Fortune 500 companies give social media a thumbs-up

The world's top bankrollers are increasingly growing their social-media presence -- currently, 77 percent of Fortune 500 companies keep active Twitter accounts and 70 percent have a Facebook page.

Dara Kerr Former senior reporter
Dara Kerr was a senior reporter for CNET covering the on-demand economy and tech culture. She grew up in Colorado, went to school in New York City and can never remember how to pronounce gif.
Dara Kerr
2 min read
University of Massachusetts Dartmouth

It appears the world's biggest moneymakers are paying increasing attention to social media.

A new report by the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth takes a look at how often companies on Fortune Magazine's Fortune 500 list are using social-media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, YouTube, Foursquare, and Pinterest. And the answer is: a lot.

Of those Fortune 500 companies, 77 percent keep active Twitter accounts, 70 percent have a Facebook page, and 69 percent have YouTube accounts. All these stats are up over last year -- with 4 percent more companies keeping Twitter accounts, 4 percent more having a Facebook page, and 7 percent more on YouTube.

Other social networks aren't as popular with the Fortune 500 companies, but they still have some presence. According to the report, 35 percent of companies have an active Google+ account. Of the 500 companies, 44 are on Instagram, 44 are on Foursquare, and 45 have Pinterest accounts.

"Due to the hugely influential role that these companies play in the business world, studying their adoption and use of social-media tools offers important insights into the future of commerce," the report reads. "These corporations provide a look at emergent social-media trends among America's most successful companies."

Not surprisingly, the company that tops the list in social-media activity is a social network itself -- Facebook. Ranked 482 on the Fortune 500 list, Facebook has more than 8.5 million Twitter followers and more than 92 million Facebook fans.

Other leading companies on Twitter include Google, Starbucks, and Whole Foods. While popular Facebook companies included Coca-Cola, Walt Disney, and Starbucks. (See graphs below.)

In addition to being more active on social media, Fortune 500 companies are also blogging more. This year, at 34 percent, more companies than ever have a public facing blog. Currently, 171 companies blog, including two of the top five Fortune 500 companies: Walmart and Exxon.

"This is a group that now seems comfortable and even excited with its newfound ability to engage its vendors, partners, customers, and others in ways that could not have been imagined when most of their corporations began," the report reads. "Judging by the increased use of tools, fans, and followers, they are making some very powerful new connections."

University of Massachusetts Dartmouth
University of Massachusetts Dartmouth