According to a new study done by University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, Fortune 500 companies are becoming bullish on social media and blogging.These top corporations often lead the way in marketing trends, so watching them and seeing their activities can help even small business owners.

In 2013, 171 companies (34%) had corporate blogs showing the largest increase in use of this tool since the 2008 study of the F500. These include two of the top five corporations (WalMart and Exxon), leaving the other three (Chevron, Phillips 66 and Berkshire Hathaway) without a public-facing blog.

The 171 corporations with blogs come from 58 of the 75 industries represented in the 2013 F500. A partial list is presented below showing those industries with the greatest presence in the F500. The percent of corporations blogging varies by industry. As might be expected, companies in the Telecommunications industry have 53% of their companies blogging. Specialty Retail has 46% of their companies with corporate blogs.  In contrast, only two (13%) companies in the Motor Vehicles and Parts industry blog. Industries with no blogs include Tobacco, Pharmaceuticals and Toys and Sporting Goods.

Corporate Blogs by Industry

Number of Companies w/blogs





Specialty Retailers



Food Consumer Products



Utilities: Gas and Electric



Aerospace and Defense



Commercial Banks






Insurance: Property and Casualty (Stock)



Motor Vehicles and Parts



TWITTER: Three hundred eighty-seven (77%) of the F500 have corporate Twitter accounts with a tweet in the past thirty days. This represents a 4% increase since last year. Eight of the top 10 companies (WalMart, Exxon, Chevron, Phillips 66, Apple, General Motors, General Electric and Ford Motors) consistently post on their Twitter accounts. Berkshire Hathaway and Valero Energy do not tweet.

Five of the 2013 F500 companies had Twitter accounts with no activity on them. These include: CF Industry Holdings, Joy Global, Laboratory Corp. of America, O’Reilly Automotive and Omnicare.

FACEBOOK: Three hundred forty-eight (70%) of the F500 are now on Facebook. This represents a 4% increase since last year. Nine of the top 10 companies (WalMart, Chevron, Phillips 66, Berkshire Hathaway, Apple, General Motors, General Electric, Valero Energy and Ford Motors) have Facebook pages.  Exxon does not.

It is clear that these business titans are choosing from a myriad of new communications tools while continuing to adopt the more mature tool of blogging.  These behemoths prefer Twitter to Facebook and are experimenting with new tools such as Google+, Foursquare and Instagram.  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.  Judging by the increased use of tools, fans and followers, they are making some very powerful new connections.  It will be exciting to see how much more involved they become with their ever-expanding social media efforts by this time next year.

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