An audit by the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth has found that 34% of Fortune 500 companies have corporate blogs, which is an 11 percent increase from 2011. Not only are the top American businesses using blogs, they also are utilizing social media. 77 percent of companies use Twitter, 70 percent use Facebook, and 69 percent use YouTube. What are the successful corporations doing right, and how can we learn from them?

1. Blogging is Back

Over the past few years, the number of companies with corporate blogs went from a plateau of 23 percent to a steady increase. The study found that Fortune 500 companies use blogs to go deeper into concepts than they can with Tweets or Facebook posts, they can make important announcements that are relevant to both shareholders and consumers, and they can draw readers in with original content.

Adoption of this mature social media tool by these great companies signals the return of the online in depth conversation, thought leadership and original content development that was popular a decade ago with early corporate adopters of blogging like IBM and Ford Motors.

The study also noted that it’s not enough to jut have a corporate blog. 79% of corporations with blogs have enabled comments, set up a RSS feed, and have an email subscription option.

2. The Top Companies Are Adopting Social Channels

Not only is it notable that the top 500 companies in the world are utilizing social media, it’s also interesting to look at the rank of companies with accounts. Almost half – 43 percent – of Fortune 500 companies with Twitter accounts are in the top 200. The same applies to Facebook, 41 percent of companies with Facebook pages are in the top 200.

3. Companies are Experimenting

Google+, Pinterest, Foursquare, and Instagram have all been adopted by Fortune 500 companies. 35 percent are on Google+ while the other sites are cruising at a nine percent adoption rate. Just two percent of companies were on Pinterest last year and now almost ten percent are.

This is a group that now seems comfortable and even excited with its new-found ability to engage its vendors, partners, customers and others in ways that could not have been imagined when most of their corporations began.

4. Social Adoption isn’t Slowing Down

All of the social media channels and blogs saw an increase in adoption. There is no outlet that hasn’t seen growth from a corporate use perspective.  There is no MySpace in the mix where companies and users are in a mass exodus, at least not yet.

5. Corporate Adoption Leads to Better Analytics

As more corporations are signing on to social networks, the site developers are creating better measurements for analytics and ads.  As businesses started using Pinterest the site started incorporating analytics. Even Tumblr has set up a bar that reviews top shares and interactions over time.

This study proves that blogging and social media aren’t just toys that young people and early adopters are playing with. Most of the Fortune 500 companies are on social media and a serious chunk of corporations are blogging. If they’re doing it, why aren’t you?