Social media has been one of the most dynamic trends in recent years, whereas the use of social media in IR is just at the beginning of its development. The main question is: how essential is it to share your IR relevant news via social media?
In the last reporting cycle the inclusion of social media buttons within online reports became common practice. On the one hand you can easily share interesting content of the report with friends using share buttons, on the other hand it can also provide a link to social media profiles of a company. Sharing simply makes use of the fact that nothing is more effective and reliable than recommendations from your friends, while social media profiles offer the user/friend/follower the latest news or simply thoughts of the account owner.
Social media helps to gain more attention to your financial reports! It’s already common use to announce financial results including a link to your reports on Twitter & co. Looking at the number of visits after announcing a report via social media tools it’s obvious that good social media work is definitely worthwhile! The more people visiting your report, the better!
In my opinion the benefits of using social media for IR are convincing and true just as for general corporate communication. I bet you know it from yourself: most of the users start their day with looking at social media networks like Facebook or Twitter to get the latest news. These information channels are getting more and more popular and have overtaken established sources of information like online newspapers, portals or corporate websites.
Twitter and Facebook are the news portals of the future, as it seems that they present the most current news! It goes without saying that these information channels are valuable for investor relations as well. Shareholders feel well informed and always up-to-date about what happens around the companies’ investor relations when following your company on their preferred social media channel. It provides proper service to these sensitive stakeholders.
In comparison to newsletters you can reach a much wider audience. Not only registered stakeholders, but also prospective ones who decide to look up your social media presence, can retrieve historic and present information.
An important facet of social media is interactivity. Every company has the chance to get in closer dialogue with its shareholders and vice versa! It’s an easy way to get to know what shareholders think. Of course this also means that your shareholders expect a timely answer. If you take social media serious it can be a great multiplier, if not it can harm your reputation. Never before you were so close to your audience and got direct and prompt feedback – not only once a year at the general meeting.
Worried about negative feedback? Well, that’s life and what is more motivating than disprove it?
BASF Investor Relations (@BASF_IR) is doing an excellent job at Twitter by e.g. informing about current corporate events, updates about the BASF share and sharing IR relevant articles or blogs. Even current analyst consensus estimates are referred to.
TVI (www.facebook.com/tvipacific) involves their stakeholders very much on Facebook. Friends get up-to-date information and their posts or updates always get a swift reply which results in lot of positive feedback for that.
These two are good examples how IR can perform very well on social platforms.
If you think about starting to involve your investors on social media, keep two things in mind:
1. Scan and listen carefully what is being said about you constantly.
2. Be responsive and interact with your audience otherwise you will do more harm than good.
What’s on your mind?
How social are you?