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UMass Fortune 500 Use of Social Media Nov2020Fewer Fortune 500 companies are using social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram this year than did last year. However, their use of public-facing corporate blogs has increased, and some have even started using TikTok, according to the latest annual analysis of Fortune 500 corporate social media usage from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Center of 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).

Making its debut this year, TikTok has a long way to go before seeing the adoption enjoyed by other social media platforms, as only 8% of Fortune 500 companies currently using the platform. The analysis hypothesizes that the number of Fortune 500 companies using the short video platform is likely to grow as companies set their sights on Gen Z and Millennials, the demographics that makes up a significant share of current US TikTok users.

Notably, three of the top 5 Fortune 500 companies — Amazon, Apple and Walmart — are already using the platform.

Public-Facing Blog Usage Surges

In an effort to communicate and address issues with consumers during the pandemic, the use of public-facing blogs has grown considerably since last year. In 2020, more than three-quarters (77%) of the Fortune 500 have a public-facing blog, up from 54% in 2019.

The use of public-facing corporate blogs continues to be more prevalent among the top 200 companies (49% adoption), with fewer companies ranked in the bottom 200 using blogs (29%).

Although the use of corporate blogs is increasing, fewer and fewer companies allow for interactivity — a trend that has continued for several years. Only 15% of the Fortune 500 blogs allow for comments, which is down from 18% in 2019, 40% in 2018 and 51% in 2017. As in years past, the analysis found that there is little interaction on those blogs that do allow comments, prompting companies to stop using the feature.

LinkedIn Remains the Most Used

LinkedIn continues its reign as the most popular social platform for Fortune 500 companies, with a full 99% of companies using the platform. This near-total adoption has been consistent over the past few years. In general, while LinkedIn has been a popular platform for recruitment, more companies are seeing it as a viable marketing channel.

In the meantime, usage of Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube has decreased over the last year. Although 446 (89%) of the Fortune 500 are using Twitter, usage has dropped from 96% last year. Likewise, Facebook usage dropped from 95% in 2019 to 85% this year.

After several years of usage increases, the percentage of Fortune 500 companies using Instagram has decreased to 64%, compared to 73% last year.

Last year, 9 in 10 Fortune 500s used YouTube, but 2020 saw usage fall to a little less than 8 in 10 (78%).

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

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