Facebook is the dominant social network on which consumer-focused companies maintain one or more profiles, cited by 83 percent of respondents versus 45 percent for Twitter. Business-to-business companies, however, maintain a presence on both platforms with 77 percent maintaining a profile on Facebook and 73 percent on Twitter, according to the 2009 Business Social Media Benchmarking Study, conducted by Business.com.


The survey also found that webinars and podcasts are top social media resources for business professionals, used by 69 percent of those who turn to social media channels for business information.


Business.com also suggests that current trends to restrict access to social networks like Facebook or Twitter at work need to be re-thought in light of the business value in such activity. Among respondents using social media for business purposes in their day-to-day jobs, 62 percent visit company or brand profiles on social networking sites and 55 percent search for business information on these sites.


Consultants and marketing communications professionals are the most active users of social media as a resource for business information, particularly in micro (<10 employees) and small businesses (10-99 employees). IT professionals have the lowest participation rate.


Both companies and employees are scaling a massive learning curve with social media. The average company in this study was planning, developing or running seven different social media initiatives; 65 percent of respondents staffing those initiatives, and 71 percent of companies themselves, have less than two years of experience with social media for business.

Building brand awareness and brand reputation are two of the top social media success metrics, but nearly two-thirds of companies focused on these metrics have little to no insight into performance via standard or easily accessible reports.