Analysts might expect fast growing businesses to lead the charge into the most innovative and up-to-date ways of communicating. In many cases, it’s true that growing businesses are early adopters of technology disruptors such as social media. An updated study from the Center for Marketing Research (CMR) at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth shows the use rates of social media by the 2010 Inc. 500 companies continue to expand.
In 2010, the Inc. 500 firms that participated in the CMR survey indicated use rates of specific social media formats as follows. Note that for every form, except online video, use rates increased between 2009 and 2010:
- Blogging: 50%
- Message boards: 33%
- Online video: 33%
- Podcasting: 16%
- Facebook: 71%
- Twitter: 59%
- MySpace: 6%
- Foursquare: 5%
- None: 18%
It’s also interesting to note that the percentage of responders who said social media is a successful tool increased for the following formats between 2009–2010:
- Message boards
- Online video
Fewer responders indicated that Twitter and podcasting had been effective for them in the past year.
In addition, researcher Nora Ganim Barnes found notable differences in the adoption rates of social media by industry. Barnes report that social media has not been embraced by government services businesses, the energy industry and financial services firms.
Finally, many responders indicated that they found social media important for more than just customer contact. They also used these tools for communicating with business partners and vendors. These findings hint that marketers are still working to find the best role for social media in their organizations.
[Source: Barnes, Nora Ganim, PhD. The 2010 Inc. 500 Update: Most Blog, Friend And Tweet But Some Industries Still Shun Social Media. Umassd.edu. January 2011. Web. 9 Feb. 2011]