Monday, January 30, 2012

Inc. 500 Firm Blogging Down, Other Social Media Up?

For the first time since 2007, Inc. 500 firms seem to be blogging less, and shifting support to other forms of social media.

In 2010 half of the Inc. 500 had a corporate blog, up from 45 percent in 2009 and 39 percent in 2008.

In the 2011 study, the use of blogging dropped to 37 percent. The caveat is that the composition of firms in the Inc. 500 also has changed, and that makes a difference.

Companies in the advertising and marketing industry are most likely to blog, while companies in government services and construction make very little use of blogging. Still, it might be fair to note that firms across verticals are focusing more attention on Facebook and Twitter.

The platform most used by the 2011 Inc. 500 is Facebook, with 74 percent of companies using it.  But 73 percent use LinkedIn. About 25 percent of respondents said Facebook was the most effective social networking tool, while 24 percent said LinkedIn was the single most effective social networking platform.

Some 13 percent to 15 percent of respondents use text messaging, downloadable mobile applications and Foursquare.

Businesses do not use social media at the same levels. Since 2007, for example, studies by the University of Massachusetts have found significant differences between enterprise and smaller business use of blogging, for example.

In 2007, Inc. 500 firms were much more active users of blogging than enterprises were. At that time, eight percent of the Fortune 500 companies were blogging compared to 19 percent of the Inc. 500.

In 2008, 16 percent of the Fortune 500 used blogs, compared to 39 percent of the Inc. 500. The trend also held in 2009, with the Inc. 500 blogging at a rate of 45 percent, while the Fortune 500 had 22 percent of its list with corporate blogs. In 2010, half of the Inc. 500 were blogging, compared to 23 percent of the Fortune 500. 2011 Inc 500 Social Media

That seems to have changed in 2011. The latest study suggests use of blogging may have peaked as a primary social media tool in the U.S. business community, as adoption of blogging is declining for the first time since 2007 among the Inc. 500. The composition of the Inc. 500 has changed since 2007.

There has been an increase in companies providing "government services" and These companies are less likely to use certain social media tools, researchers suggest. It is unclear how much the changing composition of Inc. 500 firms affected the most recent findings.

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