Companies are adopting social media, study finds

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A University of Massachusetts Dartmouth survey found that the fastest growing Inc. 500 companies adopt blogging, podcasting and other social media as business tools and a majority of companies consider social media to play significant strategic role.

The study was conducted by Inc. magazine's Inc. 500 and the Center for Marketing Research at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. It shows that big companies are comprehensively involved in social media.

Two out of three of the Inc. 500 companies cited social media as playing a "very important" or "somewhat important" role in their business and marketing strategies. Twenty-six percent reported it is "very important," while 40 percent ranked it "somewhat important."

Forty-two percent of respondents claim to be "very familiar" with social networking. Thirty-eight percent are "very familiar" with message and bulletin boards, 36 percent with blogging, 31 percent with online video, 30 percent with podcasting and 16 percent with wikis.

Thirty-three percent of the companies use message/bulletin boards. Social networking was a resource for only 27 percent.

Nearly one quarter, or 121, of the Inc. 500 companies participated in the study, making the data statistically valid with a margin of error at +/-3 percent. Respondents were diverse in size, industry and location. They included four of the top 10, seven of the top 25 and 22 of the top 100 companies on the list.

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