The Fortune 500 Increasingly Embraces YouTube & Instagram

November 10, 2017

This article is included in these additional categories:

Digital | Social Media

The majority (53%) of Fortune 500 companies are now actively using Instagram, marking the 5th 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 53% of Fortune 500 companies with an active Instagram account this year is up from 45% last year, 30% in 2015 and 20% the prior year, per the report.

Interestingly, the number of top-10 companies with an active account dropped by 2 from last year, to 6. These companies are Walmart, McKesson, CVS Health, General Motors, AT&T and Ford Motor. The 4 not using Instagram are Berkshire Hathaway, Apple, Exxon Mobile and UnitedHealth Group.

3 in 4 F500 Companies Now Use YouTube

YouTube is another platform enjoying increased adoption by the Fortune 500. This year, three-quarters of the listed companies had an active YouTube account, up from two-thirds (67%) last year.

In fact, almost all of the top 10 companies in the Fortune 500 reportedly have an active YouTube account, with Berkshire Hathaway the lone exception.

Public-Facing Blogs Have A Resurgence

Fortune 500 use of public-facing blogs has been volatile over the years, but is on the rebound in 2017. This year 42% of the Fortune 500 have a public-facing corporate blog, which is up from 36% last year and double the share (21%) from 2015. This year’s 42% is also the highest share in at least 5 years.

The use of public-facing corporate blogs continues to be higher among the top 200 companies (51% adoption) than the bottom 200 (35% adoption), though the increase in overall adoption this year appears to have been driven by the bottom 200.

While there’s been a resurgence in blogging this year, the long-term trend is for reduced interactivity: just half (51%) of blogs allow comments this year, down from 61% last year and 78% in 2014. The report also notes that many of the blogs that allow comments have very little interaction.

LinkedIn Remains Most Popular; 1 in 10 Use Snapchat

LinkedIn continues to be the most popular social platform for Fortune 500 companies, with virtually all (488; 98%) using the platform this year.

Twitter (88%) and Facebook (85%) are also widely used by the Fortune 500. Each of these top 3 saw an incremental increase in usage by the Fortune 500 this year.

By contrast, the Fortune 500 seems to have largely abandoned Google+. Just 18% are using it this year, per the study’s count, down from 40% last year.

Snapchat – newly introduced to the analysis in this edition of the study – isn’t far behind Google+. Roughly 1 in 10 (48) Fortune 500 companies are using Snapchat. This is likely due to an effort to capture its youth audience, though its teen audience doesn’t appear very differentiated from Instagram’s – and its overall audience appears to be getting older.

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


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