More than one-half of U.S. employers increasing social media outreach in 2012: SHRM

HR relied upon to create, enforce social media policies
|hrreporter.com|Last Updated: 01/13/2012

In the next year, more than one-half (55 per cent) of United States employers plan to increase their social media efforts, according to a recent survey by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).

The survey — An Examination of How Social Media Is Embedded in Business Strategy and Operations — found that 40 per cent of organizations have a formal social media policy. Of those, 43 per cent rely on their HR department to create the policy and 44 per cent rely on HR to enforce the policy.

More than one-half (56 per cent) of social media policies include a statement regarding the organization’s right to monitor social media usage, found the survey. Other common policy components include:

•a code of conduct for employee use of social networking for professional purposes (68 per cent)

•a code of conduct for employee use of social networking for personal purposes (66 per cent)

•guidelines for social media communications (55 per cent).

More than one-half (52 per cent) of organizations include social media as part of their marketing strategies, and marketing staff in 35 per cent of organizations lead social media activity, found the survey.

“Right now, HR is often the go-to department for creating and enforcing social media policies,” said Mark Schmit vice-president of research at SHRM. “As social media becomes more defined in business beyond marketing activities, HR’s role will continue to grow and evolve as well.”

Other key findings of the survey:

•More than one-quarter (28 per cent) of organizations have a social media strategy.

•More than one-third (39 per cent) monitor their employees social media use on company-owned computers and handheld devices.

•One-third of employers (33 per cent) with a social media policy have disciplined an employee who violated the social media policy in the last year.

•Almost one-quarter of organizations (21 per cent) use analytics or reporting tools to measure the return on investment (ROI) for their social media efforts.

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