Social Media Invades Inc. 500: Researchers Find “The Hype is Real”

January 25, 2007 by Lisa Oshima | Research, Social Media
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According to a new survey, published by The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, “the hype” around social media “is real.”  In November and December or 2006, U Mass Dartmouth’s Center for Marketing Research, under the direction of blogging researchers Eric Mattson and Nora Ganim Barnes, completed a telephone survey of “Inc. 500” list to find out if and how they’re using social media.  The “Inc. 500,” published every September by Inc. Magazine, is a list of the fastest-growing private companies in the United States.  According to the executive summary, existing research shows that 8% of Fortune 500 companies have a public blog, and the U Mass team set out to find out whether the use of social media was the same in companies that were “selected by growth rate rather than revenue.” What they found was encouraging.  Fast growing companies are utilizing social media at much higher rates than earlier research indicates for Fortune 500 companies.  In the executive summary, the researchers write:

“As one of, if not the, first studies of social media adoption with statistical significance, this research proves conclusively that social media is coming to the business world and sooner than many anticipated.”

The full results of the study will be published throughout 2007 in a variety of journals.  Keep your eyes peeled for an article in The Journal of New Communications Research coming this March. The researchers from U Mass have promised to send me a link the the article soon as it is available. When they do, I’ll post it in this blog. In the meantime, the executive summary is well worth a read.

Included in the summary are several interesting graphs. The highlights include:

  • When asked how important social media was to a company’s business/ marketing strategy, most respondents felt that it was important:
    • 26%= Very important
    • 40%= Somewhat important
  • When asked what type of social media companies used, responses were as follows:
    • 33%= Message/Bulletin Boards
    • 27%= Social Networking
    • 24%= Online Video
    • 19%= Blogging
    • 17%= Wikis
    • 11%= Podcasting

I can’t help but wonder: Did social media help propel the responding companies into the Inc. 500, or is it just coincidence?  Then again, I’m still wondering, “Which came first, the chicken or the egg?”

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Gartner’s latest predictions about the Blogosphere

December 16, 2006 by Lisa Oshima | Research, Social Media
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It’s been a busy couple of days, which have left little time for research and blogging, but I will be back full force next week.  In the meantime, here’s some interesting reading. Gartner’s latest study predicts the future of the blogosphere.

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Social Media & Web 2.0 Trend Analysis & 2 interesting sites

November 20, 2006 by Lisa Oshima | Research, Social Media
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There is a great article posted on Seeking Alpha, which talks about what’s hot and what’s not in Web 2.0.  Using data from Alexa, the article charts trends with Web 2.0 – including social media/ social networking.  Check it out – particularly the graphs detailing the current leadership stats and future estimates.

On a different note, I came across a couple of social media/ web 2.0 sites recently, which are interesting:

  • Kaboodle allows you to make pages displaying lists of your favorite products online and share/compare those lists with your friends.  Users can insert a button in their browser’s tool bar, which allows them to capture data on any items they like, while they’re on a website. Users can then take votes on who agrees with their favorite products, etc. Why is this useful?  As Kaboodle points out, the service helps users:

    • “Plan a vacation
    • Create a wishlist and share it with friends
    • Organize holiday or birthday shopping lists
    • Research LCD and plasma TVs
    • Share research for a school or work project
    • Show off your collection of vintage cars
    • Share your favorite bands with friends
    • Keep an list of movies you want to see
    • Organize your home remodel
    • Share your favorite restaurants with friends
    • Create a baby or wedding registry
    • Plan a wedding, party or other big event”

  • Buxfer (short for “bucks” and “transfer”) would have been useful in high school/college and back in the day when I shared a house…  Three Carnegie Mellon University graduate students developed this site, which helps friends keep track of shared debts – think about all of those shared expenses like electricity/gas/water/cable/ISP/etc bills.  They don’t have a facility for online debt settlement (ala Paypal), but its an interesting way of keeping track of debts without nagging and awkward face time or those annoying notes on the fridge!

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