Amid belief that social media is a waste of time and leads to lower efficiency, a new subgroup of social media designed to enhance workplace productivity is now emerging.
Companies that are developing social media suitable for the workplace include SAP, Oracle, IBM, Salesforce.com, and the recent startup Doximity.
At present, these so-called social media outlets are still being tested by small and medium sized businesses, which are enterprises with five to 5,000 workers. These companies were chosen for testing because major corporations tend to be somewhat resistant to change.
According to global market intelligence firm IDC, the worldwide market for social media tools is projected to grow significantly to US$4.5 billion (£2.87 billion) in 2016.
Hence, companies are racing to secure bigger chunks of that market by developing networks and applications that can boost workplace productivity or help the business carry out smoother operations.
In order for FDI’s forecast to be realised, spending on social media designed for companies and businesses must increase by 40 per cent each year for five successive years.
The good news for this type of social media is that it is already being adopted by some companies in the US healthcare industry.
For instance, Dr. Howard Luks, Chief of Sports Medicine and Knee Replacements at Westchester Medical Center, New York, is using Doximity, a Facebook-like application designed for professionals in the healthcare field.
With this type of social media, Luks was able to consult with other doctors while planning and performing surgery. This proved to be much more convenient than relying on fax machines. Additionally, doctors were able to enhance the efficiency and speed of the healthcare they provided.