LinkedIn is the most popular social media tool among the nation's fastest-growing private companies, according to a study by the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth, Center for Marketing Research, under the direction of researcher Nora Ganim Barnes, PhD.
More than 8 in 10 companies listed on the 2012 Inc. 500 (81% of them) use the professional networking site, up from 73% a year earlier. Meanwhile, the proportion of Inc. 500 companies using Facebook has declined, from 74% in 2011, to 67% in 2012.
Other findings related to social media adoption among the 2012 Inc. 500:
- Blogging gained momentum in 2012: 44% of Inc. 500 companies now publish a blog, up from 37% a year earlier.
- Software, advertising/marketing, and media companies were the most likely to blog in 2012, whereas government services organizations were least likely to do so.
- Foursquare use has doubled, from 13% of companies in 2011, to 28% in 2012.
- The proportion of companies using YouTube has fallen, from 45% in 2011, to 30% in 2012.
- 18% of 2012 Inc. 500 companies use Pinterest.
Below, additional findings from the 2012 Inc. 500 study of social media use, conducted by the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, Center for Marketing Research.
Importantly, nearly two-thirds (63%) of Inc. 500 CEOs are contributing content or taking ownership of some social media outlet.
Investments Leveling Off
Fewer companies are increasing investments in social-media marketing.
Only 44% of the 2012 Inc. 500 companies plan to spend more on social media in the coming year, compared with 71% of companies that planned to do so in 2011.