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New UMass Dartmouth Study: Social Media, The Inc. 500 & Healthcare
Earlier this week, Eric Mattson (who writes several blogs, including Marketing Blurb here on the Know More Media network) and Dr. Nora Ganim Barnes of the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, released details of a fascinating study focusing on business adoption of social media technologies.  They conducted a telephone survey of executives at 121 Inc. 500 companies and found that knowledge and adoption of social media amongst these firms is quite high.  In addition, the majority (66%) of companies report that social media is either very or somewhat important to their business/marketing strategy.

For those wondering whether social media is a fad or anathema to hard-nosed business executives, this statistically valid study provides ample evidence that there is great interest in these technologies.  It is important to note that taken on their own, the percentage of people who are currently using social media tools like blogs, social networks and online video, is modest.  For example, only a third of Inc. 500 companies are currently using message/bulletin boards and 19 percent are using blogs.  However, given that these firms believe these technologies are very important look for these percentages to increase over time.

What’s Happening In Healthcare?

There are quite a few health-related companies on the Inc. 500 list including Ancillary Care Management and SUNRx.  I asked Barnes to provide me with some of their findings re: uptake of social media among health Inc. 500 firms.  She was kind enough to provide me with the following information about the 12 companies they surveyed in this space. 

Barnes and Mattson found that many health Inc. 500 companies are employing social media (see table to the right).  For example, 42 percent say that they are using video blogging and social networks and 25 percent blogs.  This is certainly good news and may prompt other segments of the healthcare industry adopt these technologies. 

To learn more about this study, please click here.  Barnes and Mattson plan to develop a number of papers for marketing, business and communications journals on the study results.  Kudos to them for helping us all separate the hype from the hope associated with the adoption and use of social media by major corporations. 


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