“What’s a blog?” It seems like only yesterday we were all asking ourselves. Yet amid the continued rise of Facebook and Twitter, Web logs are reportedly falling out of favor with many nonprofessional publishers. Indeed, a new longitudinal study at the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth focusing on the online activities of the Inc. 500 (the fastest-growing private American companies) has found a huge drop in the number of companies maintaining corporate blogs over the past year. Only 37% of those interviewed had a corporate blog last year -- down from half of those interviewed in 2010, the UMass researchers found.
"The use of blogging may have peaked as a primary social media tool in the US business world," writes head researcher Nora Barnes. "The new data shows adoption of blogging is declining for the first time since 2007 among the Inc. 500 companies." By contrast, three-quarters of the companies surveyed are using LinkedIn and Facebook and social media tools are seen as important for company goals, while, 90% of responding executives said that social media tools are important for brand awareness and company reputation. What’s more, 88% said they see these social tools as important for generating Web traffic, while 81% find them important for lead generation.