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Most Fortune 50 Brands Still Hiding Their Social Media

Looking for Facebook or Twitter Icons on Corporate Websites? Keep Looking

By Published on . 12

B.L. Ochman
B.L. Ochman

Surely, as we head into the second quarter, the Fortune 50 -- if not all big companies -- are now at least involved in social media and want us to find them everywhere they have an online presence.

Nuh-uh! Only 44% of the Fortune 50 have any social media icons on their home pages, and 60% hide their Twitter streams. Call Inspector Clouseau if you want to find the rest. Kind of amazing considering the prevalence of social buttons of all types all over the web.

In 2006, I wrote a post wondering why so many large companies were not linking to their blogs from their corporate websites. In 2009 and again in 2010, I found the biggest companies were not linking to their Facebook pages or Twitter streams from their company websites. As we head into Q2, I'm still wondering.

This is the first in a series of posts that will examine how many of the Fortune 50 have really evolved past the toe-in-the-water phase, and how many are still in the head-in-the-sand era.

Blended home pages
Blended home pages are a growing trend. Seventy-six percent of the Fortune 50 now have what I call blended home pages -- which include links to the company financial and other corporate information on the official, consumer-facing home page.

Sure, many of those home pages link to staid, old-time "investor information" pages like AIG's. But others, like Target 's, have blended their corporate and consumer sites and included icons leading to all of their online presence.

Verizon has actual humans on its investor pages, and has an up-to-date, friendly look on its home page, which is completely devoid of social-media icons.

You have to dig down through the teeny "About Us" link at the bottom of the company's home page to find -- the third link from the home page -- links to Verizon's outstanding and robust social media presence.

Who owns social media?
Are companies still unsure how stockholders feel about social media? Are IT, marketing, PR, sales, legal and -- of course -- the bean counters and whomever else still fighting for control of emerging media. You bet they are!

I can agree that many of these old-time financial and corporate sites have earned some Google-juice over the years, but that's no excuse for not creating new, blended home pages to represent the company to its stakeholders. It's time to accept the fact that any and all information that would appear on a company's investor relations site is freely available in Google and other search engines' financial pages.

Other posts in this series will note how many of the Fortune 50 have official company Facebook pages; how many know enough about Twitter to protect their brand from hijacking by Verifying their accounts, and how many have a clear social media engagement policy for visitors to their online properties.

Get out your trench coat and dark glasses. This is going to be fun.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
B.L. Ochman is managing director of emerging media at Proof Integrated Communications and can be found Twittering, at WhatsNextBlog.com or with her newest venture, Pawfun.com.
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