All interviews took place in November and December of 2006. Nearly one quarter (121) of the Inc. 500 participated, making this research statistically valid with a margin of error at +/- 3%.
The Inc. 500 is a list of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies announced in the September issue of Inc. Magazine. Given that previous research shows only 8% of the Fortune 500 currently having a public blog, this research was undertaken to see if there was a difference in the knowledge and usage of social media in companies selected by growth rate rather than revenue.
This research proves conclusively that social media is coming to the business world at a faster rate than many anticipated. It also indicates that corporate familiarity and usage of social media is racing far ahead of what many have predicted.
The respondents are diverse in industry, size and location. They include 4 of the top 10, 7 of the top 25, and 22 of the top 100 companies from the Inc. 500 list. The 121 companies who responded were asked detailed questions concerning their usage and measurement of social media.
Questions probed familiarity of respondents with six prominent social media (blogging, podcasting, online video, social networking, wikis).
The social media that is most familiar to the Inc. 500 is social networking with 42% of respondents claiming to be “very familiar with it.” Familiarity is related to usage. It is interesting to note, however, that even those forms of social media less familiar to the participants (i.e. podcasting) are still used by at least 11% of them. Over one quarter of the Inc. 500 studied report social media is very important to their business/marketing strategy.
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