Business leaders are concerned about their ability to own and manage their brand as they start collaborating more at both an internal and external level, according to the Social Enterprise Readiness Survey, an in-depth analysis of business-to-business organisations’ social media strategies and the concerns associated with its adoption.

The growing use of social media by business is popular among employees who largely support the idea that becoming a “social enterprise” is a necessity in today’s business world.

The survey, which was conducted by IT services company Bluewolf, revealed that 60% of respondents believed ‘every business’ needed to be social, with a further 61% saying that having a social media strategy in place was a ‘high priority’. Meanwhile, half of those questioned claimed that they were ‘extremely confident’ about their own social media strategies.

Bluewolf managing director Greg Kaplan said: “The data confirms many B2B organisations are indeed embracing social-smart processes/technologies, however, being social is more than technology – it’s about people. We believe the social enterprise is an agile one that fosters ideas through collaboration, engagement and nurturing.”

But the survey also highlighted a major shift among B2B enterprises, which are now starting to give their employees more freedom and opportunities for social media engagement in both an internal and external sense than had previously been the case.

Some 65% enabled workers to communicate with other staff and stakeholders using social networks, while 42% provided a private social network to enable them to do so. About 56% also allowed their employees to access external social networks during work hours.

But despite the apparent enthusiasm for social media, reservations were still rife. Among the top concerns associated with “going social,” the survey identified management and ownership worries (58%), a lack of proper metrics and being able to prove value (54%) and loss of productivity (27%).