Fortune 500’s Reach a Social Media Plateau According to Annual Benchmarking Study

For the first time in the past 4 years there is virtually no change in Fortune 500 companies adopting Facebook, Twitter or Blogging, according to new study by the Center for Marketing Research at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth

  • Share on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on LinkedInEmail a friend

Dr. Nora Ganim Barnes, PhD, Senior Fellow, Society for New Communications Research & Chancellor Professor of Marketing at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth

These results may signal a leveling off and possibly retrenchment when it comes to the adoption of social media among the 2011 Fortune 500.

San Jose, CA/Dartmouth, MA (PRWEB) October 26, 2011

The adoption of the most popular social media tools by the Fortune 500 appears to be leveling off, with little or no change in the past year. Close to one third of these corporate giants are without either a Twitter or Facebook account. While the percent of companies blogging remains at 23%, that number now represents 114 companies with blogs instead of the 116 recorded last year. These are among the key findings of the latest benchmarking study 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.

The new report is the outcome of a statistically sound study of the 2011 Fortune 500 list. The study examined these institutions to quantify their adoption of social media tools and technologies. This is the fourth year that Barnes has tracked social media usage by this sector, and it is the only statistically sound longitudinal study of its kind with every company in the Fortune 500 included.

The research shows that

  • 23% (114) of the primary Fortune 500 corporations have an external corporate blog. This represents a leveling off since 2010 and only a 1% increase over the 2009 study.
  • Fortune 500 companies are blogging at a lower rate than other business groups, specifically the Inc. 500. In 2010, 50% of the Inc. 500 had corporate blogs and in 2009 45% had externally-facing corporate blogs.
  • 62% (308) of Fortune 500 primary companies have corporate Twitter accounts. This is an increase of only 2% over the 2010 Fortune 500.
  • 58% (289) of the 2010 Fortune 500 have a Facebook presence. There is an increase of only 2% over the 2010 Fortune 500.
  • Specialty Retail stores are most likely to have a blog. These include Home Depot, Best Buy, Toys-R-Us and BJ’s Wholesale.
  • 31% of the 2011 Fortune 500 do not have a Twitter account or a Facebook presence.

“These results may signal a leveling off and possibly retrenchment when it comes to the adoption of social media among the 2011 Fortune 500. There is also evidence of change in the adoption of these tools by industry and a clear sign from some companies that these are not part of their communications strategy. Given that the Fortune 500 are the titans of American business, we may be seeing the slowdown in business adoption of social media. At the very least, this group appears to have slowed or stopped its adoption of the three most prominent tools – Blogging, Facebook and Twitter, stated Barnes.”

A full copy of the new research report can be downloaded at:
http://www.umassd.edu/cmr/studiesresearch/

Additionally, Barnes 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.

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.

###