For those of us who work with social media every day it is easy to forget that, when it comes to enterprise social media adoption, many companies are still on the learning curve. A new research report released by InformationWeek shows that the majority of enterprise users have deployed internal social networks, but are struggling to get employees to use them. 27% do not have any kind of external corporate presence on a social network, only one in four have a policy for responding to customer complaints on Facebook or Twitter, and one-fourth block employee access to the major external social networks. This may change in the coming year, however, as the responsibility for monitoring conversations on social networks has shifted from an IT function to a marketing function.
InformationWeek surveyed 452 business technology professionals. 67% of respondents have IT titles (C-level/VP/director/manager/staff); 49% are at companies with $100 million+ in revenues; the top industries represented were government (14%), financial services (12%) and education (10%).
Is Lack of Integration Slowing the Adoption of Internal Social Networks?
87% of these companies have some form of internal social networking in place (a blog, wiki or portal, for instance) — but only 13% of respondents consider their companies’ social networking efforts a “great success” (up from 10% in last year’s survey). The greatest challenge? User adoption, cited by 35% of respondents. The features that see the greatest amount of “moderate” or “heavy” use from employees are about people and project-specific information-sharing: collaborative project or information-sharing platforms (57%), the online company directory (53%), and team or company wikis (37%).
What might be hindering adoption? For starters, 42% say they do not have any sort of email integration for their internal social network. Another factor: the lure of external social networks. “Your company is competing with Facebook, LinkedIn, Salesforce, Google and even Microsoft when it comes to your users’ social collaboration,” writes Michael Healey, author of the report (Rebooting the Antisocial Network, registration required). Yet only 20% of respondents say they offer some kind of integration of external social networks into the internal employee networks.
Enterprise Still Cautious About External Social Networks
When it comes to external social networks, 66% have a corporate presence on Facebook, 62% on LinkedIn, and 53% are on Twitter. The flip side: 27% don’t. And about one-fourth of respondents report that they block employee access to external social networks: 24% block Facebook, 25% block Twitter, and 15% block access to LinkedIn.
For those that do have a presence on external social networks, 38% say that presence is driven primarily by branding and promotional efforts; 11% say it is driven by customer support.
Interestingly, monitoring was, until recently, an IT responsibility. In 2010, responsibility for social media monitoring was shared between IT (44%) and marketing (41%). In 2011, the responsibility has shifted to marketing (54%).
But when it comes to using social networks to respond to online conversations, companies still have a long way to go. Only 1 in 5 have a formal process for dealing with situations involving “inappropriate employee comments online,” only 17% have a process for dealing with customer complaints on Facebook, and only 12% of respondents have a process for dealing with customer complaints on Twitter. As Frank Eliason pointed out at Realtime NY 11: “Companies are poor at listening. 90% say they’re listening, but only 17% are acting on it.”
What do you think–is this cautious approach justified, especially when it comes to certain high-risk industries? Or are you surprised that enterprise adoption is as slow as it is?