Businesses are ill-prepared for what is going to happen to them in the next couple of years. Students currently at university and college are avid users of social networking sites. New research shows the dramatic increase in uptake of social networking by students.
The study reveals that six out of every ten college students use social networking sites on a daily basis. This is up almost double on the numbers just a couple of years ago.
To undergraduate students, social networking is now a way of life. If that doesn’t persist into the workplace, they will be like ducks without water. Graduate recruits who can’t take part in social networking will have to re-learn a whole new way of doing things if the corporate world doesn’t allow them to use social networks.
But what is big business doing about social networking? Banning it. Yep, that’s right – just as the rest of the world is realising the immense power of social networks, big companies the world over are banning social networking.
You might think, for a moment, that large companies know what they are doing; after all you don’t get big unless you know a thing or two. Well, think again, it’s big business that got us into the global economic mess we’re in. Large companies are not as clever as they might like us to think.
So, the social networking situation is another case in point of big business failing to understand. If graduates cannot use social networks within their business they will go elsewhere. Indeed, if a big business does not allow social networking or doesn’t have internal social networks, that will become a disincentive for job seekers from the colleges.
Combine that with the fact that over 50% of all undergraduates now report their intention is to start their own business, rather than work for an employer, big businesses will have their work cut out to attract quality graduates unless there is a wholesale change in attitude to social networking. Gone are the days when social networking was something that big companies thought about, tinkered with and then banned. Time has come for them to embrace social networks.
If they don’t do this, it will be like employing graduates who can write but banning them from using pens and pencils. Social networking has to be a central strategy for the future success of big business.
Graham Jones is an Internet Psychologist who studies the way people use the online world, in particular how people engage with businesses. He uses this knowledge to help companies improve their online connections to their customers and potential customers and offers consultancy, workshops, masterclasses and webinars. He also speaks regularly at conferences and business events. Graham is an award-winning writer and the author of 32 books, several of which are about various aspects of the Internet. For more information connect with me on Google+