Businesses need to do more to adapt to the demands of social media, a new survey has suggested.
Research conducted by KPMG found that companies are risking reputational damage by failing to respond appropriately to increased consumer activity online.
A study of 1,000 executives revealed that many view social networking as a ‘distraction from work’, which should be ignored.
A fifth of business decision makers in the financial services sector argued that social media should not be accessible in the workplace.
The same belief was held by a third of those in the design and media sectors, compared to just a tenth of people working in the public sector.
Businesses lagging behind
David Elms, partner and head of the media sector at KPMG, said organisations across the private sector are usually the first to put measures in place protecting intellectual property and reputation.
"It seems, however, that the cautious approach to social media that many of us exercise as consumers has, so far, failed to materialise in the workplace," he stated.
“The same cannot be said of organisations operating within the public sector as the evidence suggests a more mature approach to social media."
Mr Elms said it may be born out of the fear of the repercussions that lost data will bring, or recognition that there is a duty of care to manage information securely.
"Whatever the driving force, it is clear that UK industry needs to follow this lead," he stated.
Major impact on business
Mr Elms said it is "a mistake" for any organisation to think that social networks will only have a short-term impact on business.
"There are already far too many examples of businesses being forced to back-track or apologise because they either took too long to react or refused to put safeguards in place," he stated.
"It’s not just about monitoring online chatter," Mr Elms added.
"It’s about creating clarity on who can represent the brand across social networks and establishing parameters for their actions."
Posted by Jenny Arthur