Five ways businesses can improve by social networking


The use of social networking tools as part of day to day office life has led to increases in efficiency, according to a report released by AT&T.

In the survey of 2,500 people, 65 per cent said it had made them or their colleagues more efficient, with 46 per cent saying it had sparked ideas and creativity.

Across the UK, France, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands, these were the top five social networking tools used by organisations.

1. Companies own collaboration sites on intranet

2. Internal forums within the company

3. Company-produced video material shared on the intranet

4. Online social networks such as LinkedIn and Facebook

5. External collaboration sites on the web and internal blogging sites.

The survey also showed that 65 per cent of employees believed that their company had adopted social networking as part of the working culture.

However the UK wasn't the best at social networking adoption, with Germany out in front.

AT&T executive director Martin Silman said that chief information officers and colleagues needed to think about the improvements in collaboration, productivity and business efficiency.

"The change is sociological rather than technological," Silman said. "Social networking is changing the way corporations communicate and if the corporate vision incorporates and builds upon the move to social networking and Web 2.0, then the key performance indicators will easily follow."