SOURCE: Awareness, Inc.

September 15, 2008 08:00 ET

Awareness, Inc. Unveils 2008 Report on Trends and Best Practices in Adopting Web 2.0

WALTHAM, MA--(Marketwire - September 15, 2008) - Awareness, Inc., the leader in enterprise social media, today announced the release of the second in a series of reports on enterprise social media, "Trends and Best Practices in Adopting Web 2.0 in 2008." To download the free report, click here.

The report indicates that community initiatives and requirements continue to evolve, highlighted by an increased focus on the deeper and broader integration of Web 2.0 technologies with other complementary enterprise systems and enabling broader community participation from both internal and external audiences.

The report details the results of a survey conducted by an independent third party of 160 professionals about their organizations' adoption of social media and Web 2.0 technologies. More than half of the respondents were management or senior-level executives, with their roles evenly between marketing, business strategy development and technology/IT.

The report details many interesting developments in the corporate adoption of social media over the last year, including:

-- Employers are starting to allow social media participation more freely in their organizations: The number of organizations that allow social networking for business purposes has increased dramatically to 69 percent in 2008 -- up from 37 percent last year;

-- Employers are finding the benefits of using social media: 63 percent are using social media to build and promote their brand, 61 percent are using it to improve communication and collaboration, and 58 percent are using it to increase consumer engagement;

-- 75 percent of employees are already using social networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace and LinkedIn for business purposes, up 15 percent from 2007;

-- Use of internal-facing communities is on the rise with 6 percent of organizations already reporting they deployed internal-facing communities, while 33 percent indicate their organization plans to implement internal-facing social media initiatives;

-- Similarly, external-facing communities are increasing: 27 percent of respondents said their companies were planning to deploy external-facing communities while only 13 percent indicated their organizations already have external-facing communities;

-- Online communities directed at specific interests and groups of people allow for more targeted marketing techniques and better results so for this reason 37 percent of organizations have specific areas of focus for their communities.

"Increasingly employers are realizing that social media can offer great value in connecting both with people outside their company, and also internally, enhancing employee communication and collaboration," said John Bruce, CEO of Awareness. "It is no longer about convincing organizations of the potential benefits that social networking, blogging, video, wikis and other Web 2.0 technologies offer, but rather helping them to fully realize the benefits with internal and external audiences. As the report concludes, the development of best practices for companies to follow is key. Learning how to encourage participation without forcing it, how to manage communities without clamping down and discerning which technologies work best in what contexts are our main focus points and essential to the success of any enterprise social media deployment."

To learn more about the trends and best practices of social media marketing and Web 2.0 adoption, the Awareness report is available for free download here.

About Awareness

Awareness helps companies build and operate branded Web 2.0 communities. These online communities let customers, prospects, employees and partners connect with each other and share content. At the core of the Awareness solution is an on-demand social media platform that combines the full range of Web 2.0 technologies -- blogs, wikis, discussion groups, social networking, podcasts, RSS, tagging, photos, videos, mapping, etc. -- with security, control, and content moderation. Awareness builds these features into complete communities for companies, or customers use the Awareness API and widgets to integrate Web 2.0 technologies into their own web properties. Major corporations such as McDonald's, Kodak, the New York Times Company, Northwestern Mutual and Procter & Gamble use Awareness to build brand loyalty, generate revenue, drive new forms of marketing, improve collaboration, encourage knowledge-sharing and build a "corporate memory." Find out more at http://www.awarenessnetworks.com.