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Fortune 500s Flock to Twitter

Twitter might a great place to catch up on celebrity gossip or watch a scandal explode, but it appears it is even better for listening in on the conversations of some of the largest companies in the world. From 2009 to 2010, Fortune 500 companies have nearly doubled their use of Twitter.

This dramatic increase in participation bodes well for Twitter as a marketing tool, and sends signals that if your business isn’t participating on the micro-blogging network, setting up an account now is probably a good idea.

The Center for Marketing Research at UMass Dartmouth has conducted studies of Fortune 500 social media use for the past two years, shedding insight on how the major players in the business sector use blogging (and micro-blogging) to promote brand awareness and connect with the public.

Three in five, or 60%, of Fortune 500 companies have a Twitter presence, compared to just 35% in 2009. In other words, the number of the world’s largest companies on Twitter has nearly doubled in just one year. Take a look at the below graph from eMarketer to get an idea of how significant this growth is:

Perhaps surprisingly, Twitter trumps Facebook as the social network of choice for Fortune 500s – only 56% have a Facebook account.

The level of engagement on Twitter is high, too. Over a third of the Fortune 500s on Twitter use it regularly to interact with the public using @ replies or re-tweets.

It looks like these leaders of industry are quickly becoming leaders in social media use, too.

You can read the full report here.

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