Fortune 500 companies finally warm towards social media
Despite evidence suggesting that America’s business stalwarts are generally missing out when it comes to social, a new report indicates that corporations within the Fortune 500 are – finally –showing “the first signs of really embracing a range of social media tools”.
According to a study by the Charlton College of Business, Center for Marketing Research, “there has been a surge forward in the adoption and use of social media and new communications tools among this year’s Fortune 500” which is particularly exciting because “for years, this group has lagged behind other sectors and at times appeared to shun social media”.
Some key findings:
- A total of 365 companies – 73% – have corporate Twitter accounts, with the food/consumer products industry the most with 93% of its companies on Twitter. The aerospace/defense industry comes next with 86%.
- Google bumped its follower count up by 44% from last year to 4.8 million. Disney, however, increased its follower count by an astonishing 523% in a single year alone.
- A total of 330 companies – 66% – have a Facebook account, demonstrating an 8% increase on the previous year. Retail makes up most of these (89%), followed by consumer products (86%) and telecom (80%).
- No surprises that tobacco firms and diversified outsourcing firms are entirely absent on Facebook.
- Just under 140 companies – 28% – have blogs, with those in telecommunications making up most of this at 40%.
- The report indicates that corporate blogs are becoming more popular for branding, discussion and social observations.
- The report also found an increasing number of blogs within blogs – sections dealing solely with career paths and corporate responsibility, for example.
- A total of 309 firms – 62% – have a YouTube account, which are used primarily for commercials and product demonstrations.
- The report found that 11 businesses use a variety of their channels for product demonstrations.
In 2011, 31% of Fortune 500 firms had neither a Twitter nor a Facebook presence. In 2012, this figure dropped to 23%, representing what researchers call a “leap forward” in the use of social. But they do cautiously add: “It will be interesting to see if their enthusiasm for social media continues.”