Good News for Internet Rainmakers: Fortune 500 Social Media Adoption Like The Tortoise: Slow, Steady & Further Than Expected

Often viewed as somewhat ponderous and not very agile, the Fortune 500 and the proverbial tortoise have much in common. However, it pays to keep an eye on that tortoise. Nora Ganim Barnes, PhD and Eric Mattson of Financial Insite have published a study indicating that,while progress has been somewhat slow, the Fortune 500’s social media journey is further along than expected. The study measured progress primarily by the number of companies maintaining “public-facing” blogs.

The data for the study was collected in February and March, 2008, so it is already a year old and pre-dates the mainstream Twitter boom.

According to the report, 16% of the primary corporations listed had a public-facing blog with a post within the last 12 months, including three of the top five.

Although the percentage was somewhat surprising to me, the breakdown by industry was not. Blogging corporations are more readily found in tech and related industries. However I was heartened to see social media adoption among some decidedly non-tech industries, such as insurance and banks, with Progressive Insurance and New York Life among them.

And these blogs are interactive! Over 90% take comments and have RSS and subscription. Over 80% linked to a corporate Twitter account. Others had unconnected Twitter accounts. A sizeable percentage are using podcasting and video to enhance their content.

While the results pale in comparison to soc med activities at schools and the Inc. 500, it is heartening to see the big corporations make the leap into Twenty-first century marketing. This is good news for lawyers seeking to connect with clients on-line. There clearly is someone listening on the other end of the line!

As with any good fable, there is a moral. Slow and steady certainly fits here, but for rainmakers, the better moral might be “if you build it (your on-line presence) they (your corporate clients) will come.”

Read the report here

Hat tip to the Resource Shelf.

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