Social Media Goes Corporate

Michael Vizard
Slide Show

The Rise of Social Media in the Enterprise

Social networking looks like it's here to stay.

Maybe you can teach an old business dog new social media tricks after all.

A survey of more than 500 business and IT executives from 17 different countries conducted by Kelton Research on behalf of the IT services firm Avanade finds that more than 70 percent believe that their senior managers now understand the potential of social media. That's up from about 40 percent two years ago.

Given the downturn in the economy, there's no doubt that many senior executives at least initially see social media as a less-expensive way to reach new and existing customers.

But over time, says Chris Colvin, an Avanade global business solutions architect, increased exposure to social media tends to lead to more interest and support from senior executives. The challenge, says Colvin, is to come up with an effective social media strategy that allows companies to quickly respond to issues and maintain control of their own messaging.


It only takes a few idle comments to start a backlash that can expose thousands of customers to an issue that most of them might not have otherwise ever heard about. That usually results in a lot of additional media attention that can leave many senior managers regretting that they ever heard about social media.

The good news is that Avanade study reports that 70 percent of the executives surveyed said their companies have some sort of social media strategy in place. (If not, you'll find plenty of help in our Knowledge Network.) The depth of those strategies is likely to vary widely, but in terms of mainstream adoption of social media, it looks like we're finally there.

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