Posted February 1, 2011 11:48 pm by with 2 comments

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71% of the Inc. 500 companies surveyed said they are using Facebook for marketing, up 61% from last year. It’s the biggest bite of social media pie but according to the same survey that bite is loaded with empty calories. (That’ll teach me to write when I’m hungry.)

The survey was conducted by the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Center for Marketing Research and was presented on eMarketer earlier today. Perfect timing, since I recently put up a piece about the declining click rates of Facebook ads and the high incidence of ad burnout.

According to the survey, 85% of respondents said they had success with Facebook over a measly 54% from last year. That’s pretty good, right? But there were three other kinds of social media marketing that topped Facebook for results. Blogging squeaked ahead at 86% but is actually on the decline from last year and that feels like a trend that’s going to continue. Podcasting also dropped considerably over last year.

On the top? Online video and message boards. Video isn’t surprising at all, but message boards? Bulletin Boards are the original form of social media, dating back to the early 70’s, though they really took off in the mid-90’s. From Fidonet and Usenet to VBulletin, these have always been a place for like-minded people to gather and chat. They may seem old fashioned compared to Facebook, but you shouldn’t be counting these websites out.

As more people grow tired of Facebook’s privacy issues and the noise to signal ratio of Twitter, it’s conceivable that they’ll move back to the tightly monitored, closed-door safety of the message board.

From a marketing standpoint, message boards can be a real gold mine of already qualified users. The only downside is that they’re harder to crack as they have a low tolerance for spam.

Are you still including message boards in your marketing program? I’d like to hear your thoughts on the effectiveness and how you’ve made it work.

  • I totally agree that Message Boards are the best platforms serving the purpose of solving an issue than social networks. However, the general tendency of a person will always go and look for all available options that he can work out. This kind of tendency will first of all, satisfies you that you have completely utilized all your online resources and as he hopes these multiple sources will make his work faster.

    • Jonathan Moody

      Indeed they do and they are an active, targeted and rich resource often overlooked by those who think that social media begins and ends with Facebook and Twitter.