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Fortune 500 Bullish on Social Media and Corporate Blogging

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Fortune 500 companies are increasingly using corporate social media accounts, with 77% now on Twitter, 70% on Facebook, and 69% on YouTube, according to a recent report by the Center for Marketing Research at the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth.

Big brands are embracing other social networks as well, with 35% of companies on Fortune's 2013 list now on Google+, 9% on Pinterest, 9% on Instagram, and 9% on Foursquare.

Of the companies with social media accounts, 59% link to these platforms from their corporate homepages, whereas the rest require additional searching.

Below, additional key findings from the study.

Corporate Blogs

  • 34% of Fortune 500 companies are creating and sharing content through corporate blogs. The 171 corporations with blogs come from 58 of the 75 industries represented in the 2013 Fortune 500. 
  • Corporate blogging varies significantly by industry: 53% of Fortune 500 companies in the telecommunications sector blog, but no companies in the tobacco and pharmaceutical industries do. 
  • 79% of the blogs are kept current, take comments, have RSS feeds, and take subscriptions.


  • Nine of the top 10 companies (Wal-Mart, Chevron, Phillips 66, Berkshire Hathaway, Apple, General Motors, General Electric, Valero Energy, and Ford Motors) have Facebook pages. Exxon does not.
  • 96% of companies in the specialty retail industry are on Facebook, but only 44% of companies in the utilities sector are on the platform.
  • Facebook, not surprisingly, has the most Facebook fans. Coca-Cola follows with over 66 million fans. Walt Disney, Starbucks, Wal-Mart, and Target all have more than 20 million fans. 


  • Eight of the top 10 companies (Wal-Mart, Exxon, Chevron, Phillips 66, Apple, General Motors, General Electric, and Ford Motors) consistently post on their Twitter accounts. Berkshire Hathaway and Valero Energy do not tweet.
  • Facebook has the highest number of followers on Twitter, followed by Google, Starbucks, Whole Foods Market, Walt Disney, JetBlue Airways, and Southwest Airlines. 

Other Social Networks

  • Berkshire Hathaway is the only company ranked in the top 10 without its own YouTube channel.
  • Half of the top 10 ranked companies have Pinterest boards, including Wal-Mart, Exxon, Apple, General Motors, and Ford.
  • 35% of the Fortune 500 have active Google+ accounts; 19% have corporate accounts that have not yet become active.
  • Ford Motors is the only top 10 company on Instagram. Other adopters include AT&T, Avon, and Home Depot.
  • Wal-Mart is the only top 10 company using Foursquare. Other adopters include Target, Walgreens, and Lowe's.

About the research: The report focused on the primary/listed corporation and did not include the social media accounts of subsidiaries. A company was counted as having a blog if it had a public-facing corporate blog from the primary corporation with current posts.

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Ayaz Nanji is an independent digital strategist and a co-founder of ICW Content, a marketing agency specializing in content creation for brands and businesses. He is also a research writer for MarketingProfs. He has worked for Google/YouTube, the Travel Channel, AOL, and the New York Times.

LinkedIn: Ayaz Nanji

Twitter: @ayaznanji

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  • by Robert Trube Fri Jul 19, 2013 via web

    So, that is all great information, but there is one channel that is left out that would have made a difference - Uhhh, where is LinkedIn? I would be willing to say that almost, if not all of the Fortune 500 have some level of presence and exposure on the network.

    Those crazy college kids, they always forget to look at what they don't know....

  • by Gracious Store Tue Jul 23, 2013 via web

    Though a great percentage of brands use social media what do you think is the reason why less number of brands use Youtube

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