by Mike Sachoff, WebProNews
Worry over reputation
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%).
The most popular social networks being used include Facebook (80%), Twitter (66%), YouTube (55%), LinkedIn (49%) and blogs (43%).
"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."