The Best Fortune 500 Companies in Social

By Michele Weisman The Fortune 500 is an annual list compiled and published by Fortune magazine that ranks the top 500 U.S. public corporations by their gross revenue. The list includes publicly and privately-held companies for which revenues are publicly available. One study shows that America's largest companies may have reached a social media plateau. However, four Fortune 500 companies continue to optimize their social media presence. Here are those companies that are innovators on social media. 

Walgreens: The country’s largest drug chain is a leader in the social media landscape. With over 1.8 million Facebook fans and over 90,000 Twitter followers, the retailer is taking advantage of connecting with its community online. This month, Walgreens has combined its social media strategy its offline efforts by tweeting mobile coupons to customers who check in to one of its 8,000 locations on either Foursquare, Facebook, or Yelp. Deals at Walgreens included discounts on cough drops, flu shots, and batteries.

Delta: Delta flies to more than 350 destinations on 6 continents, serving more than 160 million passengers each year. This is no easy task and, as a result, multiple customer service issues arise.  To assist its passengers, Delta lets users find, book, and share flights; users can also check in and obtain flight status updates right on its Facebook page. On Twitter, @DeltaAssist provides round-the-clock assistance by promptly listening and responding to customers’ questions and complaints, whenever and wherever they are made.

Ford Motor Company: Ford Motor Company is the global automotive industry leader of social media. Since 2009, the Fortune 500 powerhouse has fostered an online community of 1.6 million users across Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. Ford has executed multiple innovative campaigns over multiple social networks. In 2010, the 2011 Ford Explorer was unveiled to the world via Facebook. One year later, Ford teamed up with Zynga, the social game developer, to host the world’s largest Words With Friends game to promote its 2013 Ford Escape. More recently, Ford leveraged Instagram, the mobile photo-sharing application, to launch “Fiestagram,” a six-week contest in which users throughout Europe could submit photos and win prizes. Last week, Ford hosted a “Hangout on Air” on their Google+ page to update their fans on the latest happenings at the Daytona 500.

Cisco: Cisco shows how well business-to-business brands can connect with their customers on social media. On Twitter, Cisco asks and answers questions in addition to participating in and hosting Twitter chats around relevant hashtags. Cisco’s C-Level staff is also very active on its microblogging network. Padmasree Warrior, Cisco’s Chief Technology Officer (CTO), commits to her 1.4 million followers by engaging with them on a daily basis. Warrior tweets pictures of her meals, sporting events she is attending, and her love of nature. To find, follow, and friend Cisco across the social web, check out their microsite here.

Whether a company is publicly owned, privately owned, B2B, or B2C, you should be on board with your social. Mobile and social are now strategically important, and it is important that your company delivers value. Engage with your customers across all social channels before your competitor does.

What Fortune 500 companies have a great social media presence?  Do you think Fortune 500 companies should optimize their social presence beyond Facebook and Twitter?