Study: Social media use declining among Fortune 500

Fortune 500 companies have slowed or stopped blogging, and using Facebook and Twitter, a new study reveals.

An annual study by the Center for Marketing Research at the University of Massachusetts concludes that social media use by the largest companies in the world has stalled, or perhaps is even retrenching.

Let’s look at some of the numbers.

The largest public companies have traditionally lagged behind other organizations in blogging and adopting other social media platforms. But the issue is even more dramatic than this chart depicts. The top 100 companies are the most active blogging companies. Only 17 percent of the next 400 companies blog. Blogging and all other social media activities in the study have stalled or declined over the previous year. Nearly every large charity and university in America is on Facebook. Less than 60 percent of the Fortune 500 are. The researchers conclude:

These results may signal a leveling off and possibly retrenchment when it comes to the adoption of social media among the 2011 F500. 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 F500 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.”

I find this to be very interesting. Although the Fortune 500 companies may be retrenching, the INC 500 of America’s fastest-growing companies continue to expand the use of social media.

What do you make of these trends?

Mark Schaefer is the executive director of Schaefer Marketing Solutions and blogs at grow, where a version of this post originally ran.

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