Following in the footsteps of consumers, large international companies are now becoming active participants in social media. A recent Burson-Marsteller study found that 79 percent of the largest 100 companies in the Fortune Global 500 index are using at least one of the most popular social media platforms: Twitter, Facebook, YouTube or corporate blogs.
Like the Fortune 100 study found, Twitter is the social media platform of choice among the Fortune Global 100. The study found that 65 percent of the largest 100 international companies have active accounts on Twitter, 54 percent have a Facebook fan page, 50 percent have a YouTube channel, and one-third (33 percent) have corporate blogs. Only 20 percent of the major international companies are utilizing all four platforms to engage with stakeholders.
Companies' platform preferences also differed among regions. Companies based in the United States and Europe are more likely to use Twitter or Facebook than they were to have corporate blogs, while companies from Asia-Pacific were more likely to utilize corporate blogs than other forms of social media. However, Asian companies will use Twitter or Facebook to communicate with Western audiences (for example, Toshiba).
It also appears that some companies are getting more comfortable using social media as they are interacting and engaging more and not just broadcasting corporate messages. Companies using Twitter are following an average of 731 people each and 38 percent of companies are responding to people's tweets (for example, Vodafone UK). Thirty-two percent have also "re-tweeted" or reposted user comments during the last week (like Verizon Careers).
To help companies navigate the social media landscape, Burson-Marsteller has developed an Evidence-Based Tool called the "Social Media Check-up" which looks at how a company's social media presence is impacting their overall online health and reputation.
To access the complete analysis of these findings click here for the PDF report.