Social media is proving to be big business with big businesses. A recent study revealed that social media has infiltrated the corporate world at a rapid rate and revolutionized the way that business does business. This in-depth study from The Center for Marketing Research at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth examined social media usage among the fastest-growing corporations in the U.S. The results revealed that LinkedIn usage by Inc. 500 companies had grown to 88% in 2013. This reinforced the networking platform’s place as the premier social media setting for the list’s large corporations for the second consecutive year. In addition, Facebook saw a surge to 84% usage after a brief decline in 2012. While the study focused on Inc. 500 companies, the results reflected the ever-increasing social media usage by Fortune 500 companies, as well. Altogether, it showed the significant growth and importance of social media among the leading and largest businesses. MediaPost.com featured more of the findings from this social study.
When comparing the sales growth potential of social platforms, 61% of Inc. 500 companies thought that Twitter possessed the greatest promise, followed by 55% who favored Facebook and 31% that pinned their hopes on Pinterest. Some others opted for LinkedIn and YouTube as their preferred platforms for sales potential.
Interestingly, the increasing Inc. 500 usage of visual media platforms like Pinterest and YouTube displayed the growing appeal of these visual vehicles. The report revealed that YouTube usage soared 20% and Pinterest pinning rose 15% among these large corporations.
There is also a social link to sales, with 45% of Inc. 500 companies currently tracking sales through their social platforms and almost another nearly 30% saying that they plan to track within the next year.
And mobile keeps going strong. A whopping 92% of Inc. 500 companies have optimized their websites for mobile viewing, while two-thirds of the businesses have included mobile features in their social accounts and 25% offer downloadable apps.
Finally, three-quarters of Inc. 500 companies said that their sources of social media content were exclusively original work or repurposed material. The rest used a combination of those sources, plus purchased content. Some businesses turned to blogging to establish themselves as industry thought leaders, while others focused on Facebook and Twitter as ways to engage and connect with consumers.
While The Center for Marketing Research’s annual study focuses on Inc. 500 companies and has steadily shown that these businesses have embraced social media much faster than the revenue-based Fortune 500 companies, both groups of businesses have been steadily increasing their social media usage since the Center’s first study in 2007.
Whether they lead the list of Inc. 500 or Fortune 500 companies, these big businesses believe that social media is working well and plan to pursue more social strategies so they can grow even bigger.
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Written by Michael Del Gigante