Fortune 500 Increased Use of Social Media in 2012 — Twitter #1


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Fortune 500 companies have increased their use of social media in 2012 to reach key constituents, according to the 5th Annual Benchmarking Study conducted by the University of Massachusetts, the Center for Marketing Research.

Twitter Tops

Twitter is the tool of choice with 73% having corporate TTwitter top choice of Fortune 500witter accounts and at least one company from every one of the 71 industries on the list tweeting, according to the statistically valid study.

That was a bit of a surprise, as many brand name consumer companies are successfully leveraging facebook to sell their brands, their product/services and to build interactive communities.

YouTube is also closing in on facebook users (62% vs. 66%) among the the 2012 Fortune 500. The new social network on the block, Pinterest, has attracted only 2%, or 11 companies, as members.

As a blogger, I was pleased to learn that blogging is more popular than ever. The most successful companies understand that a blog is an essential component of their social media strategy.

For the first time this year, the study included specialty blogs that corporations have created to recruit new employees, to promote a particular topic or for fundraising.

“In addition, it is worth noting that there is evidence of usage of social media tools such as blogs inside these corporations,” says the study. (See a previous post Engaging Employees on Social Media).

Key Findings

Key findings reported by UMass are:

  • 28% (139) of the primary Fortune 500 corporations have an external corporate blog. This is an increase of 5% from 2011.
  • 54% of the corporate blogs come from companies ranked in the top 200 on the list. Rank influences the use of blogging more than any other tool studied.
  • 73% (365) of Fortune 500 primary companies have corporate Twitter accounts. This is an increase of 11% from 2011.
  • 66% (332) of the 2012 Fortune 500 primary companies have a corporate facebook page. This is an increase of 8% from 2011.
  • 62% (309) of the 2012 Fortune 500 primary companies are using YouTube. Two percent (11) are using Pinterest.
  • 23% (115) of the 2012 Fortune 500 primary companies have neither a Twitter account nor a facebook page. In 2011, 31% had neither.

The infographic below gives many more juicy findings from the study. Thanks to study co-author Dr. Nora Ganim Barnes, Ph.D., Director of the Center for Marketing Research, for creating the embed code for me to enable my readers to view the infographic. If you prefer to read the narrative version of the study go to 5th Annual Benchmarking Study.


The study was co-authored by Dr. Nora Ganim Barnes; Ava M. Lescault MBA and Associate Director of the Center for Marketing Research; and Justina Andonian, MBA candidate, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Jeannette Paladino
Jeannette Paladino is a social media writer helping organizations to build brand awareness, increase revenues, and engage employees as brand advocates on social media.


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