INC 500 study results

For the First Time in 8 Years Blogging Declined Among Inc. 500

For the First Time in 8 Years Blogging Declined Among Inc. 500

Nora Ganim Barnes, Ph.D, Director, Center for Marketing Research at the University of Massachusetts – Dartmouth, and team recently conducted a longitudinal study of its annual in-depth study on the usage of social media by the fastest-growing corporations in the U.S. in the Inc. 500 list. Among the findings, they discovered that blogging declined among the INC. 500 for the first time in eight years. This shift in activities, along with others from the study, allowed me to see four things that you might need to change in your small business.

Additional 2014 study highlights include:

  • LinkedIn continues to be the platform of choice (94%) among the Inc. 500 for the 3rd year in a row while Facebook presence drops to 80% and Twitter rises to 79% this year.
  • Blogging declined among the 2014 Inc. 500 for the first time in 8 years. (A decline in blogging was also recorded among the 2014 Fortune 500.)
  • 7% of the 2014 Inc. 500 have a stand-alone social media policy (down 6%), 20% have a written social media plan (down 9%) and 34% have an online crisis management strategy (down 9%).
  • More than three-fourths of the 2014 Inc. 500 have made accommodations for mobile customers, including providing downloadable apps or optimizing websites for mobile.  The use of SMS/text message marketing dropped 5% from 2013.
  • GoPro (Cameras) and Refinery29 (US Fashion and Style Website) are among the top 5 in Facebook likes, Twitter followers and Pinterest pins of the 2014 Inc. 500.

 

Based on the finding above, here are four areas that you should analyze in your business today and suggested actions:

1. LinkedIn:

I am not surprised by the fact that LinkedIn continues to dominate for these fast growing companies. It is a great tool for all businesses to interact with clients and partners. LinkedIn has also become a content platform to show your expertise and thought leadership.

Action: it is time for you small business owners to dust off your LinkedIn profile and complete it with a beautiful and professional photograph and download the LinkedIn add to your phone.

2. Blogging:

The decline of blogging is surprising. Your website needs new content and your customers visit your website to check out your products and services and blogs provide the ability for fresh content. As the Study’s authors observe. It may be blogs that are purely being used as thought leadership platforms that may not have a future. You can add these posts to LinkedIn for greater impact or write guest posts for other highly trafficked sites.

Action: I would advise continuing the strategy of creating fresh content for your website through blogging.

3. Social Media Strategy, crisis plan and social media policy declines.

Action: If you are among the 80% of the businesses without a social media plan, stop reading this article and write at least a one page document that has the following outline.

- Social Media Tools to use
- Who is responsible
- Social Media Policy
- Crisis Communication
- Rules of engagements
- Measurements

4. Mobile and Apps:

Have you looked at your Google Analytics recently? Chances are over 45% of your traffic may be from mobile devices if not higher. Have you planned for the experience for the mobile visitors?

Action: Take a look at site on a mobile device and if you don’t like what you see, your customers will not like it either.

For the First Time in 8 Years Blogging Declined Among Inc. 500