“The very largest corporations in the country — those who make up the Fortune 500 — are showing the first signs of really embracing a range of social media tools.”
That’s the finding of a study undertaken this past summer by the Charlton College of Business Center for Marketing Research at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.
Nora Ganim Barnes, the Director of the Center for Marketing Research at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth and a Chancellor Professor of Marketing, Ava M. Lescault, the Assistant Director / Senior Research Associate at the Center and Justina Andonian, the Social Media Coordinator / Research Assistant at the Center, examined how companies from the 2012 Fortune 500 list were using blogs, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Pinterest.
Some of the more interesting findings include the discovery of many more Twitter accounts than blogs among Fortune 500 companies. Many companies are also doing specialty blogging and using their own YouTube channels.
Here are some details:
Blogging: A total of 139 companies, or 28% of the Fortune 500, had blogs. Those in the telecommunications industry had the most (40%); followed by commercial banks, specialty retail and utilities (25-30%). Several industries on the list ? forest and paper products, railroads, tobacco, toys/sporting goods, real estate, building materials/glass and trucking and waste management ? had no members with blogs.
What are these firms blogging about? While the purposes vary, Barnes says that her research shows that blogs are becoming more popular for branding and thought leadership, with some companies using the forums to discuss social concerns. For example, Exxon Mobil’s Perspectives blog often discusses environmental protection.
- Interesting Discovery: The researchers reported finding an increasing number of blogs within the enterprise. They also noticed the appearance of ?specialty blogs? ? blogs that focus on narrower issues, such as company career paths and hiring, social responsibility and community causes.
Twitter: A total of 365 companies, or 73%, were found to have a corporate Twitter account. The food/consumer products industry had the most, with 93% of its firms on Twitter. The specialty retail industry as well as aerospace/defense were next with 86% each. Companies such as