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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.”