Businesses in the UK are failing to meet their own internal goals in regard to social media activity – owing both to confusion and poor governance.

These are the findings of a new report by financial analysts, KPMG, which says that among the more serious consequences of this failure to manage social media activity properly have been incidences of security breaches among staff.

According to the KPMG survey – which canvassed the opinions of over 1,000 high ranking executives – 87 per cent of respondents said that social media was deployed by their firms to help augment business activity.

Around 45 per cent of those surveyed admitted that within the last 12 months, their firms had suffered from at least one incident of security being undermined as a consequence of social media use among staff.

These incidents included the leaking of confidential material by employees.

The survey also found that 25 per cent of respondents were unclear on the degree to which social media use could affect their firm’s standing in the long term – while more than a third were uncertain as to whether social media could help bolster sales.

Commenting on the survey’s findings, the chief of KPMG’s media sector, David Elms, said:

“We are seeing a major discrepancy between what organisations are trying to achieve with their social media activity and what is actually being achieved. It appears that insufficient resources are being dedicated by the majority of companies to get their social media strategy right.”

KPMG has recommended increasing staff training and shifting responsibility for social media strategy away from the IT department.