Because of the hugely influential role that the Fortune 500 companies play in the business world, studying their adoption and use of social media blogs offers important insights into the future of commerce. These corporations provide a look at emergent social media trends among America’s most successful companies.
A Fortunate Benchmark
According to the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Center for Marketing Research 2014 study focusing on Fortune 500 social media adoption:
- 157 or 31% of the F500 companies are blogging.
- Companies ranked in the top 200 (45%), consistently out blogged those in the bottom 200 (35%).
- There’s “no indication that blogging in other business sectors is waning” despite a small decline.
- Compare: 52% of the fastest-growing companies in the US blogged in 2013 (Inc. 500).
- 413 or 83% of the F500 have corporate Twitter accounts. That’s a 6% increase over last year.
- 401 or 80% of F500 are on Facebook. That’s a 10% increase over last year.
- 254 or 51% of F500 use Foursquare compared to only 44 companies last year.
The study concludes:
…[T]he 2014 Fortune 500 fully embraces new communications tools that have taken so many other sectors by storm.
…[T]hese businesses now seem comfortable, and even excited, with their newfound ability to engage its vendors, partners, customers and others in ways that could not have been imagined when most of their corporations began. Judging by the increased use of tools, fans and followers, they are making some very powerful new connections.
Listening Online Can Lead To A Fortune
Fortune 500 decison-makers and executives need to know that you understand their business before they hire you. That means knowing the industry frictions and challenges well enough to provide business solution insights that are cost effective. It’s not about what you value. It’s about what your target client values.
A great way to gain this professional telepathy and prescience is to use social to listen online.
First, read the Fortune 500 blogs. What do they talk about? Study the corporate Twitter and Facebook accounts. How do they engage their customers? What are the issues? Paying attention to how a large company responds to and connects with their customers provides insight into how you might connect with a key decision-maker.
Second, Fortune 500’s are made up of people rich in personal social media accounts like LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, YouTube, and Instgram. Survey these accounts. They might even blog. What’s present? What’s not? Build your insights around what these people share personally and professionally and use that awareness to connect.
Put That Listening To Work By Blogging
To Own Your Blog Is To “Control” Your Professional Destiny talks about the reasons to start blogging and to keep blogging. Summary:
- Blogging is more essential than ever.
- Blogging answers the long tail of search and social.
- Build your blog on a home base that you control.
This post is worth a read if you’re on the fence about blogging (like 69% of the Fortune 500) or having trouble making time to blog or need some tips on how to blog well.
Remember, when you help Fortune 500 decision-makers understand how industry developments impact their business–through your blog writing–you’re showcasing your passion, authority and expertise in ways that invite powerful conversation. Read, for example, China Amps Up Anti-Corruption Effort – What This Means for Your Company by Doreen Edelman. As an executive with clients in China, I deeply appreciate Doreen sharing her knowledge.
Watch How The Fortune 500 Takes Blogging To A “Connected” Level
Fortune 500 are focused not on selling but on connecting on an emotional level with their customers. Here are two blog post examples:
Each phone model has its own set of instructions for wiping personal data and making it ready to be put on eBay for sale, and we want to be sure you have all the resources you need to do that. So before you put your phone up for sale, check out these helpful links on eBay… eBay Inc Blog
Like the Fortune 500, focus more on the WHO and less on the WHAT and you’ll show up organically in search for the right reasons. Think about your writing as a way to build relationships:
- Ask yourself: who do you want to connect with? Who would you like to develop a relationship with? Why?
- Write your blog post with that person or that person’s company or industry in mind. Focus on helping them…
- Link to that person. Link to their company. Link to people that influenced your post.
- After you publish, show appreciation to the people you cited by sending a “thank you” email along with a link to your post and the quoted passage.
- By recognizing others, your post is more likely to be shared broadly. Your posts shouldn’t be about how great you are but how great others are…
Social is a multi-trillion dollar industry. Social is about connecting with people and building relationships. This is the new normal for getting, keeping and growing clients. Get involved. If you’re not engaged online then at least start listening. That just may be the nudge you need to go further faster…
How do you validate being online? How do you validate NOT being online? How are you connecting with Fortune 500 decision-makers? How do you get on their radar? How are you engaging them?
- Mythbusting For Sales: Why Decision-Makers Should Take Social Media Seriously by Dionne Kasian-Lew
- How the Inc. 500 Fastest-Growing Companies Are Using Content Marketing by Joe Pulizzi
- What Doesn’t Work for a Social Media Strategy by Ted Rubin