If you’ve decided your business is going to be saved by reaching out to people on social networks, you might want to note a new report that says more than half of American businesses have banned their employees from accessing networks like Twitter and Facebook while at work.
The survey from the IT firm Robert Half Technology finds that 54% of companies have banned worker access to social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace while at work. 19% say access is permitted for business use, 16% allow limited personal use and just 10% say they aren’t restrictive.
The survey isn’t necessarily a big surprise, but it is food for thought for companies that are trying to market to business people on social networks during the business day. In many cases – it might just show a poor link between a company’s marketing message and its internal policies. How many of these major companies say they are using social media as a critical part of their strategy, but telling their IT departments to block social media sites?
The problem then isn’t with the conduct – I get that people want their employees not to waste time on the web, but in the corporate message. If you want your people to use social media as an effective tool, then you need to get them comfortable with it – and expecting them to do that in their spare time (or sending the message that they shouldn’t do it at all) is not a smart business strategy.
Of course, while workplace use may be officially prohiited, people are still accessing sites during the day – and 46 percent of Facebook users is still about 150 million people – which beats the number you can get by working the phones or sending direct mail.
I also talked about a couple of other things this morning… in the video below.
A short time after Hotmail warned its users that a phishing scam tricked thousands of its users to give up their Hotmail passwords, Google’s GMail warns its customers that they aren’t safe from scammers, either. The company has released some gentle reminders that users need to protect their passwords and make them more secure.
And if you’re one of the millions of people who use Skype to make phone calls over the Internet, you can now get out that iPhone. AT&T is bowing to pressure and allowing access to Skype and other Voice over IP applications on its 3G network. Previously, you could use Skype, but only if you had a wifi connection.
Plus GMail warns its users that they aren’t immune from a phishing attack like the one that was able to access tens of thousands of Hotmail users’ passwords, and there’s some good news for the hundreds of thousands of people who want to access Skype or other VoIP carriers from their iPhones. AT&T is giving users access to those carriers – nice for iPhone users – who have ben limited to using Skype from their phones only if they have a wi-fi connection.
Don’t forget we have another edition of “Ask the Experts” coming online tomorrow at 12:30pm. This week, we’re sponsored by your New England Lincoln Mercury dealers, and the topic is innovation and technology in Lincoln Mercury, Ford and other cars. You can register at necn.com/asktheexperts, and then ask your questions in a safe environment about how all this new technology being packed into computers actually works – whether its Bluetooth, GPS, voice recognition or any other aspects of in-car technology you want to know more about. We’ve got a couple of top Lincoln Mercury tech experts to walk you through.
So I personally hope you’ll go to necn.com/asktheexperts, sign up and submit your questions.