New study reveals most of Inc. 500 using social media–and some surprises about what’s most effective

Yesterday’s eMarketer.com focused on a great study from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Center for Marketing Research entitled “The 2010 Inc. 500 Update: Most Blog, Friend And Tweet But Some Industries Still Shun Social Media.” A few key takeaways:

  • Overall social media use among the Inc. 500 is up considerably since 2009
  • Only 18% of the Inc. 500 report that they “do not use” social media
  • No surprise here: Facebook is the most popular tool, used by 71% of the Inc. 500
  • A little bit more surprising: while Facebook performed well for most of the Inc. 500, with 85% calling it “successful,” it ranked behind message/bulletin boards (93%), online video (93%), and blogging (86%) in terms of effectiveness
  • Even though online video received the highest ranking in terms of what works for the Inc. 500, it was actually used by fewer of those companies in 2010 than in 2009 (33% vs. 36%)

It’s important to remember that what works for the Inc. 500 might not work for your company. But it’s equally as important to understand that Facebook doesn’t work for everyone (see this column from Oct. 2010 for more on that topic), and that some lesser-appreciated tools–message boards and blogging, for example–might be more effective for your business.

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