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Study shows Twitter use by employees is up by seven times

Written by Simply Zesty on

The use of social media in the workplace is often a source of debate, with some arguing that companies need to be more open to employees  using social media, with others arguing that it is essentially a waste of time. Regardless of which side of the fence you sit on, the use of Facebook and Twitter in offices is on the up. Palo Alto Networks, a network security firm, carried out research analysing online traffic at 1,600 organisations in the second half of 2010, and carried out the same analysis in the second half of 2011. They found that use of Facebook had increased by three times amongst employees, while Twitter saw a huge rise with seven times more traffic.

A positive trend?

What the study seemed to uncover, is that a growing portion of that traffic is due to companies actively embracing social media and encouraging employees to use their personal accounts to market company Facebook apps etc.. This is encouraging, as it shows companies opening up a more social dialogue with their employees, where it has previously often been the case that employees find out about something on social media at the same time as their customers, resulting in confused communication and sometimes embarassment. It shows that companies recognise social media activity begins in the workplace first, and can then be turned into outward facing communications.

The increased use of Twitter by employees can also be seen as particularly positive, as this is a network much more about gaining information than is it about 'pure' socialising. It shows an increased adoption of Twitter to educate employees, making them more knowledgable about external events, in real time. It is hard to see the increased use of Tiwtter in the workplace as anything other than positive, although as with any social networking activity, if it is accompanied by good education and training from the organisation, it will ultimately be more beneficial to business practices.

While some may react negatively to the headline findings in the study - such as Facebook apps and games accounting for 5% of the social networking bandwidth, what it in fact shows is a more general trend in business practices. As the popularity of social networks increases overall, it is only inevitable that this will eventually cross over into use in the workplace. Even more so when you consider the study finds the increase is also attributable by increased monitoring of customers on social networks.

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