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Did you hear?…Most company execs lack confidence in their social media strategies

If you have cool technology at your fingertips, it does no good if you don’t know how to use it for your benefit. That’s true for any organization. A recent study by NFI Research suggests that most business leaders are not confident that their companies have a solid strategy for using social networking tools, such as Twitter, Facebook and blogs.


In an ESPN.com story earlier this month, Pat Forde revealed some of the most banal Tweets put out by college football coaches.

Danny Hope, the new head coach for Purdue has this gem:

“Purdue enrolls the largest student body of any university in Indiana. Boiler Up!!”

Not exactly the most compelling stuff.

If you have cool technology at your fingertips, it does no good if you don’t know how to use it for your benefit. That’s true for any organization, be it a football team or corporation.

A recent study by NFI Research (www.nfiresearch.com) suggests that most business leaders are not confident that their companies have a solid strategy for using social networking tools, such as Twitter, Facebook and blogs.

The study found that two-thirds of senior executives and managers said they have a low level of confidence and 12 percent have a high level of confidence in their plans for using social media. Nearly a quarter were neutral.

Within companies, managers were less confident than executives. Three of four managers expressed low confidence in their social networking strategy, while six of 10 executives expressed low confidence. 

The research also suggests that bigger companies are less able to deal with social networking than smaller outfits. Of the larger companies surveyed, 73 percent reported low confidence in their plans for using social networks, while 64 percent of small businesses reported low confidence. More small companies (14 percent) than large companies (8 percent) expressed high confidence in their ability to use social networking.

NFI Research also asked companies to identify the social networking tools they use. Just over three of four use LinkedIn, 31 percent use Facebook, 25 percent use blogs and 18 percent use Twitter.

Following are results from two questions included in the NFI survey:

When it comes to using social networking for business, what is your confidence level that your department and/or organization has a plan/strategy on how to effectively use it?

Extremely High ……….. 2.8 percent

Somewhat High ………. 9.0 percent

Neutral…………………… 22.8 percent

Somewhat Low ……….. 32.4 percent

Extremely Low ………… 33.1 percent

Which of the following services do you use for business purposes?

LinkedIn ………………………………. 77.3 percent

Facebook …………………………….. 30.9 percent

Blogs…………………………………… 24.5 percent

Twitter …………………………………..18.2 percent

Wiki…………………………………….. 18.2 percent

Plaxo…………………………………….13.6 percent

MSN Windows Live Spaces ……. 2.7 percent

MySpace ……………………………… 0.9 percent

Other …………………………………… 13.6 percent

–Marcus Woolf