Despite the widespread use of the Internet, a recent survey shows that social media remains untapped by most companies. In a study done by The Conference Board, the Stanford Rock Center for Corporate Governance, and the Center for Leadership and Research at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, social media is used by less than one third of companies these days. These companies do not use social networks like Facebook and LinkedIn in theirs strategies.
A “Disconnect” between Knowing & Applying Social Media
For the study, about 180 corporate directors and senior executives of private and public companies in North America were surveyed. Apparently, there seems to be a “disconnect” between how they understand social media, and how they can apply it to business purposes. According to David Larcker, the lead author of the study and a professor at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, although companies recognize the great potential of using social media, they are also aware of the risks that it can pose toward their business.
Key Findings of the Study
Among the key findings of the study are:
1. Even though majority or 90% of the respondents say that they recognize the possible impact of social media, only 32% use it in detecting risks regarding their businesses. Likewise, only 14% utilize social media metrics in measuring corporate performance.
2. Almost 65% of the respondents share that they utilize social media for personal purposes. On the other hand, only 63% use it for business. This indicates that some of them are familiar with social media networks.
3. Among the respondents, 59% use social media in communicating with their customers, 49% in advertising, 35% in studying about customers, and 30% in learning about their competitors, new services and products, and in communicating with their employees.
4. About 50% of the respondents do not receive reports that contain social media metrics and summary information. On the other hand, only 8% of directors and 24% of senior managers say that they do.
In general, the authors of the study suggest that in order to maximize the use of social media, business should come up with a set of guidelines to be followed by directors and employees alike. They could also consider using a monitoring tool such as Radian6, Sprout Social, or Sysomos.