Fortune 500 Blogging Down 3% This Year, First Drop In 7 Years [Survey]
But Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and other social media use is up.
For the first time in seven years, the use of a corporate blog among the Fortune 500 has dropped.
According to the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Center for Marketing Research, 31 percent of this year’s Fortune 500 companies have a public facing corporate blog. That’s down from last year’s high of 34 percent, and it’s also the first time that blog use has dropped since Umass Dartmouth started tracking back in 2008.
Who’s Blogging In The Fortune 500?
UMass Dartmouth (UMD) researchers say they were able to find company blogs for 157 of this year’s Fortune 500. Two of the top five companies have a blog — Wal-Mart and Exxon Mobil — while the other three don’t (Chevron, Berkshire Hathaway and Apple).
Among the Fortune 500, blogs are most popular with companies in the Specialty Retailer and Food Consumer Products categories, where 44 percent and 31 percent have blogs, respectively. Perhaps it’s no surprise that less than 10 percent of companies in the Mining Crude-Oil Production and Utilities: Gas and Electric categories have blogs.
Almost 80% Of Blogs Are Active
Having a company blog is one thing, but keeping it active is the real challenge for many companies big or small — and the majority of Fortune 500 bloggers are meeting that challenge.
The UMass Dartmouth survey found that 78 percent of these blogs “are kept current, take comments, have RSS feeds and take subscriptions. These blogs have frequent posts on a range of topics…. Those companies that choose to blog use the tool effectively.”
Why the decline in blogging overall, though? The survey suggests it might be that Fortune 500 companies are shifting to other social media tools.
Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest Use Up Among Fortune 500
The UMD survey has also been tracking how many Fortune 500 companies have accounts on some of the major social media sites, and those numbers are growing almost across the board.
LinkedIn is the most popular social site among the Fortune 500, with 97 percent having a presence there. The survey didn’t study LinkedIn a year ago, but here’s how usage compares now and then on other major social media sites:
- Twitter: 83 percent had tweeted within the previous 30 days, up from 77 percent in 2013
- Facebook: 80 percent have a Facebook Page, up from 70 percent a year ago
- YouTube: 67 percent are using YouTube, down two percent from a year ago (other than blogs, this is the only service where usage declined)
- Foursquare: 51 percent are using Foursquare, up from 9 percent in 2013 (this is the biggest gain of any site the survey tracked)
- Google+: 38 percent have active accounts, up from 35 percent a year ago
- Pinterest: 36 percent have Pinterest boards, up from 9 percent in 2013
- Instagram: 20 percent are using Instagram, up from 8 percent last year
In addition to the 38 percent with active Google+ accounts, another 19 percent have accounts that aren’t active. “This is the only platform studied where there were a significant number of open, but inactive accounts,” the researchers said. “It may be that corporations are still learning about Google+ or have not yet found the best use of this platform in their social media mix.”
The UMD Center for Marketing Research began studying social media use among the Fortune 500 back in 2008 and has published its results every year. This year’s survey is available online if you want to check out methodology and additional data.
Some opinions expressed in this article may be those of a guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land. Staff authors are listed here.
(Some images used under license from Shutterstock.com.)
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