Remember the days not so long ago when there would be disappointment in Google’s numbers when they they “only” had increases in revenues and profits of 40%? It was ridiculous to even think that disappointment would be associated with those numbers.
The same kind of irrational exuberance tends to follow social media growth these days as well. No one ever wants to believe anything that doesn’t indicate outrageous growth and continued upside to all things social.
Well a report conducted by the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth will certainly be a buzzkill for social media hype agents if you believe that the Fortune 500 is an indicator of just how hot something is or is not. The chart below shows that as far as Twitter goes the Fortune 500 has decided to go into a holding pattern
The same holds true for blogging. It’s not clear as to why this pattern may be emerging but there must be some serious ROI discussions that are not getting good answers or just outright paranoia about being open in an age where people only seem to want to bring big companies down. There are many theories so if you have one please share in the comments.
Ah but alas you must be thinking “The indomitable Facebook isn’t suffering from the same fate, right? Everyone loves and uses Facebook, even the Fortune 500. Well, see for yourself that the Fortune 500 have cooled their jets on Facebook as well.
One thing to keep in mind when seeing these numbers is that we are talking about the Fortune 500 which are not usually held up as the companies that are on the bleeding edge of things such as social media. One thing the biggest companies do is sit back and let the smaller more nimble types make all the mistakes, take note of where not to go then throw their considerable resources at something once they are comfortable.
What is shown by the chart below is some evidence that despite the Fortune 500’s apparent apathy in the social media realm the Inc. 500 types along with non-profits and education aren’t letting the social media world down. They are forging right ahead and making the mistakes for the big boys to learn from. Hey, someone has to do it, right?
So while the Fortune 500’s activities in social media shouldn’t necessarily sound the alarm that social media is dying it is interesting to consider that not everyone sees it as the panacea that is often preached.
What’s your take on these findings? Does it matter how the Fortune 500 views social media? Is social media better suited for smaller companies anyway? Let’s hear your thoughts.
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