, the less likely they are to allow the public to participate in their debate on line. What this says to me about the companies and organizations that follow this tact is that they are trying to subvert the media into a one-way propaganda platform.

    This will have a negative impact on their image because it takes what is intended to be an interactive platform and “defiles” it to support a single point of view.

    Companies or organizations who choose to use social media must accept it as it is intended, a two-way medium. If they fear public opinion they have no business using a public forum, else damage their own image.

  • http://www.wtfis.com bvllets

    How in the hell do people use an internal app as a social media vehicle? ie. Yammer?

  • Karl

    I primarily use social media for networking (professional) purposes. I think it is a mistake for any business person to use Web sites such as Facebook and Twitter for personal (public) purposes. The danger of using these Web sites for personal use is you can potentially damage your image and reputation.

  • Guest

    There is value and danger in crossing a street.

  • http://www.brooksidedental.com Gil

    Very interesting article. I have started using a few of the Social Media sites both to transmit and to receive information. You really have to pick the ones that are most suited to your area of interest and that takes a little work. You have to view these sites as being able to help your overall reputation and expertise. I have recently started a blog, http://bellevuedentist-cosmetic.blogspot.com/ so that I can have something to contribute to some of the Social Media sites that I visit. If you are worried about negative impact on your reputation, that specter has been available long before the advent of the Social Media sites. Places like Judy’s Book and Angie’s List were available for the sole purpose of leaving good or bad comments about businesses. The survey in your article was very interesting to read, but as Brian said, it must be for the US, because HI5 is probably the most popular site among my Spanish speaking friends.

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    • http://www.silver-artz.co.uk Lesley

      I can hardly believe what I am seeing. This is the most blatant piece of spamming I have seen in a while. I did not know that this sort of thing was allowed.

      Web Pro News you should charge for priests comment!

  • http://st63.pochta.ru Guest st63

    The users Of youTube very frequently remove their video of publication because of the uncertainty in the protection from the external pressure on them.

  • http://www.bikeshopcastlehill.com.au Home Solar Power Systems

    People stay connected through Social media. Positive or negative, again it’s left to us on how we use the resource.

  • http://blogs.catapultsystems.com/rnellis Robert Nellis – Social Media Consultant

    I see fear of Social Media everywhere I go. The thought is that you will lose control of your message by introducing it in your organization. The truth is that if you don’t engage in Social Media, that’s where you lose control of the message b/c the conversations are happening with or without you.

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