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Twitter Moves Ahead of Blogs in Fortune 500

The team of Nora Ganim Barnes and Eric Mattson at the Center for Marketing Research at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth have been dong a number of studies on social media and business (see for example: Thinking Like A Blogger: Is Blogging An Attitude That Can Be Taught?). In 2009, they released one of the first studies of the Fortune 500's adoption and usage of one of the best-known forms of social media — blogging (see Fortune 500 Blogging Study). This new study, Fortune 500 and Social Media: A Longitudinal Study of Blogging and Twitter Usage, revisits that prior study and expands to look at the Fortune 500's usage of Twitter.

A Fortune 500 company was counted as having a blog if they had a public-facing corporate blog from the primary corporation with posts in the past 12 months. This is the same definition used in the prior 2008 study. The data was collected in October and November 2009. One hundred-eight (22%) of the primary corporations listed on the 2009 Fortune 500 have a public-facing corporate blog with a post in the past 12 months. This is an increase from 16% in the prior study. The top 100 companies on the list represent 39% of the 108 blogs in the 2009 F500.  In 2008, 38% of the total number of blogs came from the top 100. Consistent with the findings on the 2008 Fortune 500, 90% percent of the Fortune 500 blogs take comments, have RSS feeds and take subscriptions

A company was considered a user of Twitter if they had an official corporate account. Of the 108 blogs located, 93 (86%) are linked directly to a corporate Twitter account, that's more than three times as many as members of the 2008 list. One hundred and seventy-three (35%) of the primary corporations listed on the 2009 Fortune 500 has a Twitter account with a post within the past thirty days. Of the top 100 companies on the list, 47 have a Twitter account.

One hundred and twenty companies (69%) consistently responded with @replies or retweets within the past thirty days. These Twitter accounts are kept up-to-date with current news and information. There is consistent interaction with other users and on-going discussions that are easy to follow.

The researchers concluded that, “the continued steady adoption of blogs and the explosive growth of Twitter among Fortune 500 companies demonstrate the growing importance of social media in the business world.” I certainly agree.  It is interesting, but not surprising, that the growth with Twitter exceeds that with blogs. Many marketing departments that missed the blog movement have jumped on the Twitter bandwagon. 

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Join The Conversation

  • Oct 15 Posted 5 years ago Richard K (not verified)

    Research from my site activity shows ease of use of just clicking like or +1 is overtaking tweeting and retweeting nonetheless all factors are important. Thanks for the always on target business news, please check out were a <a href="">small job provider</a> and <a social network advertising</a> company.

  • Jan 28 Posted 6 years ago SEO services (not verified)


    Great news to proud Twitterites but speaking professionally twitter is all about tweeting on a topic where the tweet is not considered by others whereas in the case of blogs if the blog's content is good enough then there will be a steady amount of traffic to the blog for more updates


  • AlbertMaruggi's picture
    Apr 20 Posted 6 years ago AlbertMaruggi I suspect Twitter's effectiveness in reducing customer service calls is one of the major reasons for the push.  While Twitter can surely drive some modest numbers for certain types of selling situations, it also serves as a knowledge base of sorts for those with similar issues, and anything that takes a call out of customer support has significant scalability which in turn means reduced costs.   
  • Apr 12 Posted 6 years ago ChristinaKrasovich Though I agree that the researcher's findings indicate the growing importance of social media in all business sectors, I find it interesting that blogs were only counted if there was activity in the past 12 months. I can't help but think their Twitter results would have shown an effect from a similar requirement.

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