I started writing this technology blog a little over a year ago after being asked again and again to share how businesses can use technology to improve their operations and bottom line. Technology can be seen as a fad and sometimes we buy it as businesses (and consumers) to look contemporary. I think the same is true for social media. Often, businesses start using social media because “everyone is doing it.”
As I tell my kids, that’s not a good reason. I have seen social media change dramatically over the past five years and more and more businesses are testing the waters. The number of blogs alone has skyrocketed. Now, anyone with a computer and a desire to write on technology can. That has created some challenges in the IT world.
Technology, by definition, can be complicated. Now, there are all sorts of people – amateur to expert – sharing details about technology. While more information typically is better, it also causes quite a bit of confusion among businesses. Who do you believe? What’s right?
Amidst this social media flurry, I wanted to share a few facts and what I think they mean for business. I’d like your feedback, too, so I created a survey I'd like you to take.
Over 80 percent of all Americans use a social network.
It’s common today for businesses to create databases, implement CRM systems and the necessary technology to support them. At minimum, businesses need to begin including the “social media touch points” employees are making with current customers and prospects in their CRM. But businesses also need to recognize the vast and growing databases they have access to through social media platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook and identify pathways to integrate them into their current information systems.
23 percent of Facebook's users check their account 5 or more times daily.
Often times, organizations set up firewalls or block employees from using Facebook and other social media sites on company computers. The reason is not for security, but to keep employees focused on work. The reality is that they have other devices they use to log on. About 40 percent of social media users access their accounts through mobile devices. The takeaway here is that businesses no longer can go without a social media policy. It’s important to outline the company’s expectations around employee use.
Americans spend more time on Facebook than any other U.S. website.
This is big, especially for the majority of businesses that have dedicated so much time to developing, maintaining and improving their websites. As CIO, I am constantly evaluating new technology and implementing new communication tools. Today, we may focus on email and phone systems. Social media soon will become as standard in business and having a presence on Facebook is something that IT professionals and corporate leaders need to not only support, but also take a lead on in developing a strategy and implementation plan for.
From the analytics, I know people are reading this blog and the comments I have received show readers are finding value. But I’d like to know how you choose the blogs you read and why you have chosen this one. So, I’d appreciate it if you would complete this quick survey. It’s only three questions and you could win a Kindle Fire on March 8 for taking the time.
Click to take the survey now.