Organisations need stronger governance and IT department involvement to make the most of social media tools such as Facebook and Twitter.

Only one in 10 respondents noted direct IT involvement in social networking initiatives at their company, according to a Cisco-commissioned global survey.

This is despite 75 percent of respondents using social networks and half using micro-blogging to reach their target consumer audiences. Moreover, the report found that businesses can only reap maximum benefits by integrating social networking tools with each other, as well as the business’ existing architecture.

Meanwhile, the majority of companies (six out of seven) do not have any policies about the deployment of social media tools, with just one in five identifying any policies about the use of social media tools.

One hundred and five companies were surveyed for the study, of which 19 were in the IT and Telecom industry. The research was conducted between April and September 2009 by the UK’s Henley Business School, IESE Business School in Spain and the Rochester Institute of Technology in New York.

Although small and medium-sized businesses are actively using social media to generate leads, larger companies are lagging behind in the adoption of the technologies. The report found that the unstructured nature of social networking is one reason that makes it difficult for companies to create and adopt related policies.

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