Fortune 500 Study Tracks Corporate Blog and Tweet Usage

By March 05, 2010

A University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth Center for Marketing Research study on Fortune 500 Companies social media usage show how the largest corporations of the United States use blogging and Twitter to create a public online p

resence. This study, "The Fortune 500 and Social Media: A Longitudinal Study of Blogging and Twitter Usage by America’s Largest Companies," was conducted by Nora Ganim Barnes, Ph.D. and Eric Mattson, CEO of Financial Insite.

Of the Fortune 500 of 2009, 22 percent of the corporations (108 altogether) had a public blog with a post in the last twelve months, their criteria for the analysis. In 2008, only 81 companies, or sixteen percent, had qualifying blogs. Of the top five this year, only three had blogs: Wal-Mart, Chevron and General Electric. The remaining two that did not are Exxon/Mobil and Conoco Philips.

The 108 corporations of 2009 represent a cross-section of the industries with the greatest blog presence. The distribution of these industries from the last two documented years follow (2008 vs 2009):

Computer Software, Peripherals, Office Equipment: eight versus eleven
Specialty Retail: four versus seven
Telecommunications: five versus six
Food Production, Services and Drug Stores: five versus six
Commercial Banks: four versus five
Insurance: four versus five
Semiconductors: four versus five
Motor Vehicle: four for both years
Information Technology: three versus four

93 (86%) are linked directly to a corporate Twitter account, more than three times as many as members of the 2008 list. Many more of these corporations have Twitter accounts, but do not have a link from their blog to it. Either way, 173 (35 percent) have used the service for their corporation in the thirty days before the survey took place.

While the number of blogs from Fortune 500 corporations has risen from 2008 to 2009, they are much lower than the Inc. 500 numbers. While 22 percent of the Fortune 500 have qualifying blogs, 45 percent of the Inc. 500 do.

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