“Today, it is almost optional for companies in certain industries to ignore Twitter,” says analyst group Gartner, but, “within three to five years, it will be part of your enterprise communications strategy.”

As Social networking takes over the workplace, analyst Carol Rozwell, explained how CIOs have to act now to push forward with their company’s social media strategy and engage with the team creating the strategy to share their business perspective.

“Our belief is that the social business wave will not only be a large wave, but will be more disruptive than the e-business wave. And it will take longer to play out,” she said. No company will want to be left behind.

Social media will not just be about communicating with customers, it will also be used to present the business in a more human way.

“We know that many people prefer to communicate with companies through Twitter. You can’t tell customers how you want them to talk to you. You have to communicate with them the way they want to talk with you,” added Rozwell.

Businesses will need company-wide social media policies in order to make the most of the technology. It is no good having a Facebook page if the company does not utilise it correctly.

“If you don’t have some sort of strategy there is no guidance how the business can use social media. That can lose customers, send out the wrong messages, and lead to brand dilution,” said Rozwell.

Nokia uses crowd sourcing to canvass public opinion and IBM encourages “ideajams” to get feed back on product designs – to stay in the game companies can no longer avoid surfing the social media wave.