A recent study by the Center for Marketing Research at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth shows that 82% of privately owned companies in the US have taken to at least one social media platform, with LinkedIn being the most used- although Instagram is steadily following suit.
University of Massachusetts Dartmouth’s Center for Marketing Research conducts an annual social media study among Inc. Magazine’s top 500 companies. When Inc. researchers gathered data on autumn 2016, they found that amongst Inc.’s 500:
94% have a LinkedIn account
88% on Facebook
79% on Twitter
53% on Google+
48% on YouTube
46% on Instagram
30% on Pinterest
In the last couple of years, the research showed that the most rapid growth in use of these platforms was Instagram, which grew from 25% in 2014, 32% in 2015, and 46% in 2016. Pinterest, on the other hand, only gained a 1 % in the last year. YouTube also declined by 2% as Google+ use shrank by a staggering 11%.
The report said that the data appears to indicate a plateau with the use of major platforms. There’s a possibility companies established their social media presence years ago and have made little movement in leaving platforms. The only notable change in the data is the dramatic growth of usage on Instagram.
Of all the social media platforms, Facebook proved to be the most dynamic – garnering the most users, biggest reach, largest cultural impact, and highest conversion and referral rate for e-commerce traffic. In the study, around 40% of the interviewed executives mentioned that the most effective platform for their business was Facebook, while Twitter has become less effective in the recent years. In line with this, 94% of them said that their social media initiatives were effective in building brand awareness. 85% cited that these platforms help them in engaging and creating relationships with their customers, while 81% agreed that a high rate of social media activity is important for business success.
The participants’ main concerns were ROI (59%), resources devoted to social media (52%), time allocation (52%), privacy issues (42%), and analytics (41%). 36% of them were also concerned about legal issues, while 32% concerned themselves with ethical issues.
“The dramatic increase in the adoption of Instagram suggests that businesses are still exploring new platforms while holding onto all previous accounts,” the report concluded.
“That coupled with reservations about the ROI of social media, points to a need to re-evaluate and possibly consolidate social media efforts.”
The full article on the official website of the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth shows more stats and detail on how Inc. 500 companies approach social media, a study conducted under the direction of researcher Dr. Nora Ganim Barnes. To see the list of Inc.’s 500 companies visit their website.