How Companies are Using Social Media

twitter logo map 09

twitter logo map 09 (Photo credit: The Next Web)

According to Gartner, the most important themes businesses will have to grapple with going forward are mobility, cloud computing, big data and social computing (networks and media).  The ways we all look at and evaluate IT are certainly changing, but as points out it can be very difficult to measure ROI, particularly on the use of social media.  It is becoming more and more difficult for companies to ignore the trend towards social and these days and more and more important to at least have some presence.  As Jill Schlesinger, Editor-at-Large of CBS, said at a SIFMA Social Media Conference last month, “If you’re not on the platform, you have no credibility.”\

A look at public company participation in the Social world:

A UMass Dartmouth study offers the following data about Fortune 500 companies:  23% have active public facing blogs including Wal-Mart and Exxon in the top 5; 62% have active corporate Twitter accounts including all of the top 10 in the F500 list; 58% have corporate Facebook with the highest concentration in the Insurance sector

Q4 Web Systems offers its own numbers for public companies overall:  68% of public companies use Twitter; 46% use Facebook; 45% use SlideShare; 35% use YouTube; 19% have public blogs

Most experts say, if you’re not actively participating, you should at least be monitoring social networks for chatter about your company.  But Q4 offers a compelling argument to be an active participant as well.  Per some research from Rivel, 49% of institutional investors read financial blogs and more importantly, 75% of financial blog authors use Twitter as a main source of information. In addition, 63% of professional investors agree that social media will increase in importance over the next year.  By participating, you can directly influence what is being said and thought about your company.  Probably doesn’t make it any less scary, but I think we can all agree that the new communication is here to stay. 

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