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Facebook & Twitter see explosive growth in workplace usage|Web Filtering

Posted by Geraldine Hunt on Thu, Jan 26th, 2012

Let's face it. Facebook is addictive, as is Twitter. Facebook & Twitter have seen massive growth in workplace usage- don't go thinking this affects productivity though!

New research from Palo Alto reports that employees are three times more active on Facebook at the office compared with the same period in 2010. The same report also showed an explosive growth in Twitter with its use on corporate networks up 700% from 2010 .

It’s true, more and more companies are taking advantage of the opportunities that both Twitter and Facebook  offer  in terms of

  • customer service,
  • promotion and
  • communication.

It is now unusual for a company not to have a Facebook or Twitter presence and clearly companies require employees to use these Facebook and Twitter tools for business purposes. However social media in the enterprise represents a double-edge sword. There is no doubt it presents  powerful ways to engage with customers and potential customers.  However, it can also expose the business to web and network security risks, wasted bandwidth and reduced productivity issues.

The report concludes that it believes much of this increased usage  is work related and not  down to personal use and employers shouldn't be concerned about  these rising levels of workplace social networking ! If this represents your company and  employee time on Twitter rose 700% on last year chewing up my expensive bandwidth, affecting productivity and exposing the network to malicious threats  - would you be concerned?.

It’s more difficult to determine what proportion of this increase is due to personal usage of social networks to interact with friends and play games. Companies must determine how to safely enable these technologies so that users can continue to be productive, while at the same time ensuring that their corporate networks and users are protected.

Here's how to flexibly manage  Facebook and Twitter usage in the workplace while still benefiting from all it has to offer:

  • Define what level of social network usage is acceptable
  • Draft a clear and precise internet usage policy, including details on social networking data ownership.
  • Communicate this policy clearly throughout the company
  • Flexibly manage and monitor social networking in your company
  • It’s important to engage your employees on the whole subject of social networking to help your company and ensure that social networking becomes a positive business activity in your organisation.

Something to think about, in the meantime why not take a closer look at  WebTitan  to get an insight as to how you can flexibly managing social networking in the workplace.

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