The adoption of corporate blogging declined in 2011 among 500Inc companies (the 500 fastest growing firms) for the first time since 2007. This is in part due to the adoption of new social media tools for corporate and internal communication.
The Center for Marketing Research at the University of Massachussetts Dartmouth released a study about the corporate usage of six proeminent social media – blogging, podcasting, online video, social networking, message boards & wikis – among the enterprise. The research was conducted among the 500Inc firms and their use of the Web during the past five years. The study shows that corporate blogging is declining for the first time in 2011, with only 37% of 500Inc firms using blogs, compares to 50% in 2010, 45% in 2009 and 39% in 2008.
Blogging declines despite positive feedbacks
When asked if blogging has been successful for their business, 92% of those who utilize blogs for corporate purposes rated it as successful, which is 6 points higher than in 2010, and the second best rate compared to the other social media tools – behind message boards with 96%. Moreover, when the non-bloggers were asked if they intended to adopt blogging in 2011, 56% said they did, which is an increase from 14 points compared to 2010. In other words, the intention to adopt blogs appears to have little relation to actual adoption this tool. Companies might think blogging is useful, but they are increasingly giving the priority to newer tools – namely, social media.
New social media tools replace older ones
The study shows that firms in 2011 shifted from blogging, message/bulletin boards, online video, podcasting and MySpace, to social networks (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn), as well as YouTube, downloadable mobile applications, texting and Foursquare. The main drawbacks in the use of social media, according to the executives who responded, were time-consumption, costs, risk, and measurement. Indeed, measurement is still a big issue for companies, which look for effective indicators of ROI. For instance, Wikis were dropped because it became obvious that they were more used inside the company than to communicate with consumers. Companies look for newer, nimble and effective social media tools because social media as become a necessity : 90% of responding executives report that social media tools are important for brand awareness and company reputation.