Social media: disruptive or productive?

There are a few schools of thought when it comes to the use of social media tools in the workplace. Some organisations ban it completely, while others allow it to be used freely while some companies limit use to certain times of the day.

However, according to a survey from Google, who questioned 2,700 professionals across France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and the UK, there is a growing recognition that social media tools hold the key to a more productive way of doing things, rather than them being a distraction.

According to the survey today’s professionals are using social tools for:

• Finding people, information or expertise more quickly (41%)

• Collaboration and knowledge sharing (37%)

• Widening personal networks, building professional relationships, raising profile and creating communities (34%)

• Reducing the volume and length of emails (31%)

Social media in business:

• 70% of professionals believe social tools will change business strategy

• 69% think businesses that embrace them will grow faster than those that don’t

• 68% believe businesses that embrace social tools will find it easier to attract and keep the best people

• Professionals estimate that productivity could be increased by nearly 20% through the use of social tools

As PR professionals, social media forms a significant part of what we do, from helping our clients plan their own social media strategies, to monitoring Twitter to see what journalists are talking about. Other lines of business use social media to engage with their customers to promote new products and services. Using it effectively for your business is a different challenge for every organisation. So a productive business aid or a distraction, what do you think?

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