“Hungrier, less complacent and more willing to embrace new media” for business.
That’s just one view why the US’s fastest-growing private companies – The Inc.500 – are giving the Fortune 500 a beating in terms of social media uptake, including use of blogs, online video and podcasting.
The findings come from what The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth claims to be the first statistically significant reseach into the use of social media in companies.
Comparing last year with this, 11.6% of the Fortune 500 have a public blog against 39% of the Inc.500. Only 3.6% more of the largest US corporations joined the blogosphere in the period, while 20% of private firms signed up. Now, nearly half (44%) of the Inc.500 companies reckon social media is “very important” to their marketing/business strategy – up nearly 20% on last year.
So, what’s bugging the bigger beasts in the forest about social media? And if this is the case in the States, where does that leave the biggest UK companies? The topic surfaced at this week’s Social Media Cafe launch (#smc_mcr) in Manchester, where it was agreed that large businesses tend to baulk at what they see as the uncontrollable world of social media.
Craig McGinty, with typical candour, told the assembled bloggers and social media-ites at the #smc_mcr: “It needs someone with the cahunas to get things going. But that means taking small steps, dipping their toe in and using a small team which can begin to feel comfortable with it.”
This suggests that despite the fears among gatekeepers, lawyers, compliance departments and whatnot within the larger organisations, the communications world is moving that way and companies run the risk of being left behind.