Social mediaNearly half (47%) of UK professionals believe there is too much useless content on social media and are failing to take advantage of its potential, according to a new survey of 1,000 professionals published by Scredible, developer of socially driven education technologies.

The survey revealed that 26 percent of Brits aged 20-45 think there is too much spam on social media. 29 percent say they don’t have enough time during the day to post on social media and 19 percent say they are worried how their posts and shares would be judged by their employer.

Colin Lucas-Mudd, chief executive officer at Scredible plc, says:

“In the UK, our research shows major barriers preventing businesses benefiting from professionals’ use of social media at work. Many UK workers share concerns over how hard it is to find good content, the time required to sift through spam, and worries their employers’ perception of using social media.

“As social media rapidly moves into the #1 slot, both as a marketing and support tool, this is a disaster in the making in terms of global competitiveness. Further, as it becomes more important than ever for professionals to fully understand ‘social’ as a learning and development tool, educational opportunities are being lost and career prospects dimmed.

“The UK stands out as a world leader in the creative arts, as well as the knowledge and digital economies. However, the negative perceptions of social media demonstrated by this survey will ultimately put this position at risk.”

British professionals view social media as an entertainment platform rather than a business resource with 68 percent believing it is mainly useful for keeping in touch with friends. 38 percent also believe that social media is a ‘distraction’ which should be banned at work. These results reveal a need for social media service providers to improve their offers and educate UK business stakeholders better.

The results also reveal a contrast in U.K. and U.S professionals, with the U.S being more favourable about the use of social media in a business environment. 61 percent of Americans recognise the importance of social media and said it would have an impact on their careers in five years’ time, compared to just 39 percent of Brits.

Lucas-Mudd continues: “The UK is renowned globally for its creative, digital industries; but history demonstrates that we often fail to exploit the enormous commercial, development, and educational opportunities presented by a more connected world. Businesses and individuals that are quickest to recognise the benefits of an active social profile will get ahead of the competition. More awareness is needed everywhere, but we Brits can certainly learn from the U.S in this regard. Something we need to do quickly if we’re to remain competitive.”