Why Big Corporations Are Putting the Brakes on Social Media Study indicates many Fortune 500 companies demonstrate a dismal attitude toward social media.

By Mikal E. Belicove

entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Why Big Corporations Are Putting the Brakes on Social MediaWhen it comes to the care and tending of corporate blogs, Twitter accounts and Facebook pages, a new study suggests big business social media may be suffering from neglect.

In recent report by the Center for Marketing Research at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth social media use among America's largest companies is losing steam.

Specifically, less than a quarter of the nation's top 500 companies as ranked by Fortune magazine now have a public-facing blog -- the same percentage reported in last year's study. When UMass Dartmouth began counting blogs within the Fortune 500 in 2008, that figure was 16 percent, growing to 22 percent in 2009.

The use of Twitter and Facebook among Fortune 500 companies was similarly stunted. This year, 62 percent of those corporations took advantage of the Twittersphere, up just 2 percentage points over 2010. Also this year, 58 percent of firms manage Facebook pages as compared to 56 percent last year.

However the same study indicates that smaller corporations -- specifically, those included in the annual Inc. 500 listing of American's fastest-growing companies -- host twice as many blogs than their bigger, better-known brethren. And 71 percent of Inc. 500-listed companies have Facebook pages, while 59 percent use Twitter on a regular basis.

This reflects the notion that smaller companies place more importance on open communications with customers, according to the study's researchers. Or it could be a factor of the internal structure and culture of these fast-growing firms.

In my experience, very large companies like those ranked among the Fortune 500, have the most to lose by adding a fifth "P," Participation, to their traditional marketing mix of Product, Price, Place, and Promotion. Inherently risk averse and overly protective of their market positioning, corporate leaders have far too many lawyers and others spinning cautionary tales laden with drastic potential outcomes as a result of directly engaging their customers and prospects in full view of one another.

What many large company C-level executives fail to recognize and leverage is the simple fact that customer engagement occurs both with and without their blessing. By choosing to actively observe, engage, influence and measure engagement-related efforts, companies of all sizes remain top-of-mind more often than not. That leads to more favorable attitudes about the company and its brand, as well as direct and indirect word-of-mouth advertising that even the largest companies in the world can't afford on their own.

Why do you think smaller companies use social media more than bigger firms? Leave a comment and let us know.

Mikal E. Belicove is a market positioning, social media, and management consultant specializing in website usability and business blogging. His latest book, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Facebook, is now available at bookstores. 

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Editor's Pick

Related Topics

Starting a Business

This Retiree's Leisurely Side Hustle Makes $66,000 a Year and, 'You Don't Even Need to Go to High School to Do It'

Barbara Hill wanted a flexible, part-time job that would transition well into retirement. Now she mentors younger people who are making over $200,000 a year. Here's her insider's guide to getting started.

Marketing

The Miley Cyrus Approach To Marketing — Why It's a Radically Different Method For Achieving Brand Impact

In case you missed it, Miley Cyrus recently won her first Grammy. In her acceptance speech, she told a story that is a great learning lesson for business owners and marketers alike, especially those who find themselves burned out and exhausted in this current environment.

Business Ideas

55 Small Business Ideas to Start in 2024

We put together a list of the best, most profitable small business ideas for entrepreneurs to pursue in 2024.

Thought Leaders

10 Simple, Productive Activities You Can Do When You Aren't Motivated to Work

Quick note: This article is birthed out of the urge to do something productive when I am not in a working mood. It can also inspire you on simple yet productive things to do when you're not motivated to work.

Business News

IKEA Price Increases Are Going Viral — Here's How Much Your Favorite Couch Costs Now: 'Inflation Is Crazy'

A video with a customer complaining about "inflation" and "corporate greed" has racked up over 1.3 million views on TikTok.