Twitter its not childsplay – Ask Fortune 500 why…

A new report from Barnes and Mattson shows that big business is becoming increasingly interested interested in Twitter and Social Media in general.

The new report is the outcome of a statistically sound study of the Fortune 500. The study examined the 2009 Fortune 500 in an attempt to quantify their adoption of social media tools and technologies. This is the second year that Barnes and Mattson have tracked social media adoption among the Fortune 500, and theirs is the only statistically sound longitudinal study of its kind.

The 2009 study’s key findings include:

  • 22% (108) of the primary corporations listed in the 2009 Fortune 500 have a public-facing corporate blog. This represents a six percent increase over the 2008 study.
  • 86% of these blogs (93) link directly to a corporate twitter account, a 300% increase over the 2008 study. (Note: More Fortune 500 corporations have Twitter accounts, but do not link directly from their blogs.)
  • 35% (173) of the Fortune 500 have active Twitter accounts (a post within the past thirty days); and nearly 50% of the top 100 companies (47) have a Twitter account.
  • 80% — four of the top five corporations – Wal-Mart, Chevron, ConocoPhillips and General Electric – consistently post on their Twitter accounts. The number one ranked company, Exxon Mobil, does not have a Twitter account.
  • The insurance industry has the most Twitter accounts (13).
  • 19% of the 2009 Fortune 500 is podcasting, a three percent increase over the 2008 study
  • 31% are incorporating online video into their blog sites, a 10% increase over 2008

“The continued steady adoption of blogs and the explosive growth of Twitter among Fortune 500 companies demonstrate the growing importance of social media in the business world,” stated Barnes. “These large and leading companies drive the American economy, and to a large extent, the world economy. Surely a willingness to interact more transparently via these new technologies with their stakeholders is a positive step. Where this leads will be fascinating to watch!”

“As social media becomes more integrated with a variety of business functions both internally and externally at companies, we continue to see a steadily growing adoption of blogs, Twitter, online video, podcasts and other new communications channels,” added Mattson.