Fastest Growing Small Businesses Increasing Social Media Use

    by Dharmesh Shah

    Date

    July 22, 2008 at 10:30 AM

    I came across an interesting recent study of social media adoption for small business.  The study was conducted by the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.  The study is based on a survey of companies included on the Inc. 500 list.  The Inc. 500 consists of the fastest growing privately held companies in the U.S.  My thinking is that if you're working on growing a small business, this is a pretty good list of companies to learn from (after all, they must be doing something right).  [Disclaimer:  My former company was on the Inc. 500 list three times, so I may have a bit of a positive bias.]

    Here are the quick highlights from the report that I found interesting.  I encourage you to read the full report if you can -- it's interesting, and not that long.

    The Inc. 500 And Social Media

    1.  The 2007 study found small business outpaced bigger companies in their use of social media .  Then, only 8% of the Fortune 500 were blogging compared to 19% of the Inc. 500.

    2.  The current study shows that just 11.6% of the Fortune 500 currently have a public blog.  An astounding 36% of Inc. 500 companies are blogging .

    3.  The social media technology that is the most familiar to the Inc. 500 is social networking.  57% of the respondents claim to be "very familiar" with social networking vs. 42% last year.

    4.  Just over 25% reported social media was very important to their business/marketing strategy last year.  That number has risen to 44% this year.

    5.  All six forms of social media in studied have had increased adoption/usage amongst the Inc. 500.  These include Message/Bulletin Boards, Social Networking, Online Video, Blogging, Wikis and Podcasting.

    6.  In 2007, 26% felt that social media was "very important" to their business and marketing strategy.  That rose to 44% in one year.

    Clearly, fast-growing small businesses are increasingly interested in and using social media.  How about your business?  Are you starting to get into social media?  Have you already benefited? 

    Would love to hear your thoughts and questions in the comments.

    By the way, if you're looking to connect with other marketers online, you can request access to the free Pro Marketers Group on LinkedIn .  We also have a marketing group on Facebook.

     



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