Company policies on social media revealed

To tweet or not to tweet

Almost half of the workforce at large companies can use Twitter and Facebook at work, according to the findings of a new study.

In a survey of more than 1,400 chief information officers at US companies from IT provider Robert Half Technology, 19 per cent reported that the company allowed social media access for business purposes only. Meanwhile, 16 per cent permitted limited personal use and a further ten per cent placed no restrictions on personal use of networking applications such as Facebook, MySpace and Twitter. This left 54 per cent that operated a blanket ban on social media in the office.

Dave Willmer, executive director of Robert Half Technology, commented on the findings. "Using social networking sites may divert employees' attention away from more pressing priorities so it's understandable that some companies limit access," he said. "For some professions, however, these sites can be leveraged as effective business tools, which may be why about one in five companies allows their use for work-related purposes."

YouTube if you want to

The issue of social media usage became a hot topic as a result of the high-profile Domino's Pizza dispute earlier this year. In North Carolina, two employees at a Domino's Pizza chain filmed themselves breaking hygiene standards in the kitchen and posted the video on YouTube. The clip was reportedly viewed more than one million times and provoked outrage in the media before being taken down.

However, the company was roundly praised for its innovative use of social media to manage the crisis. As soon as the video went viral, Domino's Pizza set up a Twitter account to deal with customer concerns on a one-to-one basis and Patrick Doyle, president of Domino's USA, posted a two-minute apology on YouTube.

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