Fortune 500 Step Up Social Media Use in 2012

Fortune 500 with FBA study by the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Center for Marketing Research shows Fortune 500 companies increasing their social media use. With annual data from 2008, the report highlights growth in companies' use of blogs, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Pinterest: 

"...there has been a surge forward in the adoption and use of social media and new communications tools among this year's Fortune 500.  For years, this group has lagged behind other sectors and at times appeared to shun social media.  These latest numbers show a renewed interest that includes using these tools for engagement, hiring and fundraising as well as for corporate advancement.  It is exciting to watch as these corporate giants embrace social media in a way they have not in the past.  It will be interesting to see if their enthusiasm for social media continues."

The Center published a report with its findings and created an infographic.

The number of Facebook "likes" of the ten biggest players have increased between 18% (Kohl's) and 78% (Walt Disney and Intel). The number of Twitter followers have also increased for the ten biggest Twitter players between 12% (Southwest) and 84% (Walt Disney); however, after reading the recent report of fake followers, I'm not impressed by these numbers.

The Center conducted a similar study of Inc 500 companies (designated by Inc. Magazine as the fastest growing companies). Blogging among this company group declined dramatically in 2011, while Fortune 500 blogging held steady.


Discussion Starters:

  • One of the two charts shown here has a typographical error. Can you find it?*
  • What do you think explains the differences between Inc. and Fortune 500 companies' use of corporate blogs?
  • What do you think explains the industry differences in how many companies have a Facebook page?

*Under "Corporate Facebook Pages," text in the yellow triangle in the first column mistakenly refers to "Twitter Accounts"; this should read "Facebook Pages."