According to a study by the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth in November 2011, 62% of Fortune 500 companies have an active Twitter account while 58% of those same companies have a Facebook Page.
Perhaps not a surprise due to the rise of social media, only 23% of Fortune 500 companies have a corporate blog.
Overall the adoption of social media by major corporations is slowing with essentially no year over year growth within the Fortune 500, however, this does not mean that marketers should be alarmed. What I believe is slowly happening is that the world’s largest companies are beginning to understand the negative impact of haphazard, misaligned social media strategies.
For many of these businesses, Twitter, for example, is best used for customer service, and like waiting 20 minutes of hold for a phone representative, not properly responding to negative brand comments can leave a bad taste in the consumer’s mouth. Therefore, marketers of these companies are starting to think in terms of more integrated approaches to digital and social that communicate the ethos of the brand.
Despite the slowed adoption rates of social media by the Fortune 500, digital marketers should be excited about the future. For one, the Dartmouth study doesn’t address the overall marketing spend of these companies for interactive.
According to Forrester Research, the overall budget for interactive in the United States will grow from $34.4 billion in 2011 to $76.6 billion by 2016. This same forecast predicts that the social media spend will rise from $1.6 billion in 2011 to $5 billion in 2016. Consider this for a second … if Forrester’s prediction is correct, $76.6 billion is a major milestone considering that number represents the total amount of spend on television marketing in the United States during 2011.
This infographic below from Go Gulf takes a deeper dive into the social media statistics of Fortune 500 companies. Here are some key takeaways to consider:
- 37% of INC 500 companies have blogs compared to 23% of Fortune 500
- @google has the most Twitter followers at 4.3M while @WholeFoods is second
- Coca-Cola has 40.1M on Facebook while Starbucks has 28.7M
- Special retailers have the most Twitter accounts while the Insurance industry maintains the most Facebook Pages