While the findings do not include new companies added or omitted for the 2009 Fortune 500 list which was announced in April (John Cass has been updating with new list on the Fortune 500 Business Blogging Wiki), SNCR’s research is updated with any changes in blogging / social media use of the 2008 Fortune 500 up to March 2009.
Nora Ganim Barnes, Ph.D. and Eric Mattson CEO of Financial Insite, who conducted the research found that:
• 81 of the Fortune 500 or 16% currently have public-facing blogs (John’s number is 61 companies or 12.2%).
• This compares with 39 percent of the Inc. 500; 41 percent of the higher education sector and 57 percent of the nation’s Top 200 Charities.
• 28 percent of the Fortune 500’s blogs link to Twitter accounts. (Other Fortune 500 companies have Twitter accounts, but they are not linked to their blogs)
• Five of the top ten companies have public blogs: Wal-Mart, Chevron, General Motors, Ford, and Bank of America.
• 90 percent of the Fortune 500’s blogs have the comments feature enabled.
• The computer software/hardware technology industry has the most blogs, followed by the food and drug industry, financial services, Internet services, semi-conductors, retail and automotive respectively.
• Ten percent of the Fortune 500’s blogs link to podcasts; 21 percent incorporate video
The findings came out at an ideal time, given that the blogwell conference, focusing on how big-business is blogging, took place in New York today.
At the conference companies such as Microsoft and Nokia shed light on how to make corporate blogging successful. They discussed the importance of allowing employees to use their own unique voices and opinions within blogs while avoiding backlashes, with ten magic words: “I work for ___ and this is my personal opinion.” Microsoft actually cuts their guidelines for blogging down to two: “blog smart.”
They also discussed why most corporate blogs struggle. They don’t create “purposeful edutainment” – content with purpose, education, entertainment.
However, as we’ve mentioned before in citing numbers from the Wiki, the number of companies blogging should continue to grow as larger corporations like these continue to embrace blogging, social media and content creation – and discuss their best practices with their peer groups.