Big Fans of Social Media: The Fortune 500 Companies

Written on Apr 17 2013

With the exception of LinkedIn, social media engagement has taken a backseat in the eyes of many big companies, however, reports for 2012 showed the use of blogging, Facebook, and Twitter surged among the nation’s largest companies. A report from the Center for Marketing Research (CMR) at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth asserts Fortune 500 companies are getting smart about social, using social media to engage followers and promote their brands online.

Why do these companies see value in social media?

According to a 2012 report from McKinsey, social technologies stand to unlock $1.3 trillion in value for businesses. That value stems from many things, however the most prominent is added productivity. Other benefits include improved consumer focus and better-functioning teams.

Large corporations are recognizing these benefits and, as 2012 proved, it was a great year for social media as many Fortune 500 companies embraced its power. Revealed from the UMass Dartmouth Center for Marketing Research, the findings below are the outcome of a statistically valid study of the 2012 Fortune 500 list:

Corporate Blogging

In 2012, 139 Fortune 500 companies (28%) had corporate blogs, showing the largest increase in the use of this tool since 2008. Of course, there is more activity in some industries compared to others. Below are the most active industries represented in the F500:
1. Telecommunications industry – 40% blog actively
2. Commercial Banks – 30% blog actively
3. Utilities: Gas and Electric – 27% blog actively

Microblogging (aka Twitter)

In 2011, 62% of F500 companies micro-blogged actively, while in 2012 this number increased to 73%. Corporations using Twitter come from each of the 71 industries represented in the F500. Below is the top 3 of the most active industries:
1. Food Consumer Products – 93% actively tweet
2. Aerospace and Defense + Specialty Retailers – 86% actively tweet
3. Insurance: Property and Casualty – 81% actively tweet


The number of major companies that embrace Facebook increased 8% in 2012. 332 F500 companies are now on Facebook. The 332 companies with corporate Facebook pages come from 69 of the 71 industries represented in the Fortune 500. Here is a top 3 of the most active on Facebook:
1. Specialty Retailers – 89% active on Facebook
2. Food Consumer Products – 86% active on Facebook
3. Telecommunications – 80% active on Facebook

Other Social Media Sites

For the first time, researchers also looked at the Fortune 500′s presence on YouTube and Pinterest. It found that 309 firms, or 62%, had a YouTube account, which are used primarily for fundraising, product demonstrations and education.


We are confident that 2013 will be an even greater year for social media as more corporations come on board for the first time and current partakers improve their social strategies. If you think about it, social media for business is like going to your first high school dance. It takes a lot of pre-planning and sometimes a little help. Dressing your best and being present is just the first step. To leave a memorable impression you have to take your best moves out on the dance floor.

Is your corporation looking to get started for the first time in social media, or trying to find easier solutions for managing social presences? Browse our website to learn how SimplySocial can help. We are here to assist you in the realm of social media, contact us anytime!

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