It takes time but more companies are using Social Media and they are seeing the value in it. The key is to mix up the tools and let them all work together for you.

According to a study released in January 2011 from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Center for Marketing Research, 71% of companies used Facebook in 2010, up from 61% in 2009. Twitter, at 59% in 2010, and blogging, at 50%, are also still high on the list.

Social Media Tools Currently Used by Inc. 500 Companies, 2009 & 2010 (% of respondents)

If a company has used social media, it has most likely also seen success, the study found. Eighty-five percent of companies viewed Facebook as successful, a significant jump from 54% in 2009. Yet Facebook hasn’t matched message or bulletin boards, with 93% reporting it was a successful tactic. foursquare also saw a significant increase in usefulness; it wasn’t even measured in 2009, yet in 2010, 75% of companies reported it was a successful tactic.

Social Media Tools with Which Inc. 500 Companies Have Had Success, 2009 & 2010 (% of respondents)

As social media becomes more prevalent and valuable, the perception of it is changing. More companies view it as important, with 86% reporting social media technologies to be somewhat or very important to their business and marketing strategies in 2010, up from 79% in 2009. And growth is even stronger among those who consider it “very important.”

Importance of Social Media Tools to Their Business/Marketing Strategy According to Inc. 500 Companies, 2009 & 2010 (% of respondents)

These fast-growing Inc. 500 companies see social media as increasingly important to their businesses because of the success they’ve seen, and marketers will continue to test various social networking sites to find the right mix for their company’s strategy.

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