Social Media in Small Business; Readers’ News Story Preferences; Best Brand Equity; 500 Finds Twitter

â–¶ Social Media Big in Small Businesses: In a survey of 1,700 small-business leaders on their usage of digital/social media by, the most popular platforms they turn to for business decision making are webinars and podcasts, user ratings and reviews of business products and services, and business profiles on social networking sites such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. Other findings include:

• All respondents currently use one or more social media resources for business-relevant information in their day-to-day job

• The convenience and speed with which small business decision makers can find business-relevant information is what attracts them to social media resources.

• Respondents in the Internet and online, advertising and marketing, and computers and software industries use more social media resources for business than respondents from other industries, while decision makers in the healthcare, retail and legal industries use fewer social media resources for business than study respondents from other industries

• B2B decision makers use significantly more social media resources for business than their B2C counterparts


â–¶ Top News Topics: In a Pew Research Center study quizzing Americans on the mix of news stories they receive across the variety of platforms, respondents say there is enough coverage of such subjects as: sports and athletes; business and finance; music and the arts; international news; technology; U.S. domestic policy. The following are subjects respondents would like to see more of in the news:

• Science news and discoveries: 44% of Americans say there is not enough coverage of science-related news. Younger adults are more likely than senior citizens to express interest in increased coverage.

• Religion and spirituality: 41% say there is not enough coverage of this area; young adults ages 18-29 (49%) are more likely than those over age 50 (35%) to say this; and bloggers (50%) are more likely than non-bloggers (40%) to say this.

• State government: 39% of Americans say there is not enough coverage of news about their state government. There are no significant demographic variations where this topic is concerned.

• Neighborhood or local community: 38% of Americans say there is not enough coverage of their neighborhood and local affairs. Young adults (41%) are more likely than senior citizens (31%) to believe this; those who get news on the Internet (44%) are more likely than others (36%) to express this view.

Source: Pew Research Center

▶ Sweet Brands: Products made by Hershey’s, Mars and Procter & Gamble enjoy some of the highest levels of brand equity in the U.S., according to a study of nearly 20,000 consumers by Harris Interactive. Ranking highlights include:

• Hershey’s Kisses was the most popular overall brand, with the company’s milk chocolate bar coming in third, separated by plain M&M’s, produced by Mars, in second.

• Google was in fourth position in the rankings, with Duracell batteries, owned by Procter & Gamble, in fifth.

• Heinz Ketchup, Kleenex Facial Tissues and Neosporin Ointment made the list of the 10 offerings that boasted the strongest bonds.

• Coca-Cola took the honors for the most popular beverage, and was in 17th place in the combined poll, with Johnson & Johnson preeminent among pharma firms and 20th overall.

• Brands in the tobacco, internet dating, online university and financial sectors typically posted the worst figures.

Source: Harris Interactive

â–¶ Fortune 500 a-Twitter: Not surprisingly, Twitter has attracted the attention of large Fortune 500 companies. According to a Society for New Communications Research study, 2009 saw some of the biggest corporations open accounts on the popular social media site. Findings include:

• 35% of Fortune 500 companies have had an active Twitter account in the last year, with four of the top five corporations posting consistently.

• The most active industry using Twitter within the Fortune 500 companies was insurance, which has 13 companies that actively tweet.

• Of the top 100 companies, 47 have active Twitter accounts, while the bottom 100 have 33.

Source: Society for New Communications Research