71% of Fastest-Growing U.S. Companies Have a Facebook Presence

Are fast-growing companies more social media ‘savvy’ than established, large brands? UMass Dartmouth’s Center for Marketing Research conducted a survey of the Inc. 500 (the 500 fastest-growing companies in the U.S.), and a survey of the Fortune 500 (the 500 largest companies in the U.S.) to see how these companies are using different types of social media.

The Inc. 500 survey (taken through interviews in Oct/Nov 2010) shows increases in social media use across the board:

  • 71% of the fast-growing companies on the Inc. 500 list said they have Facebook pages (up 10% from last year)
  • 59% use Twitter (up from 52% in 2009)
  • 50% maintain a corporate blog (up from 45% in 2009)
  • 33% use bulletin boards (up from 28% in 2009)
  • 34% of the Inc. 500 said they have policies guiding employee blogging
  • 56% reported social media was “very important” to their business/marketing strategy (up from 43% in 2009)
  • 57% report using search engines and social networking sites to recruit and evaluate potential employees

The Fortune 500‘s large, established companies lag behind significantly in social media use, with one notable exception:

  • 56% use Facebook in 2010
  • 23% maintain a corporate blog (barely up from 22% in 2009)
  • only 20% of the Fortune 500 have rules governing employee blogging
  • Twitter was a surprising exception: 60% of the Fortune 500 used Twitter in 2010, a significant increase from 35% in 2009 (however, MediaPost reports that this data only reflects ‘if there was a Twitter account with one tweet in the last month’)
  • 35% of Fortune 500 companies keep their Twitter accounts up-to-date with current news and information, consistently responding with @replies or retweets within 72 hours