August 1, 2012
Comms Across the Pond: Social Media Is Shunned by European CIOs as 67% Block Facebook, New Study Finds — SEO and Social Media Expert Blasts Practice, Asserting That Businesses Must Embrace and Exploit Social Media, "Not Fight Against It"
European CIOs are shunning the benefits of social media for business, reveals a study from Easynet and Ipanema Technologies. CIOs risk alienating customers, creating ineffective marketing strategies, demotivating staff and eliminating their competitive edge by not embracing social media. The research, Killer Apps 2012, showed that: 67% of European CIOs and IT Directors said they block Facebook; 60% block YouTube; 49% block Twitter; and 56% block all online video. "It's a risky business to block social media networks and I'm genuinely shocked at the statistic showing how many companies do this," said Lisa Myers, CEO of SEO and social media agency Verve Search, in a news release. "The ROI for social media is that your business will still be here in five years' time. Half the human race is under 30, and has never known a world without the Internet. For these people, the Internet — and social media along with it — is a way of life. Businesses need to embrace the power of social media and use it to improve their staff retention and their customer experience, not fight against it," she added. "The gap between Generation X and Generation Y is becoming a chasm," said Justin Fielder, Easynet's chief technology officer, in the release. "This isn't just about attracting and retaining young talent, it's about how best to create a dialogue with, and retain, your customers. Social media is oxygen to anyone under 30 and it's vital for communication, education and information. It has huge implications on business success. Business leaders — usually Generation X — have to understand this or they will find the future of their business in jeopardy."
Thierry Grenot, Executive Vice President at Ipanema Technologies, says "Microsoft's recent purchase of business social networking site Yammer demonstrates the importance of social networking in the workplace, but it seems that European CIOs have some catching up to do." He continued: "Many of the anticipated challenges caused by employee usage of social media such as its impact on the corporate network have been solved, so it's time for CIOs to look again at their policies in this area."
Fielder and Grenot suggest CIOs carry out an 'Application Performance Audit' on their corporate network so that IT departments have a clear view of network traffic, its business priority and its bandwidth implications.