Social Media Usage Exploding Amongst Fortune 500 Companies

Usage of social networks by the Inc. 500 has seen explosive growth in 2010 with 83% of the companies using at least one of the social media sites. Meanwhile, the adoption of blogs by these companies only grew by 5 percent in 2010, according to a benchmarking report of Nora Ganim Barnes, Ph.D., director of the Center for Marketing Research at the University of Massachusetts.

Bames has been tracking social media usage by Inc. 500 companies for four years now. The report is based on methodologically sound longitudinal study to examine the adoption of social media tools by these businesses.

Barnes stated that:

The adoption of social media by most industries on the 2010 Inc. 500 list continues to grow and now includes Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare and LinkedIn. However, during this same time, there are certain industries that have not ventured into this new arena.

These fast growing companies drive the American economy. Their willingness to interact so transparently via interactive technologies with their stakeholders defines them. It will be interesting to watch as they expand their adoption of social media tools and see if they influence some of their non-user peers to join them.

The research showed that social networking remains the winner with 71 percent of the Inc. 500 having corporate Facebook pages and 59 percent having corporate accounts on Twitter. Facebook is stated as the single most effective networking platform by 44 percent of the companies.

The usage of blogs has also increased, with 50 percent of the Inc. 500 having a corporate blog. However, this is merely a 5 percent increase compared to 2009. Around 34 percent of the institutes studied have developed policies to govern blogging by their employees.

The report further cites favorable reviews by the companies on the adoption of social media tools, with around 56 percent acknowledging that social media has been a very effective communication tool for their business and marketing strategies.

A full copy of the research report can be downloaded from here.