Mikal E. Belicove | Entrepreneur

More Fortune 500 companies are using social media to promote their brand online, according to a report from the Center for Marketing Research (CMR) at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. That’s quite a change from last year’s report, which found use of social media the Fortune 500 waning.

The newest report, titled Social Media Surge by the 2012 Fortune 500, reveals that large companies are increasingly adopting the same social media tools that have been used extensively for years by smaller businesses and startups.

Social media engagement has long taken a back seat in the eyes of many Fortune 500 companies, and last year’s CMR report demonstrated a stall in adoption by all but the most progressive Fortune 500 companies. At that time I suggested that the Fortune 500 could be rightly accused of neglect when it came to taking advantage of such valuable marketing tools.

So it comes as a pleasant surprise that in 2012, many of the nation’s largest businesses appear to be embracing social media. In particular:

Corporate Blogging: This year’s report shows Fortune 500 companies have increased their use of blogs by 5 percent — with 28 percent actively blogging in 2012 compared to 23 percent last year.

Microblogging: Twitter use for corporate communications is also on the climb, up 11 percent to 73 percent from 62 percent last year.

Facebook: The number of Fortune 500 firms that embrace Facebook is up 8 percent over 2011 (66 percent versus 58 percent).

In addition, 62 percent of the Fortune 500 is now using YouTube. Another 2 percent (11 companies total) are dabbling with Pinterest.

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