Contractors working through umbrella companies and limited companies might wish to take up some advice contained in a new report from OfficeCavalry.com: start using social media to enhance your success.

The report presents figures which show that a massive 71 per cent of UK businesses are now working to improve their online presence through social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. A quarter of those polled reported that they considered the use of online social networking as a business priority.

Contractors in the IT skills market might especially capitalise on this growing trend – there is likely to be a boom in the demand for social media skills at the very least. Thousands of short-term vacancies in this area are forecast in the report for 2011.

Fifteen per cent of the firms surveyed said that they planned to create specific new roles to manage the boom in networking. For the jobbing PAYE umbrella contractor, however, there’s even better news – a hefty 65 per cent of the businesses polled will consider hiring contractors and freelancers for these roles in order to achieve a more agile, flexible and scalable solution.

Commenting on the survey, OfficeCavalry.com’s founder, Andy Turner, said that organisations are changing the way they do business thanks to the rise of online reputation management and social media. As the social media landscape is ceaselessly changing, however, companies will be seeking to invest in more cost-effective, scalable and responsive approaches to managing the new media. Enter the social media savvy contractor.

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