Can social media boost employer branding?Sites such as Twitter and Facebook may offer a significant benefit to UK companies, it has been suggested.

According to Tristan Garrick, PR manager at the Direct Marketing Association, social media networks are important to businesses as they allow firms to engage with consumers.

In addition, a recent survey by Clearswift suggested that over 90 per cent of organisations felt web technologies played a vital role in generating customer awareness, something that may intrigue figures keen to boost employer branding.

However, 61 per cent of firms identified security as their biggest concern and Mr Garrick admitted there are clear dangers involved with using such portals in promotional activity.

He described it as a "great opportunity for consumers to take the brand in their own hands, pick it apart, play around with it and actually form a closer relationship for pulling information out".

Furthermore, the expert argued that social media has the ability for businesses to form relationships with clients that push marketing does not allow.

By Colette Paxton