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Corporate social media use: where will companies be in 5 years?

Dr. Nora Barnes of the UMAss Dartmouth Center for Marketing Research writes:


Our studies indicate that attention will move from a focus on tools to focus on measuring, monitoring and a discussion regarding the ROI of their social media efforts.


Companies will move from repositioning or retraining employees to handle the social media function to hiring social media professionals.


Social media plans will be as common as marketing plans for a company and budgets (including investments in software or consulting and hiring) will be clearly defined.


When sales/donations/recruits are committed, companies will be able to track the consumer to an initial social media contact with the company.


Companies will not necessarily continue with every tool they are currently using. Instead they will focus on those tools that have proven (through data collection, measuring, monitoring, tracking) to be the most beneficial for their goals. New tools will be introduced and current ones will change in terms of their primary users. Businesses will watch these changes and act accordingly.


Participating in a particular tool today will certainly not guarantee a company will choose that portal in the future. As our ability to measure the value of these channels improves, our decision making regarding our social media initiatives will change.


% of Fortune 500 blogging:


2007 (8%) 2008 (16%) 2009 (22%) 2010 (23%) 2011 (23%) and 2012 (28%). Companies blogging are consistently and slowing moving up.


% of Inc. 500 blogging:

2007 (19%), 2008 (39%), 2009 (45%), 2010 (50%) and 2011 (37%).


Last year was the first time we’ve seen a decline. The 2012 Inc. 500 study is coming out this fall.

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