These businesses are way ahead of the social media game.
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The social network has gone corporate. Almost a decade after Mark Zuckerberg started thefacebook in his Harvard dorm, virtually all major businesses (and plenty of small companies) are using social tools to sell goods and services, hire and manage employees, and handle customer complaints. Marketing executives polled in February by the CMO Survey say they expect in five years to spend, on average, 21.6% of their marketing budgets on social media outlets, up from an average of 8.4% today. Fortune surveyed the business community and talked to the leading digital platforms to find best-in-class users of social media. The common thread? The four companies (and one research lab) aren't using social tools in place of customer service, marketing, hiring, and collaboration. They're using social media to make their existing practices better.