Thursday, July 11th, 2013

Study Shows Fortune 500 Embrace Social Like Never Before


UMass just published their latest study on social media usage within Fortune 500 companies which shows a notable increase in the application and engagement of blogs and a rise in the use of social platforms such as Instagram, Google+ and Foursquare and Pinterest.

Setting the Scene

The University of Massachusetts has been publishing an annual report since 2008 on the utilization of social media within the Fortune 500 as listed by Fortune Magazine. Every year the F500 are examined to determine their various levels of engagement within the most common social platforms and their integration and relative upkeep of social tools within their own sites; specifically their blogs.

Some of the More Interesting Findings from this 2013 Study

This study is, to UMASS’s credit, comprehensive and should really be read in detail to get the most out of it. That said I know not everyone has the time so we put together some of the findings we found most interesting and we hope you do as well. Please remember, however, that very little of these results can stand upon their own as evidence of a specific fact because correlation is not necessarily causation. With that said I find the data very interesting as a rare peek into a world I am very detached from as a small-to-medium business website marketer.

A) From 2008 to 2013 there has been a 188% (16%  in 2008 to 34% in 2013)  increase in the use of public facing corporate blogs.

A chart showing an increase in the use of public facing blogs within Fortune 500 companies from 2008 to 2013.

B) Interestingly the top 200 companies out-blogged those of the bottom 200 in every year since 2008. This same trend was found in the adoption of Twitter and Facebook accounts.
C) Below I created an accounting of all the platforms studied and their relative increases over 2012 where available:

A chart showing the 2012 to 2013 increase in social adoption for various social networks/mediums.
D) Of the Fortune 500 who has the most Facebook fans? See the chart below

The 5 of the Fortune 500 with the most Facebook fans are shown
In Summary

The Fortune 500 social media study gives a far more detailed conclusion but the gist is even the Fortune 500 are getting more and more involved in social media and data suggests the most successful (top of list) companies are using it more often. Does this mean social media has been a boon to their bottom line? There is no evidence of that but I certainly hope so. Either way it is apparent these behemoths know they need to be present to manage their reputations and find the social world worth investing in. How about you?

Here are some other resources related to this topic:

4 Responses to “Study Shows Fortune 500 Embrace Social Like Never Before”

  1. Rebecca Haden

    You say, “Does this mean social media has been a boon to their bottom line? There is no evidence of that but I certainly hope so.” I noticed, though, that those in the top 200 were significantly more likely to be blogging and active in the major social media channels than those in the 200-500 group. That might reflect the ROI of social media. Not evidence, perhaps, but surely reason to hope.

  2. Ross Dunn

    Hi Rebecca, I agree, it is definitely reason to hope and even be somewhat optimistic :-) Thanks for commenting!

  3. Helen Q.

    Wow a 188% increase since 2008? That is great for blogs.
    And it is no wonder that the top 200 companies did better than the bottom 200 companies. I would expect that to happen.

  4. Maciej

    And they should! It is exciting for followers to interact with their favorite brands like never before! Social media is a quick way to spread the word on new products or features. Spending marketing dollars for managing and developing social media is advantageous.

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