Corporate policies at enterprise companies could begin to influence search marketers' social targeting strategies and how they tie into search engine optimization and paid-search plans. It appears that if privacy policies remain complicated, it could force some companies to limit employee access to Facebook.
A recent report suggests that enterprise companies have begun to enforce policies on social network use behind firewalls, imposing more restrictions when it comes to Facebook and even LinkedIn, and increasing acceptance of Twitter.
Facebook remains the dominant social media Web application for enterprise companies, but use continues to decline at an average rate of 2.8% per quarter since Q1 2011. In that quarter, the social network accounted for 52% of all enterprise Web application traffic -- but fell 41% by Q1 2012, according to recent research, which suggests that Twitter continues to see some of that market share.
Search marketers that are integrating social into marketing strategies may want to know that Twitter market share rose from 6.39% of Web application traffic in July 2011 to 7.44% in March 2012, according to the “State of the Web” security research report published by Zscaler ThreatLabZ, the research arm of Cloud Security Company Zscaler.
While Zscaler's research lab mainly focused on about two hundred billion transactions from millions of business users worldwide, the report brings to light several factors that prompted the shift from Facebook and complex privacy policies to easier-to-use platforms. Although they appear simplistic and in the background to site users, deep in the belly of the Internet, these platforms are anything but simple.
Q1 2012 social networking supported by Zscaler declined for LinkedIn too, from 1.55% to 1.45%, whereas Twitter transactions rose from 7.05% to 7.44%. The report points to corporate policy as a reason for part of the decline in enterprise social networking transactions. Enterprises appear to be limiting access to Facebook, but have been less concerned about Twitter.
More companies continue to enforce policies on social networking. In fact, there are strong indications that companies are beginning to place many more controls on what is accessed online by their employees.
Policy blocks from users attempting to access social networking sites rose from 2.46% in January to 3.99% in March. Blocks from users attempting to post or write content to social networking sites increased from 0.01% in January to 0.18% in March, according to the report. Blocks on streaming media rose from 0.38% to 0.46%; instant message, from 0.7% to 0.87%, and Web mail, from 0.41% to 0.63%.
While some of these percentages seem small, they represent millions of blocked Web transactions, according to the report.