The Inc. 500 Social Media Use: Facebook, Twitter Up; Blogging Down

Facebook and LinkedIn are now the most popular and most effective social media tools 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.

Meanwhile, the number of Inc. 500 businesses that publish a corporate blog has fallen over the past year, the study found, as companies appear to be shifting away from maturing tools (e.g., blogs, message/bulletin boards, online video, and podcasting) toward popular platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Foursquare.

Key social media-related findings among companies listed on the 2011 Inc. 500, according to the study:

  • Facebook and Twitter use is still growing, albeit slightly: 73% of Inc. 500 companies use Facebook, up from the 71% that did so in 2010, and 64% use Twitter, up from 59%.
  • Blogging and online video are down: 37% of Inc. 500 companies now publish a blog, down from 50% in 2010, and 24% use online video (vs. 33% in 2010). Among those not using blogging, 56% plan to start, whereas only 34% of those not using online video plan to do so.

The use of podcasting has also fallen sharply—from 16% in 2010, to 6% in 2011.

Below, other findings from the 2011 Inc. 500 study of social media use, conducted by the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, Center for Marketing Research.

Across other social channels and digital marketing activities, LinkedIn enjoys nearly the same popularity as Facebook among the Inc. 500:

  • 73% use LinkedIn and 45% use YouTube (adoption levels were not measured in 2010).
  • 13% use Foursquare, up from 5% in 2010.
Some 14% of Inc. 500 companies are developing mobile applications (that activity was not measured in 2010).

Blogging: Inc. 500 vs. Fortune 500

Among the Inc. 500, the use of blogging may have peaked as a primary social media tool.  By contrast, among Fortune 500 companies, blogging has leveled off over the past three years, at roughly 23% penetration:

6 QR Code Mistakes You’re Making and How To Fix Them!

Over the past couple of months the folks at QRlicious had the privilege of watching and helping people create marvelous and intriguing QR code campaigns for everything from donation drives to enhanced product labels. Unfortunately, during this same time span they’ve also been victims and witnesses of the many poorly executed QR code campaigns that seem to be lurking around every street corner. You know the ones – small, black and white, scanning takes you to a full blown flash based website… Frankly, it’s embarrassing to the whole QR code industry. QRlicious has identified the 6 most common QR code  biggest mistakes you can make and how to avoid them!

Problem: Too small to scan!
Solution: Make it loud and show it proud! You want people to see and scan your QR code so don’t be afraid to amp up the size a little! Too many people are printing QR codes smaller then an inch or two and half centimeters. This can create many problems when trying to scan in low lighting and if your QR code has a lot of information (like a vCard) then it might not scan at all! Yikes! So make sure you are printing and displaying your QR codes as BIG as possible!

Problem: Ugly black and white QR code!
Solution: Chances are you know the solution to this and a good amount of you have probably already fixed this by getting yourself a custom branded QR code from us! Branded QR codes help you gain the trust of your audience and it gives them an idea of what they are in for when the scan your QR code. Customizing your QR code also helps you stand out from black and white QR crowd, which is going to become more and more important as adoption continues to rise among businesses and consumers.

Read the full article at Qrlicious.com

How LinkedIn Changed The Way I Do Business

As I’ve built my business, two digital tools have been invaluable: my blog and LinkedIn. In terms of the latter, everyone asks me the same question: Have I actually gotten business directly from LinkedIn?

The short answer: Yes. My participation on LinkedIn does bring in queries and the revenue from it is small but growing.

The longer answer: Yes, but your active involvement on LinkedIn is equally important in building your brand and making connections that can improve your business. Do those things, and the revenue will follow. My targets are B2B companies, an audience where LinkedIn shines: B2B companies favor LinkedIn over Facebook and Twitter, according to a recent study (though the gap is closing).

By Jeannette Paladino, Write Speak Sell, Writer-in-Chief. Read more.

2011 Franchises in Social Media Ranking: Franchises on Facebook

What’s the top franchise brand in the world? It depends on your criteria.

Every year Entrepreneur releases their Franchise 500 list – a ranking of the top franchise opportunities according to a number of financial and business factors, including financial strength and stability, unit growth rate, size of system, and other dimensions.

So many of today’s most influential consumers expect — if not outright demand — that they be able to interact with their favorite products, services, and brands whenever — and by whatever channel — they wish.  For franchisors who take seriously their customers’ expectations and who strive to maximize their franchisees’ investment in the brand, mastering the social media sphere has thus morphed from interesting extracurricular pursuit to absolutely essential marketing and promotions activity.

But which franchise is top dog in social media?

Read the results at Franchise Help

85% of Women Say They Were Annoyed by Their Facebook Friends’ Postings

Facebook friends may not be all that friendly, according to a new survey. In yet another examination of the negative social and psychological vibes generated by Facebook participation, researchers reported this week that 85% of women say they have been annoyed by their Facebook friends’ postings.

The survey of more than 400 women, from Eversave, a company that offers daily deals online, was conducted to examine how social networking influences consumers’ reactions to daily deals. Researchers found that women said they use Facebook to keep their friends informed of their lives (79% of the participants) and to share information (64%).

But 85% said their Facebook buddies use the site to brag or overshare. The participants said too many people complain all the time, share unsolicited political views or brag “about seemingly perfect lives.”

“We were surprised by the responses that show the love/hate relationships women have with Facebook,” Jere Doyle, chief executive of Prospectiv, which owns Eversave, said in a news release.

Read more: http://www.latimes.com

Fortune Global 100 Social-Media Savvy, Getting Savvier

Twitter is emerging as the leading social platform among the world’s largest corporations: 77% of the Fortune Global 100 (FG100) have a Twitter account, while 61% have a Facebook page, according to a report by Burson-Marsteller.

Although FG100 companies are reaching relatively smaller audiences with Twitter, growing numbers are using the platform more interactively, rather than simply broadcasting messages, the study found.

Below, other findings from the Burson-Marsteller Global Social Media Check-up, issued February 2011, which explores social media use among the top 100 companies of the 2010 Fortune Global 500.