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BizReport : Blogs & Content archives : January 30, 2012

Study finds huge drop in corporate blogging

A study of the Inc. 500 companies by the University of Massachusetts reveals that far less are adopting blogging as a social media tool today than they did a couple of years ago.

by Helen Leggatt

The number of companies in the Inc. 500 that maintain a blog dropped significantly in 2011. Just 37% kept a corporate blog down from half in 2010, 45% in 2009 and 39% in 2008, according to the University of Massachusetts study.

Marketing and advertising companies were found to be the most likely bloggers compared with companies in government services and construction who make very little use of this social media tool.

According to the report, the leveling off of the use of blogs raises questions about whether the use of blogging may have peaked as a primary social media tool for business.

"This research proves once again that social media has penetrated parts of the business world at a tremendous speed. It also indicates that corporate usage of social media within the Inc. 500 has changed in the past 12 months," according to the two researchers who conducted the study, Nora Ganim Barnes and Ava Lescault.

"We are now seeing the incorporation of new platforms and tools including Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, texting, downloadable mobile apps and Foursquare while we note the reduction in use of blogging, message boards, video blogging, podcasting and MySpace."

When social marketing firm Wildfire Interactive quizzed 700 marketers worldwide about their social media use a whopping 97% said it was of benefit and many intend to increase their social media spend over the coming year.

Forty-one percent of Wildfire's respondents ranked blogging among their top three social media marketing channels coming behind Facebook (94%) and Twitter (74%). However, Wildfire forecasts this will all change with the launch of Twitter's branded pages, LinkedIn's developer launch and the continued growth of blogging networks.

Tags: blogging, blogs, research, social marketing, social media, Wildfire

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  • Bill McCarthy

    PS If you want an example of targeted long tail keywords, type any of these into Google, distributed salesforce productivity, consumer preference management, email clearing house.

    The benefit gained is non-paid (organic) keyword, top page search results.

    We have a plan and are executing to that plan.

    Bill McCarthy

  • Bill McCarthy

    Interesting observations and yet the study did not find a main benefit of blogging. Blogging has the ability to target keywords, in both title and blog article to rank higher in Google searches. Make the keyword a long tail keyword and greater ownership can be garnered. I read a lot of blogs that I happen upon and am always trying to figure out the keyword target. Makes me wonder if there is a comprehensive marketing plan or are they just seeing what sticks.

  • It makes sense that the focus would change. It has for me as an individual blogger. I have found social-media networking to be far less effective than touted by experts, so my focus is shifting to other areas.

    Companies are no different. They dove headfirst into the blogging craze for fear of being left behind, and now that they've had an opportunity to see what's going on, they are making adjustments. The Internet will be no less important, but the direction within it is changing. Thanks for the insights!



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