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Posted on 03.05.2015

Survey Says: LinkedIn the Top Social Platform for America’s Fastest Growing Companies

Q:     What is the social platform of choice for Inc. Magazine’s list of the country’s 500 fastest-growing companies?

A:      LinkedIn, for the third consecutive year, at 94 percent

Q:     What platforms rank at the bottom for the Inc. 500?

A:      Instagram at 25 percent, FourSquare at 29 percent and Pinterest at 30 percent

Q:     What online activity declined among the Fortune 500 for the first time in eight years in 2014?

A:      Blogging

If you knew these answers, you’ve likely read the conclusions of the latest in-depth study on use of social media by the fastest-growing corporations in the U.S., conducted annually by the Center for Marketing Research at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.

Among the study’s other highlights:

  • Of the Inc. 500, 373 have corporate Facebook pages with GoPro wildly outpacing them all with more than 8 million likes.
  • 371 Inc. 500 companies have active Twitter accounts. Again, GoPro leads them all with almost 1.3 million followers.
  • Corporate websites are increasingly being optimized for mobile with 76 percent of the Inc. 500 having mobile optimized sites, up from 59 percent a year earlier.
  • Only 62 percent of Inc. 500 companies monitor their brands, products or company name in the social media space.

What may be most surprising are the findings related to the prevalence – or lack thereof – of social media policies and strategies for handling a negative online attack or other online crisis.

The UMass–Dartmouth survey authors state “there appears to be some thought that social media issues can be effectively managed as a part of an overall marketing or business plan.”

And over the past five years, little has changed. “In 2009, 36 percent had a written social media policy and in 2014, 40 percent do,” the summary of findings states. “Despite well-publicized incidents of employee missteps on social media platforms, written policies are still not the norm.”

Those companies that do look to create – or update – a social media policy should take heed from recent opinions of the National Labor Relations Board, which has ruled overly broad language and vague provisions chill or violate protected rights of employees.

To create a lawful social media policy that complies with the National Labor Relations Act, employers are advised to:

  • Advise employees of their right to use social media while providing a clear understanding of prohibited activities
  • Use very specific and clear language
  • Use plain language and provide definitions of key terms
  • Provide specific examples to help employees understand prohibited posts or conduct

Does your organization have a social media policy? Is it overly broad or vague? Either way, 2015 is a good time to create or update your policy to be clear, sound and effective.

To review sample media policies of organizations from a wide variety of organizations, refer to this database. How does your social media policy measure up?


Dana Coleman is a Vice President at Lovell Communications. You can view more of Dana's blogs here. Connect with Dana at Dana@lovell.com or @lovelldc.

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