2012 Fortune 500’s Social Media Adoption Surges According to 5th Annual Benchmarking Study by University of Massachusetts Dartmouth

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The Social Media Tool of Choice Is Twitter – 73% of the Fortune 500 Have Twitter Accounts

The Fortune 500’s adoption of social media, including blogs, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube have all increased over the past year, according to the latest benchmarking study conducted by Dr. Nora Ganim Barnes, Ph.D., Senior Fellow and Research Co-chair of the Society for New Communications Research and Director of the Center for Marketing Research at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. The study was co-authored by Ava M. Lescault, MBA and Associate Director of the Center for Marketing Research and Justina Andonian, MBA candidate of the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.

The new report is the outcome of a statistically valid study of the 2012 Fortune 500 list. The study examined these institutions to quantify their adoption of social media tools and technologies. This is the fifth year that Barnes has tracked social media usage by this sector, and it is the only statistically valid longitudinal study of its kind with every company in the Fortune 500 included.

Key findings of this study include:

  • 28% (139) of the primary Fortune 500 corporations have an external corporate blog. This is an increase of 5% from 2011.
  • 54% of the corporate blogs come from companies ranked in the top 200 on the list. Rank on the Fortune 500 list parallels blogging adoption more than the use of any other tool studied.
  • 73% (365) of Fortune 500 primary companies have corporate Twitter accounts. This is an increase of 11% from 2011.
  • 66% (332) of the 2012 Fortune 500 primary companies have a corporate Facebook page. This is an increase of 8% from 2011.
  • 62% (309) of the 2012 Fortune 500 primary companies are using YouTube.
  • 2% (11) of the 2012 Fortune 500 primary companies are using Pinterest.
  • 23% (115) of the 2012 Fortune 500 primary companies have neither a Twitter account nor a Facebook page. In 2011, 31% had neither a Twitter account nor a Facebook page.

“The surge in use of every social media platform studied is exciting. These corporate giants are designing a social media presence in a deliberate and steady way,” stated Barnes. “This clearly demonstrates the growing importance of social media in the business world. These large and leading companies drive the American economy and to a large extent the world economy. Their willingness to interact more transparently via interactive technologies with their stakeholders is a clear shift. It will be interesting to watch as they expand their adoption of social media tools and connect with their constituents in dramatically new ways,” continued Barnes.

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

Additionally, Barnes, Lescault, and Andonian 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.

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Gina Hernandez

Nora Ganim Barnes, Ph.D.
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