Inc. 500 Companies Report Newer Social Media Tools Replacing Older Channels

According to a recent study conducted by the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth’s Center for Marketing Research, blogging has leveled off among Inc. 500 companies but social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn continue to gain momentum. The “2012 Inc. 500 Social Media Update” argues the surge in popularity can be attributed to the overall belief that social media tools help achieve company goals. Ninety percent of responding executives report that such tools drive brand awareness, while 88 percent claim they generate web traffic and 81 percent find them important for lead generation.

Of the 170 companies surveyed, 74 percent utilize Facebook, followed by LinkedIn (73 percent) and Twitter (64 percent). Twenty-five of companies report Facebook is the single most effective social media platform they use and a nearly equal percentage of respondents claim LinkedIn leads the way as an effective channel. However, blogging is down 13 percentage points from a study conducted one year ago; today, just 37 percent of Inc. 500 companies report using a corporate blog. The study offers the following insight about why this might be the case: “Companies in the Advertising/Marketing industry are most likely to blog while companies in Government Services and Construction make very little use of this tool. This decline mirrors a trend in other sectors as this mature tool evolves into other forms or is replaced by communication through Facebook or Twitter.”

“This research proves once again that social media has penetrated parts of the business world at a tremendous speed,” the study continues. “It also indicates that corporate usage of social media within the Inc. 500 has changed in the past 12 months.” For companies looking to remain one step ahead of the game, keeping up the shifting digital landscape will be critical in the years to come.

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