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Fortune 500 Nearly Doubles Use of Twitter

60% of Fortune 500 now microblogging

America’s biggest corporations have dramatically increased their participation in Twitter, according to “The Fortune 500 and Social Media,” a yearly report from the Center for Marketing Research at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.

Three in five Fortune 500 companies now have an active Twitter account, compared with 35% in 2009. This is even more than the number that have Facebook accounts, at 56%.

More than a third of the companies with Twitter accounts regularly responded to consumers with @ replies or retweets within a brief period of time, making a solid effort to engage the 26 million US adults eMarketer estimates use Twitter at least monthly.

While the overall usage of Twitter by the Fortune 500 increased, so did its spread throughout the ranks of the list. Last year, nearly 40% of those companies with an account were in the top 100. By 2010, that had dropped to 25%, and companies in the middle of the pack made up a larger proportion of Twitter users.

The industries most strongly represented among Fortune 500 Twitter accounts were specialty retail (23 companies); food, drug and CPG (22); and insurance (20). These were also the top three industries to have a Facebook account.

“These large and leading companies drive the American economy and to a large extent the world economy,” said the report. “Their willingness to interact more transparently via these new technologies with their stakeholders is clear. It will be interesting to watch as they expand their adoption of social media tools and connect with their constituents in dramatically new ways.”

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Check out today’s other article, “Small Businesses Focus Online Spend on Websites.”

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