Fortune 500 Corporate Social Media Usage 2015

Instagram Gains, Blogs Lose Among Fortune 500

The Fortune 500 are moving towards the use of more visually rich platforms such as Instagram, according to the 8th annual study of the Fortune 500 social media usage by UMass-Dartmouth.

This may account for the decline of blogging for the second year in a row. LinkedIn retained its spot as the most used social media platform.

Instagram is Big Gainer

Instagram had a double-digit increase (13%) among the 2015 Fortune 500, which may account for some decline in the more content-rich blogs.

“Blogging is a mature tool,” said Dr. Nora Ganim Barnes, Director, Center for Marketing Research, University of Massachusetts, “but on many dimensions is not going to replaced in terms of ROI by other social media tools. This includes enhancing SEO, establishing thought leadership and developing far richer engagement through comments and discussion.”

Key Findings and Surprises

Among the key findings in percentage of Fortune 500 using these platforms:

  • Twitter is more popular than Facebook (78% vs. 74%).
  • Glassdoor (87%) has joined LinkedIn (93%) as a popular business tool
  • The use of Instagram has increased by 13% pointing to more interest in visually rich platforms.
  • Google+ continues to struggle for engagement. Only 166 of the F500 have accounts, and 116 (23%) are inactive.

The surprises:

  • Nine corporations (2)% do not use any social media.
  • Apple does not have Twitter accounts. Many consumer products companies use Twitter to enable customers to engage with customer service reps about service issues. The study doesn’t explain why, but a possible reason is that Apple has excellent telephone support and “Genius” bars in their stores with technicians who will fix problems with their products.
  • Several of the Fortune 500 do not have Facebook accounts, including Exxon Mobile and Apple.
  • Popular companies like Netflix and Expedia have joined the F500 for the first time.

You can access the complete study by clicking here.

The study concludes that the largest companies are “actively re-evaluating the social media tools they employ. There is evidence of change in their preferred communications tools. These changes should be of major interest to both social media platforms – that rely heavily on corporate advertising and use – and to smaller companies that typically follow the lead of their larger competitors and partners.”

How about your company? Have you re-evaluated the mix of social platforms you use?

Leave a Reply


  1. Some surprising facts! It’s interesting what decisions companies make as to which platforms to use. I choose the ones where I believe that most of my ideal clients hang out and which I do not hate!

    • Beth — smart to hang out with your clients. I dropped a couple of networks that I wasn’t using. All they did was make me feel guilty

  2. Am honestly not surprised. Have for a long time had the feeling that blogging is being replaced by other ways of communicating. An entrepreneur with drive that I know recently suggested we should cooperate on launching a new blog. Told her we have to do something else because blogging is becoming passe. Don’t think any of the social media platforms mentioned will replace blogging. Unless of course publishing on Linkedin and Facebook will take over. But I have a feeling something else will be launched. Let’s see. Will be really interesting.

    • Catarina — I hope that blogging doesn’t become passe. LinkedIn seems here to stay but then so did My Space and look what happened to that network. Best to own your content on your own site.

  3. Hey Jeannette,

    With as many people as there are online today let’s face it. They are just people searching for information and depending on their age and interests will depend on what social media platform they’re a part of. They love social media.

    I think blogging will always be around but it might be in different forms in the future because of this. Of course I still 100% believe that you should NEVER build your business and contacts on a rented platform. We all know that these social media platforms are leading to you having to depend on them for prospects and customers so they’ll eventually start making you pay for what you’re getting for free now. Big corporations have no problem with that but the small business owners will suffer greatly.

    I guess only time will tell as to what the future will bring.


    • Adrienne – the social networks are moving to the “fremium” model. They eventually start to charge for what used to be free. They are in business to make money, too, but, as you noted, small companies that built their businesses on these platforms will suffer the consequences.

  4. Fascinating post, Jeannette. I actually concur with the results reported. I love Instagram, and find that it’s much harder to get followers for my blog than it is to get social media followers.

    • Doreen — I have an Instagram account but rarely use it. I didn’t want yet another network to have to populate with content. What you do is more visual so I’m sure it works well for you.

  5. This is definitely interesting, Jeannette, and I can see how large corporations would be looking for an alternative to blogging, especially as there are so many alternatives. It makes sense that Apple doesn’t have a Twitter account, but then that seems very “Apple” of them:-) I agree with Adrienne though that companies have to have their own content that isn’t reliant on third party platforms. You make a good point about MySpace.

    • A.K.– we don’t know where social media is going. The financial markets are punishing Twitter because its use is declining by already established users. Will it succeed in the long run? Hard to think it won’t but look at MySpace and Friendster.