Umass Dartmouth Center for Marketing Research Blog

Fortune 500 Pumping the Breaks on Social Media

The Center is pleased to announce the release of our 2011 Fortune 500 (F500) study! This year is the first year we have seen a leveling off effect on social media usage by these titans of American business. Since 2010, there have only been slight changes in the number of public-facing blogs, Facebook pages, and Twitter accounts utilized by the F500.

It is also exciting to share there has been much buzz and talks about the newest study on different websites across the internet! Just today,’s business and economic blog, The Bottom Line ( wrote a blog post describing the latest findings of our study., a site for marketing resources and articles, also did a post on our findings just 3 days ago. Being able to read about our work through these other medias is truly an accomplishment, but knowing our results on this topic can help benefit others and gauge more research is a milestone in itself.

Some of the key findings are as followed:

  • 23% (114) of the primary 2011 Fortune 500 corporations have an external corporate blog instead of the 116 recorded last year. This represents a leveling off since 2010 and only a 1% increase over the 2009 study.
  • Fortune 500 companies are blogging at a lower rate than other business groups, specifically the Inc. 500.  In 2010, 50% of the Inc. 500 had corporate blogs and in 2009 45% had externally-facing corporate blogs.
  • 62% (308) of Fortune 500 primary companies have corporate Twitter accounts. This is an increase of only 2% over the 2010 Fortune 500.
  • 58% (289) of the 2011 Fortune 500 have a Facebook presence. This is an increase of only 2% over the 2010 Fortune 500.
  • Specialty Retail stores are most likely to have a blog.  These include Home Depot, Best Buy, Toys-R-Us and BJ’s Wholesale.
  • 31% of the 2011 Fortune 500 do not have a Twitter account or a Facebook presence.

As Dr. Barnes’ stated, “These results may signal a leveling off and possibly retrenchment when it comes to the adoption of social media among the 2011 Fortune 500. There is also evidence of change in the adoption of these tools by industry and a clear sign from some companies that these are not part of their communications strategy. Given that the Fortune 500 are the titans of American business, we may be seeing the slowdown in business adoption of social media. At the very least, this group appears to have slowed or stopped its adoption of the three most prominent tools – Blogging, Facebook and Twitter.“

To see a full copy of the new research report, it can be downloaded at:

To see the posts by &, click on the links below:


Filed under: Happenings at the Center

2 Responses

  1. Thanks for that awesome posting. It saved MUCH time 🙂

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