ReadWriteWeb recently published the results of a one year follow up on a study of social media adoption at 500 of the fastest growing companies in the US done by The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.  According to results:

“familiarity with and use of blogs, podcasting, wikis, online video and social networking has skyrocketed in 2008 to nearly double what it was in 2007. 77% of respondents now report at least some use of a social media tool in their business.”

Here are some more interesting stats for you taken from Robin Good’s blog:

1) 39% of these 500 companies are blogging currently – a 20% increase since 2007.

2) The social media that was most familiar to companies both in 2007 and 2008 was social networks. However 57% claim to be “very familiar with it” this year as opposed to 42% in 2007.

3) Familiarity with wikis jumped ahead of podcasting this year.

4) Even though podcasting was found to be the least familiar media this year, it still has a 21% adoption rate.

5) Adoption of all six forms of social media is rapidly growing. An astounding 77% of these companies report usage of at least some social media tool.

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6) 44% of respondents in this year’s study feel that social media is “very important” to their business and marketing strategy as opposed to only 26% in 2007. We can see that companies are truly beginning to understand the importance of social media to their business strategy and goals.

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Here’s the early majority

Given these figures, it is obvious that social media is no longer only familiar to and used by early adaptors.  America’s fastest growing companies are turning to social media because they understand that by using these tools they will they be able to achieve success in today’s online world.

In related studies, Universal McCann found that half of adults in the US now use some form of social media online and the April prediction from Forrester Research is that “Enterprise 2.0″ will become a $4.6 billion industry over the next 5 years.

So my question to you is: Are you incorporating these tools yet in your business strategy?