The Fortune 500’s use of blogs, online video, and podcasts continues to increase, but Twitter was the social media channel of choice in 2009, according to a study by the Society for New Communications Research (SNCR) and Financial Insite.
The study, “The Fortune 500 and Social Media: A Longitudinal Study of Blogging and Twitter Usage by America’s Largest Companies,” was conducted by Dr. Nora Ganim Barnes, Ph.D., Senior Fellow and Research Chair of the Society for New Communications Research and Chancellor Professor of Marketing at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth and Eric Mattson, CEO of Financial Insite Inc., a Seattle-based research firm.
The new report is the outcome of a statistically sound study of the Fortune 500. The study examined the 2009 Fortune 500 in an attempt to quantify their adoption of social media tools and technologies. This is the second year that Barnes and Mattson have tracked social media adoption among the Fortune 500, and theirs is the only statistically sound longitudinal study of its kind.
The 2009 study’s key findings include:
- 22% (108) of the primary corporations listed in the 2009 Fortune 500 have a public-facing corporate blog. This represents a six percent increase over the 2008 study.
- 86% of these blogs (93) link directly to a corporate twitter account, a 300% increase over the 2008 study. (Note: More Fortune 500 corporations have Twitter accounts, but do not link directly from their blogs.)
- 35% (173) of the Fortune 500 have active Twitter accounts (a post within the past thirty days); and nearly 50% of the top 100 companies (47) have a Twitter account.
- 80% — four of the top five corporations – Wal-Mart, Chevron, ConocoPhillips and General Electric – consistently post on their Twitter accounts. The number one ranked company, Exxon Mobil, does not have a Twitter account.
- The insurance industry has the most Twitter accounts (13).
- 19% of the 2009 Fortune 500 is podcasting, a three percent increase over the 2008 study
- 31% are incorporating online video into their blog sites, a 10% increase over 2008
“The continued steady adoption of blogs and the explosive growth of Twitter among Fortune 500 companies demonstrate the growing importance of social media in the business world,” stated Barnes. “These large and leading companies drive the American economy, and to a large extent, the world economy. Surely a willingness to interact more transparently via these new technologies with their stakeholders is a positive step. Where this leads will be fascinating to watch!”
“As social media become more integrated with a variety of business functions both internally and externally at companies, we continue to see a steadily growing adoption of blogs, Twitter, online video, podcasts and other new communications channels,” added Mattson.
About this study
A full copy of the 17-page research report, “The Fortune 500 and Social Media: A Longitudinal Study of Blogging and Twitter Usage by America’s Largest Companies,” can be downloaded at the link below.
Additionally, Barnes and Mattson will publish a paper based on the findings in an upcoming issue of the Society for New Communications Research’s Journal of New Communications Research and will present the findings via a web-based briefing and at the Society for New Communications Research’s annual research symposium.
About the Center for Marketing Research at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth
To facilitate the economic development of the region by providing an affordable, high-quality economic alternative to meeting business needs for research, training, and consulting in any and all aspects of Marketing. The Center for Marketing Research is associated with and maintains a close relationship with the Chambers of Commerce within southeastern Massachusetts. This unique relationship provides the Center with an effective business networking capability. For more information, visit http://www.umassd.edu/cmr/.
About the Society for New Communications Research (SNCR)
The Society for New Communications Research is a global nonprofit 501(c)(3) research and education foundation and think tank focused on the advanced study of the latest developments in new media and communications, and their effect on traditional media and business models, communications, culture and society. For more information, visit http://sncr.org.