Jinfo BlogInc 500 Companies - more social media savvy

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By Penny Crossland

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Knowledgespeak this week alerted us to an interesting study on social media usage amongst the USA’s Inc 500 companies, an index of the fastest growing private businesses in the country.

The report, produced by the Centre for Marketing Research  at the University of Massachusetts, is based on a nationwide telephone survey of all companies in the Inc 500 list and shows that, compared to the more traditional Fortune 500 companies, up-and-coming businesses embrace social media to a far greater extent. For example, while around 23% of Fortune 500 companies engage in blogging, almost 50% of Inc 500 companies indicated that they have company blogs.

Other points of interest are:

  • Facebook is seen as the most effective social networking platform for SMEs. 71% of those questioned used Facebook, while 59% used Twitter. 16% of respondents use podcasts in their firms. Even Foursquare makes an appearance in the social media category: 5% of the companies said they used the geo location tool.
  • Half of the Inc 500 companies have corporate blogs, up from 45% in 2009. The study also found evidence that blogging is used effectively to communicate with customers by responding to comments.
  • Social media tools are seen as an important part of business strategy and are used to monitor their brands, communicate with vendors and potential partners and to recruit new employees.
  • Adoption of social media amongst SMEs varies by sector. Financial Services firms, energy companies and Government Services companies are least likely to use various types of social media.

The full analysis of the findings can be found here.

In the UK, the picture is similar, although according to research by publishers Daryl Willcox, SMEs over here have not adopted social media to quite the same extent as their US counterparts. The survey found that around 35% of UK small businesses market their firms via LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter, by posting updates to these sites on a daily basis. However, a large proportion of respondents, around 60%, believes that social media are beneficial to their companies’ bottom line.

As Tim Buckley Owen pointed out in his post on the Generation Y and their attitude towards social media, no doubt as the younger generation becomes more entrepreneurial, often as a necessity in a tough economic climate, adoption of social media platforms will increase amongst businesses.

The uptake of social media in businesses small and large has been followed by Livewire contributors for some time. Click on these links for postings providing more insight into the topic.

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