Posted on January 11, 2007 by Roland
A few months ago, in “Blogging takes lots of time,” I introduced you to the research work of Nora Ganim Barnes, Director of the Center for Marketing Research at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. Now, with her colleague Eric Mattson, she has just completed a study of the Inc. 500 and their use of social media. Their report is aptly named “The Hype is Real: Social Media Invades the Inc. 500.”
First, what is the Inc. 500 list? Each year, Inc. magazine produces the Inc. 500, a list of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies. So it’s very different from the Fortune 500 list. [Note: I’m not including any URLs to the Inc. magazine because — at least today — you cannot skip a recurring ad on their home page. If you want to see the list, use Google with a “inc 500 list” query. And on the results page, click on the cached version. Sometimes, I’m wondering if some companies really want to annoy you or make business.]
Now, here is an introductory quote from the authors of the study: “The Inc. 500 are thoroughly involved in social media at an adoption rate more than twice that of the Fortune 500. Best yet, this is probably the most valid study on corporate blogging etc. done to date, with a very low error level of just +/- 3%.”
Here is a link to the full report (PDF format, 5 pages, 122 KB).And below is a chart showing how the companies which were surveyed are using social media tools (Credit: Nora Ganim Barnes and Eric Mattson).
The companies were asked if they were using the six social media discussed above and, if yes, for how long they had been using them. Again, the results are surprising. While familiarity is related to adoption, even the least familiar media of wikis has 17% adoption. All six forms of social media are far more widespread than anticipated.
As the researchers say, “The social media revolution is here. The hype is real.”
Source: Nora Ganim Barnes and Eric Mattson, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, January 2007
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