Does Fortune 500 Companies Are Using The Social Media? (Research)

In our times, the connection between customers and companies is easier than it ever was with social networking sites like Facebook or Twitter and even with a simple company’s blog. A new research from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth has investigate how many companies from the fortune 500 really use those options.

The study has examined how many fortune 500 companies have a corporate blog, a Twitter account and a Facebook account. It also compared these findings with another study from 2010 that examined higher education institutions, Inc. 500 (top 500 growing private U.S. companies) and top charities.

Social Media Adoptation By Fortune 500 Companies

The Research Findings

Blogs

Only 23% of the fortune 500 companies have a corporate blog, and actually it hasn’t changed much in the last 3 years- In 2009 22% had a blog and in 2010 23% had a blog just like 2011. The retail industry had the biggest numbers of companies with blogs (9) following by computer software, peripherals and office equipment (8).

If we compare it to other company categories we would see that fortune 500 companies had the lowest number of corporate blogs. 66% of higher education institutions have blogs, 64% of charities have blogs and 50% of Inc. 500 have blogs.

Twitter Accounts

The majority of fortune 500 companies (61%) have an active Twitter account (at least one Tweet in the last 30 days), an increase of 2% from 2010, while All top 10 companies have an active Twitter account. The research also ranked the companies with most followers, here are the top 5:

1.  Google – 3,328,282 Followers
2.  Whole Foods Market – 1,992,873 Followers
3.  Starbucks – 1,580,033 Followers
4.  Southwest – 1,153,279 Followers
5.  Washington Post – 587,595 Followers

The situation isn’t so glowing here if comparing to other company categories. 96% of charities have a Twitter account and 84% of higher education have a Twitter account. However, Fortune 500 companies tops the Inc. 500 companies where 59% have a Twitter account.

Facebook Accounts

Only 58% of Fortune 500 companies have an account on the leading social network worldwide, Facebook. That represent a 2% increase from 2010. The leading industry of companies with a Facebook account was insurance with 27, following by retail, food production, services, drug Stores and consumer products with 24 each. The study ranked the companies with most Facebook fans, here are the top 5:

1.  Coca-Cola – 32,303,342 fans
2.  Starbucks – 24,102,790 fans
3.  McDonald’s – 9,426,335 fans
4.  Wal-Mart – 7,105,159 fans
5.  Levi Strauss – 6,841,938 fans

Comparing to other company categories the situation is pretty poor for Fortune 500 companies which are last- 98% of higher education institutions have a Facebook account, 97% of charities have a Facebook account and 71% of Inc. 500 companies have a Facebook account.

Conclusions

Even though a little more Fortune 500 companies are adopting the social media, the overall rate is much smaller comparing to other company categories. Many companies are missing the opportunity to expand their reach, their sales and their client base by using the social media and in fact, 31% don’t have a Twitter account and neither a Facebook account.

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