Facebook, Twitter Costing Businesses Time, Money: Report

By Nathan Eddy  |  Print this article Print

Social media is growing, so the issue of people accessing and using it during work hours is likely to increase.

A calculator that measures the cost to companies of time spent by employees using social media has revealed that the average company with 52 employees pays out $65,000 per year for non-work-related social media activity. WebTitan’s social media cost calculator shows that workers using non-work-related social networking for a mere 20 minutes is the equivalent of paying out $65,000, or 5 percent of the year’s salary bill, for non-productive work.

Social media is growing exponentially, so the issue of people accessing and using it during work hours is likely to increase and continue to cost companies in terms of productivity and ultimately financially. Twitter has grown from 27 million tweets per day in 2010 to 95 million—a 250 percent increase. Facebook has grown globally from 350 million active users to 640 million—half of which log in daily. Other social media products such as Flickr, Wikipedia, YouTube and the new Google+ combined with access from mobile devices establish how pervasive social media is.

Finding a way to manage non-work browsing habits, including accessing Facebook at work, tweeting, watching YouTube videos or any of the numerous other social media activities that can distract employees in their daily working lives, is proving challenging for companies. As the social media calculator shows, there is a significant cost involved, and companies should think about how to stop this from getting out of control.

"With companies now using social media to market to customers, it is important that social media access is flexibly managed as roles require it, and that the Web filtering tool employed to do this is dynamic enough to keep pace with changes within the organization," said Ronan Kavanagh, CEO of SpamTitan Technologies. "In the past, companies just had to consider personal use of telephone and subsequently email; now they have a minefield of Internet-related access points to consider."