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Currently, 157 companies on the Fortune 500 list (31%) have public-facing corporate blogs, a decrease of 3% in the number of blogging companies from 2013 levels, according to according to recent research conducted by Nora Ganim Barnes, PhD, at The Center for Marketing Research, University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth.

Companies that blog include two of the top five corporations on the 2014 Fortune 500 list (Wal-Mart and ExxonMobil), leaving the other three (Chevron, Apple, and Berkshire Hathaway) without a public-facing blog.

In 2011 the same study found only 23% of Fortune 500 companies had a public-facing corporate blog. In 2012, this increased to 28%, and then to 34% in 2013 before dropping a bit this year.

Most companies that choose to blog do so regularly and effectively: 78% of the public-facing blogs from Fortune 500 companies are kept current, take comments, have RSS feeds, and take subscriptions, the analysis found.

Blog use varies widely by industry: For example, 44% of specialty retail companies have a corporate blog, whereas only 7% of companies in the mining/crude-oil production vertical have a blog. Industries with no public-facing blogs include tobacco, pipelines, and railroads.

Below, additional key findings from the report.

Social Media Usage

  • 83% of Fortune 500 companies have corporate Twitter accounts with a tweet in the previous 30 days, a six percentage-point increase over 2013. Seven of the top 10 companies (Wal-Mart Stores, Exxon, Chevron, Phillips 66, General Motors, General Electric, and Ford Motors) consistently post on their Twitter accounts; Berkshire Hathaway, Apple, and Valero Energy do not tweet.
  • 80% of Fortune 500 companies are now on Facebook, a 10-point increase over last year. All of the top 10 companies (Wal-Mart Stores, Exxon Mobil, Chevron, Berkshire Hathaway, Apple, Phillips 66, General Motors, Ford Motors, General Electric, and Valero Energy) have corporate Facebook pages.
  • 67% of companies have a YouTube channel, a 2-point decrease from last year. Every company ranked in the top 10 has its own YouTube channel.
  • 97% of Fortune 500 companies have a corporate presence on LinkedIn, the highest adoption rate of any social media platform.

About the research: The report was based on an analysis of the public-facing blogs and social media accounts of the companies on the 2014 Fortune 500 list. The research focused on the primary/listed corporation and did not examine segments/subsidiaries which may have their own digital presences.

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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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