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Companies Have a Ways to Go With Web 2.0 and Social Networks

Business ‘are still just beginning to understand the potential’

“Despite the hype,” social networking platforms are still seen by businesses as “being used only for social purposes.”

Consulting company Frost & Sullivan surveyed businesses about their corporate use of social networking, policies regarding corporate social networking sites and use of Web 2.0 tools.

“Social networking has increasingly been making itself more visible in the workplace, and its functionality is being harnessed by corporations globally,” the company stated.

“Web 2.0 technologies are widely in use. A vast majority (80%) report that they personally use Web 2.0 technologies to connect and share with friends and family while at work. More than half of all respondents (54%) reported that they use Web 2.0 technologies for professional purposes such as connecting with colleagues, generating leads and collaborating on projects.”

But, F&S found, “despite the current hype of social sites such as Facebook and Twitter, social networking platforms are still perceived as being used only for social purposes. Enterprises, both big and small, are still just beginning to understand the potential of Web 2.0 tools and public and private social networking platforms.”

The company believes that the “next level of productivity” will come when business people can use these tools to go beyond the social aspect.

Social networking sites were the most utilized Web 2.0 tool, according to Frost & Sullivan. “Nearly three-fourths of respondents report using social networking sites for personal use within an organization. Besides social networking sites, other tools cited include blogs, wikis and teamspaces.”

About 4 in 10 organizations formally use social networking/Web 2.0 tools, usually prompted by the IT department.

The firm also found that, “Interestingly, client relations, advertising, marketing and other business communications are not part of most organizations’ use of Web 2.0 tools. The majority of respondents reported that their organizations use Web 2.0 tools primarily for internal use, staff relations and training.”