Social Media Stagnates
According to survey done by the University of Massachusetts, the number of Fortune 500 companies using social media has leveled off, sticking fast to about 23 percent. That’s the same as it was for 2010, considered to be the height (so far) of social media integration.
The fact that more Fortune 500 companies haven’t jumped on the social media bandwagon doesn’t mean that social media has lost its meaning. In fact, social media use is still in its infancy, offering a huge number of benefits already with that number expected to climb even higher going forward.
You don’t have to take my word for it, however. Just look at the numbers. With social media available to a small sector of society, more than ONE BILLION people have signed up for Facebook and Twitter alone. Social media has been responsible for toppling not one, not two, but THREE dictatorships in the Middle East, with a fourth one teetering. Social media use in Southeast Asia, the most populous region of our planet, has only just begun, meaning the bulk of people in existence are only just now getting a glimpse at it. The growth potential for social media is hardly stagnant. I believe (and the numbers support me) it’s getting ready to explode.
Fortune 500 companies are likely slow to embrace social media for the same reason that the print news; television and radio industries have been slow to embrace it: they don’t get it.
The fact is that for anyone who was not born into the Digital Age social media is something new and foreign. That means it is not to be trusted until it has been fully vetted by a lifetime of experience. Unfortunately for many of these companies, people won’t wait for them to get comfortable with social media. If they don’t find social media in one place they will simply take their attention (and money) someplace else.
A recent study from the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth has found the adoption of social media usage among Fortune 500 companies has leveled off. Across multiple industries, usage of Twitter, Facebook and blogs in 2011 is level with or below that of 2010.
In 2010, 23 percent of Fortune 500 companies had a blog. In 2011, that figured remained unchanged at 23 percent. In 2010, 60 percent of Fortune 500 companies have a Twitter account. In 2011, 62 percent have an account. In 2010, 56 percent of Fortune 500 companies had a Facebook account. In 2011, 58 percent have an account.
As Marketing Pilgrim notes, often times larger corporations adopt a wait and see attitude towards new methods or marketing opting, instead, to watch what smaller, more nimble corporations do. The larger companies then learn, fix and improve.
Also of note, the shine is off the new object. Social media isn’t new any longer. It’s gone well past the experimental stage and now it, like everything else in marketing, is expected to contribute to a company’s bottom line. And if it’s not doing so, it’s more than likely to be scrubbed.
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