The study comprises a survey conducted in six Member States of the EU of 600 SMEs across different economic sectors on their use of Social Media and Social Networking, identifying drivers and barriers, and providing a holistic picture of the phenomenon.
The European Commission launched in March 2010 the Europe 2020 Strategy to exit the crisis and prepare the EU economy for the challenges of the next decade. Europe 2020 sets out a vision to achieve high levels of employment, a low carbon economy, productivity and social cohesion, to be implemented through concrete actions at EU and national level. The Digital Agenda for Europe is one of the seven flagship initiatives of the Europe 2020 Strategy, set out to define the key enabling role that the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) will have to play if Europe wants to succeed in its ambitions for 2020. Policy makers have long time acknowledged that the productivity gap in Europe accumulated towards the U.S. can to a large extent be explained by less intensive deployment and less effective use of ICT by broadly defined organisations (especially by firms but also by public organisations). This gap has not been filled for what we will call mainstream ICT and may actually widen when we consider social networking (SN) and social media (SM) technologies. In this context, the study sheds light on the area and provides policy recommendations based on surveys conducted in the UK, Bulgaria, Italy, Latvia, the Netherlands and Spain.