Instagram Continues to Grow in Popularity With the Fortune 500

October 12, 2018

This article is included in these additional categories:

Digital | Social Media

Almost two-thirds (63%) of Fortune 500 companies are now actively using Instagram, marking the 6th consecutive year of increases in the platform’s use by these companies, according to the latest annual analysis of Fortune 500 corporate social media usage from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Center for Marketing Research.

To arrive at its conclusion, the Center for Marketing Research counted a company as having a presence on a platform if the primary/listed corporation (subsidiaries are excluded from the analysis) had an active account (activity within the prior 30 or in some cases 45 days).

The 63% of Fortune 500 companies with an active Instagram account this year is up from 53% last year, 45% in 2016, 30% in 2015 and 20% in 2014, per the report.

Nine of the top 10 Fortune 500 companies are now active Instagram users, up from 6 last year. Those companies are Walmart, Exxon Mobile, Berkshire Hathaway, Apple, McKesson, CVS Health, Amazon, AT&T and General Motors. Of the 4 not using Instagram last year (Exxon Mobile, Berkshire Hathaway, Apple and UnitedHealth Group), only UnitedHealth Group has remained off the platform this year.

Despite Instagram’s growing popularity, the Fortune 500 still is more likely to use YouTube though, in that sense differing from the fastest-rising companies, which are more likely to use Instagram than YouTube.

Public-Facing Blogs Continue Their Resurgence

Along with Instagram, public-facing blogs have been the fastest-growing tools in use by Fortune 500 companies.

This year 53% of Fortune 500 corporations have a public-facing blog, marking the first time in the study’s history that blogging has passed the majority threshold. It’s also the continuation of a resurgence that began in 2016, when the percentage of Fortune 500 companies using public-facing blogs rebounded from a low of 21% in 2015 to 36%. Since then blogging has grown steadily to pass the majority mark this year.

The use of public-facing corporate blogs continues to be far higher among the top 200 companies (59% adoption), with fewer companies ranked lower than 200 using blogs.

Interestingly, while there’s been a resurgence in the use of blogs, the long-term trend is for reduced interactivity: just 40% of blogs allow comments this year, down from 51% last year and 78% in 2014. The report also notes that many of the blogs that allow comments have very little interaction, and some are eliminating the comment feature.

LinkedIn, Twitter Still Popular

LinkedIn continues to be the most popular social platform for Fortune 500 companies, with virtually all (98%) using the platform this year, consistent with last year’s report.

Twitter (91%) and Facebook (89%) are also widely used by the Fortune 500. Each saw an incremental increase in usage, from 88% and 85%, respectively, last year.

YouTube has also seen a slight increase in usage, with 77% of companies analyzed this year using the video platform.

Of the various social platforms tracked, Pinterest is the least-used, remaining steady at around 1 in 3 (32%) F500 corporations.

This year the analysis excludes Google+, which has largely been abandoned in recent years and was just shuttered following disclosure of a breach, and Snapchat, which had seen low adoption among the F500 and threatens to be upended by similar features offered by Facebook and Instagram.

The full study – replete with more methodological details – can be accessed here.


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