What Company Characteristics Are Associated With the Adoption of Social Media?


In just one decade, social media have moved from being marginal phenomena to having three billion active monthly users globally in 2017. We use a large representative sample to study which company characteristics are associated with the early adoption of social media. Our findings suggest that digital orientation (outside social media), innovativeness, external collaboration in marketing and sales, and orientation towards consumer markets all increase a company’s probability of adopting social media. In addition, larger and younger companies are more likely to be early movers. Overall, business use of social media has only reached its early maturity; thus, it still has plenty of room to grow.

This paper is a part of BRIE-ETLA, the research collaboration of BRIE, the Berkeley Roundtable on the International Economy at the University of California at Berkeley, and ETLA, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.

Industry and Innovation, 26:8, 880–897, DOI: 10.1080/13662716.2019.1566054.

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Social media, Online social networks, Technology diffusion, Technology adoption, Business
D22, M15, O33
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