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Fortune 100 (Slowly) Embracing Social Media

Yes, it’s like a slow-mo hug: the 100 largest Fortune 500 companies are accepting and integrating social media into their marketing strategies. BUt for many of them, it’s a one-piece-at-a-time proposition. A study by Burson-Marsteller shows that many Fortune 100 companies are trying one or two popular social media avenues, few have taken an integrated, whole-hog approach to social media.

In short:

  • 65% have active accounts on Twitter
  • 54% have a Facebook fan page
  • 50% have a YouTube channel
  • 33% have corporate blogs
  • 20% (inclusive) use all four platforms

This appears to be both good news and bad news. While it’s clear that even very large companies see the usefulness of social media, many companies are trying only one thing, or only one thing at a time. That can be a good way to find the right fit for your company—because not all social media work well for all companies and industries&mdahs;but it can also be a road to discouragement if one or more of your efforts isn’t the right one for you.

It also shows that the Fortune 100 are slightly less apt to adopt these media than companies in general. As Andy mentioned earlier, 69% of companies are on Twitter (even though most of them aren’t sure what they’re getting from it), 57% have social media profiles, 51% are using video and 44% are blogging.

Of course, as I mentioned before, it’s possible that many of these channels just aren’t right for the Fortune 100 companies. Video seems especially hard to use—although it’s still significantly more popular than blogging.

Of course, a better metric isn’t necessarily how much they’re doing, but what they’re doing with it. A well-used Facebook Fan page can be a better tool than a disparate and seldom-updated blog, YouTube channel, podcast and Twitter account. So how much are they using these media?
Burson-Marsteller 2010 Global Social Media Check-up report.pdf (page 7 of 46)-1-thumb-600x213-14514

Maybe it’s just that blogging isn’t as sexy as it used to be, but it’s a little sad that they’re only posted seven times a month, don’t you think? (No word on how many of them had a blog when that was the thing to do.)

Meanwhile, the report shows that the Fortune 100 haven’t yet found the best way to use Twitter—though different companies are experimenting with retweeting and conversing, posting announcements and using it for customer service. They do, however, average tends of thousands of Twitter followers, Facebook fans and monthly video views on YouTube, so clearly, they’re doing something right in those channels.

What do you think? Have you seen the Fortune 100 or other large companies using social media well, or do you think they’re just throwing everything against the wall (one thing at a time) to see what sticks?

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