More than three-quarters (79 percent) of the Fortune Global 100 companies are using at least one of the most popular social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and corporate blogs) to actively engage with stakeholders, according to a new study published today by Burson-Marsteller, the first in the firm’s Evidence-Based Communications research series.


The study found that 65 percent of the Fortune Global 100 had active accounts on Twitter, 54 percent had a Facebook fan page, 50 percent had a YouTube channel, and 33 percent had corporate blogs, although only 20 percent of the major international companies were utilizing all four platforms to engage with stakeholders.


Companies based in the United States and Europe were most likely to use Twitter (72 percent and 71 percent respectively) or Facebook (69 percent and 52 percent) than they were to have corporate blogs (34 percent, 25 percent), while companies from Asia-Pacific were more likely to utilize corporate blogs (50 percent) than other forms of social media (Twitter: 40 percent, Facebook: 40 percent).


“Whether it is Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or popular local online communities, people continue to become more involved in social networking and are expanding the types of activities they engage in,” says Burson-Marsteller’s global CEO Mark Penn. “This analysis shows that they are increasingly being joined by large global companies that are also recognizing the need to participate on social networks.”


The study also found that Fortune Global 100 companies were active users of their social media accounts. The study found that within the last week (during the period of data collection) 82 percent had tweeted and 59 percent had posted content on their Facebook fan page and in the prior month, 68 percent had posted a video on YouTube and 36 percent had posted an entry on a corporate blog .


There is also evidence that stakeholders are listening and engaging. In the study corporate Twitter accounts averaged 1,489 followers, while each Facebook fan page averaged 40,884 fans.

Some companies are interactive and not solely using social media to broadcast corporate messages. Companies using Twitter were following an average of 731 people each, and 38 percent of companies were responding to people’s tweets.


Other key findings include:

·         On average, the Fortune Global100 companies have 4.2 Twitter accounts, 2.1 Facebook fan pages, 1.6 YouTube channels and 4.2 corporate blogs.

·         Companies with active accounts have 27 tweets per week, 3.6 Facebook posts per week 10 new YouTube videos per month and 7 blog posts per month.

·         Corporate YouTube channels have an average of 452 subscribers each and over 38,000 views per channel.