Big Companies Warm to Blogs

blogs_by_sectorA new study finds that companies at the top of the Fortune 500 list are more likely to use blogs and other social media than those lower the list.

Researchers found that the top 100 Fortune 500 companies have more corporate blogs than the 300 companies ranked from positions 201-500 combined. Altogether, 16% of the Fortune 500 is blogging, including three of the five top companies.

The research also indicates that corporations are adopting a multi-channel approach to social media. Sixteen percent of the 500 corporate websites researchers analyzed have podcasts and 21% use online video. Of the 81 corporate blogs, 28 link to corporate Twitter accounts.

“It appears that those companies that have made the decision to blog have utilized the tool well,” researchers Nora Ganim Barnes and Eric Mattson wrote. “There is frequent posting, on-going discussion and the ability to follow the conversation easily through RSS or subscriptions.” More than 90% of the corporate blogs accept comments.

While Fortune 500 companies continue to tiptoe into the blogosphere, they lag far behind other sectors in their adoption of new tools. Earlier research by Barnes and Mattson found that the Inc. 500 companies are nearly two-and-a-half times as active as the Fortune 500. Nonprofits lead the trend, with 57% of charities using a blog.

Barnes is a Chancellor Professor of Marketing and Director of the Center for Marketing Research at the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth. Mattson is the CEO of Financial Insite Inc., a Seattle-based boutique research firm focusing on technology innovation in finance and banking.

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