By Kevin O'Keefe

Fortune 500 are bullish on blogs : Study says

Fortune 500 Corporations are BloggingBlogging is again growing among America’s largest corporations. 171 of the Fortune 500 companies (34%) are now blogging per a University of Massachusetts Dartmouth study. This represents the largest increase in the use of blogs since the 2008 study of the F500.

It is clear, per the survey, that while Corporate America is using other social media tools they continue to adopt the more mature tool of blogging.

After years of low adoption, blogging is now making a steady move forward with corporations publishing original content and using their blogs to promote causes, establish thought leadership and to better understand their target markets.

Our 2011 F500 study drew attention for the leveling off of blogging with only 23% hosting a public facing corporate blog. Since then, things have changed. In 2012, there was a leap forward and 28% hosted public facing blogs. That surge continues with our latest iteration showing 34% of these corporate giants creating and sharing content through blogs. Adoption of this mature social media tool by these great companies signals the return of the online in depth conversation, thought leadership and original content development that was popular a decade ago with early corporate adopters of blogging like IBM and Ford Motors.

The larger the corporation, the more likely they are to blog, with two two of the top five corporations (WalMart and Exxon) now blogging.

Since our first study in 2008, we have documented that rank influences adoption of blogging in the F500. Those corporations ranked in the top 200, out blogged those in the bottom 200. This continues to hold with 47% of all F500 blogs coming from the top 200 corporations and 36% coming from those ranked 300-500 on the list. With nearly half of all F500 blogs coming from the top 200 corporations, rank continues to be a factor in the use of this tool.

Larger corporations have historically lagged the smaller Inc 500 companies in blogging. No longer.

In 2012, 44% of the Inc. 500 had corporate blogs while the 2012 F500 had 28%. With 34% of the F500 companies hosting corporate blogs in 2013, that gap may be closing. It is particularly interesting to see a jump of 6% in blogging for the wealthiest companies while the most recent group of the fastest growing companies increased their adoption of blogging by 7%.

What does this mean for law firms, primarily large law?

  • If you are not blogging, how do you look to innovative corporations who are blogging, which corporations you are trying to retain as a client or land as a client?
  • What do large corporations know that you don’t? Have they studied the market and the latest media tools so as to understand how they can strengthen their brand, nurture relationships with customers, and establish their people as thought leaders? And arrived at blogs as a vehicle to get that done.
  • Most importantly, blogs are a conversation. Corporate America and its leaders are talking. If you’re not blogging, how are you engaging them via social media.
Three or four years ago you may have gotten by as a major law firm without blogging. Today, you’re on the outside looking in.
Kevin O'Keefe
About the Author

Trial lawyer turned legal tech entrepreneur, I am the founder and CEO of LexBlog, a legal blog community of over 30,000 blog publishers, worldwide. LexBlog’s publishing platform is used on a subscription basis by over 18,000 legal professionals, including the largest law firm in each India, China and the United States.

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