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North Bay Business Journal

Monday, April 26, 2010, 1:05 am

Social Media: Companies shape policies on social sites

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    jennaheader3A new survey by Robert Half Technology in Menlo Park said that employees who want to share news via social networking sites will need to be careful about violating company policies.

    More than half of chief information officers interviewed said workers are not allowed to go on social networking sites at all while at work. More than 1,400 CIOs were interviewed for the study.

    Dave Willmer, executive director of Robert Half Technology, said, “Using social networking sites may divert employees’ attention away from more pressing priorities, so it’s understandable that some companies may limit access.”

    The responses showed that 10 percent can use social networks on company time for any kind of use, 16 percent can for limited personal use and 19 percent are allowed on sites for business purposes only.

    “For some professions,” said Mr. Willmer, “these sites can be leveraged as effective business tools, which may be why one in five companies allow their use for work-related purposes.”

    Only 1 percent of CIOs surveyed had no answer.

    Robert Half Technology suggested the following to make sure that networking use is reasonable.

    Knowing what is allowed and adhering to the rules, using caution, keeping it professional, staying positive and polishing your image are all smart ideas, according to Mr. Willmer.

    Even outside of work, it is advisable to watch as “regrettable posts can be a career liability.”

    ***

    The Nielsen Company and Facebook Inc. have put out a joint report titled “Advertising Effectiveness: Understanding the Value of a Social Media Impression.”

    It provides data from Nielsen’s BrandList product, which analyzed survey data from more than 800,000 Facebook users in response to more than 125 Facebook ad campaigns from 70 brand advertisers.

    They looked at the difference between a paid ad that shows how many people are fans of something, a paid ad that shows how many in the user’s network are fans and an ad that was just in a news feed.

    Because studies show that consumers trust their friends and peers more than anyone else, “It’s critical that we understand advertising not just in terms of paid media, but also in terms of how earned media – advertising that is passed along or shared among friends and beyond – and social advocacy contribute to a campaign,” according to the survey’s authors.

    The study found that users exposed to both the paid ad and the news feed impression remembered the ad at three times the rate of those just exposed to the paid homepage ad.

    “We saw a similar effect for the other two metrics evaluated. Homepage ads increased awareness of the product or brand by 4 percent on average, but exposure to both homepage ads and organic ads increased awareness by a delta of 13 percent versus the control group. Exposure to organic impressions also impacted purchase intent as well, increasing the impact of the ad from 2 percent to 8 percent.”

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    Submit items for this column to Jenna V. Loceff at jloceff@busjrnl.com, 707-521-4259 or fax 707-521-5292.

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