By Nick Johnson - January 23rd, 2013

In this piece, we reveal some of the findings from the forthcoming State of Corporate Social Media briefing. We look at the adoption rates and utility of some of the biggest social networks.

This is the first article in our series investigating findings to be shortly published in our annual State of Corporate Social Media briefing. Interested parties can reserve their free copy by emailing 

This is the first article in our series investigating findings to be shortly published in our annual State of Corporate Social Media briefing. Interested parties can reserve their free copy by emailing 

In one section of our forthcoming State of Corporate Social Media briefing, we look at the current adoption rates of social networks by businesses. The findings were generated from our State of Corporate Social Media survey - where we asked corporate practitioners about various elements of their business’ social media function.


A look at differing b2b and b2c adoption rates

One of the first obvious conclusions is the wide discrepancy in adoption rates between b2c and b2b companies. LinkedIn is the most used network by b2b companies - with 88% of respondents using the network. This is hardly a revelatory finding, considering the exclusive focus on attracting business users. The ability to identify and message individuals and groups from a variety of business communities has evidently appealed to b2b social media practitioners. Following close on the heels of LinkedIn’s popularity is Twitter, with an 87% adoption rate.

In third place, with 81% of the vote, is Facebook. With over one billion members, Facebook’s sheer scale makes it a hard network to ignore, though the under-developed nature of the platform’s employment profiling, and the overwhelming focus on personal relationships makes the platform drop down the ratings when we ask respondents to choose the most useful network for them. Only 17% chose Facebook. LinkedIn came top, though the relatively small 37% of respondents shows that B2B social media has diversified to an extent.

The same cannot be said for b2c companies. Facebook’s focus on personal relationships has made it an even more useful network for those companies looking to sell to individual consumers rather than companies. An enormous 65% of b2c companies rank the network as the most useful, while adoption rates are at 97%. Twitter is second on both adoption (83%) and usefulness (17%).


The death of corporate blogging

Two social channels worthy of a mention are YouTube and corporate blogging. For many, blogging was the first foray into the world of social media. Evidently, that time has passed. Only 48% of b2c companies now use a corporate blog, and only 55% of their b2b counterparts. These low figures are unsurprising - only 3% of consumer-focused companies rank blogging as their most useful social channel. The figure is slightly higher (at 12%) for b2b companies - but both statistics seem to imply that the newer networks have added functionality and technology that is seen as more useful by corporate practitioners.


A surprising showing for YouTube

YouTube is worth of mention for a surprisingly strong showing. Producing YouTube content is inherently more difficult - the complexity of shooting video, the cost, and the time involved are all higher than for text and image based networks like Twitter and Facebook. And yet 71% of b2c companies, and an even more surprising 70% of b2bs have a presence on the network. B2Bs also rank YouTube more highly in terms of utility - 11% choosing it as their most useful network versus only 6% for their b2c peers.


In the next piece in the series, we will look at corporate adoption of newer, and more global networks - taking in 2012’s darlings Pinterest and Instagram, and also taking a look at Russia’s VKontakte and China’s Sina Weibo.

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