Updated March 23 at 9:23pm

UMass study: Fortune 500 turn to social media, with Twitter on top


DARTMOUTH – Sixty percent of Fortune magazine’s Fortune 500 companies are using Twitter, while 56 percent have Facebook pages and 23 percent maintain corporate blogs, according to a study released by the Center for Marketing Research at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth on Nov. 18.

“While these companies – the largest and wealthiest in the U.S. – may not always be the first to innovate, they do provide a look at emergent trends among America’s most successful companies. Studying their usage of new technological tools, like social media, offers important insight into the future of commerce,” the center said in a news release.

Both Twitter and Facebook saw dramatic growth this year, the center said. Blogging growth lagged, however, in comparison to other social media.

“Despite the slow growth in blog adoption, the Fortune 500 continue to interact more transparently with their consumer through these social media outlets,” it added.

Specialty retail companies had the largest presence on Twitter, while insurance companies focused on Facebook. Of those using Twitter, 35 percent of the Fortune 500 companies responded with replies or retweets within 72 hours, and nine of the top 10 corporations, including Wal-Mart, Exxon and Bank of America, posted “consistently” on their Twitter accounts.

Despite lagging blog growth, Bank of America was the lone top-five corporation not to maintain a blog in 2010. The most avid blogging companies were in the industry of “computer software, peripherals and office equipment.”

The study is available at www1.umassd.edu.


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