Fortune 500 Companies Increase Social Media Use

According to a new study by the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth, the use of blogging, Facebook, and Twitter has surged in 2012 in Fortune 500 companies. As the study explains, “Due to the hugely influential role that these companies play in the business world, studying their adoption and use of social media tools offers important insights into the future of commerce. These corporations provide a look at emergent social media trends among America’s most successful companies.”

The study found that 66% of Fortune 500 companies have a corporate Facebook page up 13.8% from last year and 73% of these companies use Twitter, up 17.7% from 2011.  More information from The Social Media Surge by the 2012 Fortune 500 below:


In 2012 139 companies had corporate blogs, or 28% – proving to be the largest increase in the use of this tool since 2008. Of these 139 corporations, 54 out of 71 industries are represented from the F500. Partial findings are shown in the chart below, but companies in the Telecommunications industry have 40% of their companies blogging while Commercial Banks, Special Retail and Utilities have 25%-30% of their companies with corporate blogs. 90% of the blogs take comments, have RSS feeds and take subscriptions.


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It will be interesting to see which of the 17 industries that do not currently have any of their companies blogging will incorporate the social tool into their strategy and what effects it will have on their business. Judging by the success of blogging as an inbound marketing tool in other industries, one can assume it will bring positive results, but time will tell.


Of the F500 companies, 365 or 73% have a corporate Twitter account with a tweet in the past thirty days, representing an 11% increase since last year. All of the top 10 companies in the F500 consistently post on their corporate Twitter accounts. In 2011 six of the F500 companies had Twitter accounts with no activity; however, in 2012 all companies are posting to accounts somewhat regularly.

All of the industries in the F500 are represented with corporate Twitter accounts (again, a partial list shown below).  The Food Consumer Products industry has 13 out of 14 companies with Twitter accounts, or 93% whereas the Motor Vehicles and Parts industry has 44% of their companies on twitter.



Three hundred thirty-two or 66% of the F500 are on Facebook as of 2012, which represents an 8% increase since last year. It is worth noting, however, that eight of the top 10 companies have Facebook pages, while two (Exxon and Berkshire Hathaway) do not. Based on the nature of these companies however, this may be a prudent move.

Two of the 71 industries represented in the F500 are not on Facebook – Tobacco and Diversified Outsourcing Services. A partial list of the industries represented in below.


The number of Fortune 500 companies that have taken interest in social media has increased across the board. No doubt, these companies are aware of the value social networks bring to inbound marketing efforts and have the means available to do so effectively.  For some of the industries that are not yet involved, the nature of their business makes it understandable; nevertheless, it will be interesting to see who has joined in the next year and how their efforts are panning out.

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