Today I attended the advisory board meeting of the Society for New Communications Research at the 2nd annual Research Symposium & Awards Gala, held at the Colonnade Hotel in Boston today and tomorrow. We discussed the society's plans for the coming year, and the assembled board advisors gave some good advice.
Dr. Nora Ganim Barnes, Ph.D. gave the opening keynote presentation on her research about the state of social media adoption at colleges, universities, nonprofits and the Inc. 500. Dr. Ganim Barnes and Eric Mattson have been collaborating on a number of social media studies this past year. The nonprofit study was of particular interest to me because I've interviewed several people at nonprofits for my case studies for the New Influencer Study, also sponsored by the Society, the Institute of Public Relations and Wieck Media.
Dr. Ganim Barnes is head of the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth's Center for Marketing Research and co-authored with Eric Mattson the three important studies:
-Blogging For the Hearts of Donors - Largest US Charities Use Social Media
-The Game Has Changed - College Admissions Outpace Corporations in Embracing Social Media
-Center completes study on the Inc. 500 - The Hype is Real
Apparently colleges and universities are leading the pack for the adoption of blogging. Dr. Ganim Barnes suggested her analysis revealed that students and parents were pushing colleges and universities into social media adoption. Many blogs don't even allow comments or have an RSS feed (not sure this would class them as a blog in some people's book). What was most interesting was the study about nonprofits, there's every adoption at 35% among the Forbes top 200 for nonprofits. Rather than fundraising, connecting with stakeholders is the principal reason for using social media and blogs among nonprofits.
The current election cycle demonstrates that 100% of politicians are using social media, nonprofits are using social media and colleges. The private sector appears to be lagging behind, but also can study these other sectors and learn from how each is using social media to reach their goals.