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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.

Facebook

  • 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. 

Twitter

  • 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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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

image of Ayaz Nanji

Ayaz Nanji is a digital strategist and a co-founder of ICW Media, a marketing agency specializing in content and social media services for tech firms. 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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