How to use social media for investor relations

Introduction: If it’s just social not-working for you 

Social media’s wide influence on the world of investor relations is fairly new. Suddenly, there’s more than one place you can post new releases, investor presentations, and company updates, and there’s also a set of rules. The sheer overwhelm when it comes to social media can cause many public companies, IRO’s, and professionals to shy away from it all together. But what’s important to remember is that social media is just another form of communication. It’s a way to reach out to those in your network or those investors you’re hoping to get to know. Even though it may sometimes feel like a steep uphill climb, here’s some easy tips to help get you thinking and get you started when it comes to social media for investor relations.

Social media is just one part of your online presence. Download our eBook on 9 tips to improving investor communication with your website.

 

Using social media for investor relations

Tip 1: Know your cashtag

using social media for investor relations tip 1

No, we didn’t make a typo while trying to write the word hashtag. A ‘cashtag’ is a real thing, and although many people might be familiar with seeing them on Twitter, you may not really understand what they’re about. A cashtag is your ticker symbol with a $ in front of it and, just like your ticker symbol, your cashtag is completely unique to you. (Examples: $SBUX for Starbucks, $TWTR for Twitter). Search your unique cashtag on Twitter to see all the conversations going on specifically about your company in the IR world. To get even more specific, try checking out StockTwits. PR Newswire writes “StockTwits and Twitter are different. Keep that in mind as you review your cashtag streams. Think of StockTwits as a monitored sub-culture of stock-nerds from Twitter”. While Twitter includes every cashtag, StockTwits “automatically filters out pennystocks from the discussion stream and…members have identified themselves as ‘market participants'”.

 

 

Tip 2: Imagery and links go together like peanut butter and chocolate 

using social media for investor relations tip 2

Sometimes the key for effectively using social media for investor relations and getting more engagement is about adding a little something to catch someone’s eye. When posting content to platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn, add an image to the post to give it a little more umpf. Sometimes the platform will generate an image for you from the link you’re posting, but if a preview image isn’t automatically supplied, consider uploading one yourself. Here’s a great example from our friends at NIRI. The Facebook post announcing their next IPO Focus Group is enhanced with a separate image also highlighting the event.

 

Tip 3: Formatting is fun

using social media for investor relations tip 3

Here’s another simple tip that you can take advantage of as soon as you finish reading this article. Stay looking clean and professional on your social media channels by having the appropriate formatting when it comes to company logos/banners/cover photos on your profile pages. Without the right sizing, your logo could come across blurry, stretched, or even partly cut off. The guys over at Constant Contact made a handy social media formatting guide. Effective social media for investor relations strategy means coming across as clean and professional on all social channels.
2015-social-media-cheatsheet-one-page

 

 

Tip 4: Take advantage of the real-time aspect

using social media for investor relations tip 4

Social media conversations are a million a minute, and if someone’s not liking something you’re putting out there, you’ll certainly hear about it on social media first. The growing presence of social media for investor relations is prompting public companies to always be on top of their game and to stay transparent. It’s no longer an excuse to not be updated. The social media consulting company TalkWalker writes that social media can be a good place to “take the opportunity to react in real time to user comments about you key events, such as the publication of your annual reports, or other corporate actions…this will give you the chance to reduce any message misalignments and the opportunity to encourage brand endorsement”. Now this doesn’t mean responding to every Negative Nelly. This tip is more about keeping a finger on the pulse of your industry’s conversation. Having a spontaneous flow of information can be spun to a company’s advantage. Use it to always be informed of what’s being said, and if any sort of crisis communications becomes necessary, having an understanding of the chatter of the masses really goes a long way. For a good example of how this worked for Starbucks, check this out.

 

 

Tip 5: DOESN’T THIS LOOK ANNOYING?

using social media for investor relations tip 5

This tip is going to be short and sweet. Do not capitalize an entire news release announcement when posting it to social media. Trust us, you’ll turn some people off if EVERYTHING IS ANNOUNCED like you’re screaming . If you really want to add some capitalization when announcing important company info, try it this way:

NEWS RELEASE: This just in, capitalization of entire news releases can lead to major frustration.

 

 

Tip 6: Make use of Twitter lists 

using social media for investor relations tip 6

Twitter lists are a great tool to organize your followers (or potentials) into public or private lists. Hootsuite writes about why you should make Twitter lists: “the beauty of Twitter is that it is very transparent. You can create lists of people you find influential in your industry or thought leaders within your own company. These lists can be a way to show off your employees or network of awesome followers”.

When you add someone new to a list, say you’ve called it ‘Industry Influencers,’ they will get a notification that you have added them. This is a great, transparent way to get a conversation going with potential clients, investors, or just people you’d like to get to know. Hootsuite writes, “this is a great way to increase your visibility with Twitter users who you do not follow”. The ‘private list’ option can also be useful, as it’s a great way to monitor clients and competitors.

Want more Twitter specific tips? We’ve done lots of research. Read our blog post about how to use Twitter for IR. Have some more time? We’ve also written an eBook on the subject.

 

 

Tip 7: Publish original content: If blogs are too scary, start with LinkedIn publisher 

using social media for investor relations tip 7

If you haven’t heard much about LinkedIn publisher by now, you should get on it. Yes, a blog is the most obvious way to share content to people in your community, but blog upkeep takes a lot of work. If you’re not there yet, think about LinkedIn publisher. Most all the people you’re trying to reach in the investment community or otherwise are probably on LinkedIn. With LinkedIn publisher, any member can write and circulate their own content. This is a great way to start establishing your company as industry influencers. Forbes writes that LinkedIn publisher gives members an opportunity “to showcase their expertise…and distribute quality content to their networks”.

LinkedIn publisher means you get to start off with a more specific audience. Blog posts tend to get lost in the hazy stratosphere of content creation, but publishing content to LinkedIn guarantees more targeted eyes. Forbes says “many professionals have no control over where their content is published or which audience it reaches. With LinkedIn, your content will at least reach your network and could reach other distribution channels”.

 

 

Using social media for investor relations: takeaway list

Get all that? It’s okay if you skimmed, just make sure to remember this:

1. Know your company $cashtag and make use of it (StockTwits is different, but handy).

2. Add images to your links.

3. Make sure all social media posts and images are properly formatted.

4. Use the real-time aspect of social media to keep a finger on the pulse of your industry.

5. Do NOT capitalize everything.

6. Look into Twitter lists of influencers, competitors, and investors, and make your own lists.

7. Start publishing your own content.




9 tips to improve investor communication with your website

What you can learn from targeted marketing tactics at the Super Bowl

The noisiest Sunday of the year has become less about advertisers solely relying on that 30 second TV spot to drive new leads and more about target practice.

Targeted marketing through social media channels is heating up at the Super Bowl this year, and looks like it’s sticking around for 2015.

Targeted marketing is here to stay

In a recent article about 2015 digital marketing tactics, Forbes writes how “marketing campaigns will be more data-driven & more hyper-targeted”. They quote the CEO of GetApp noting that “only 10% of online visitors find what they are looking for when interacting with online content. Savvy digital marketers will be able to match traffic with business attributes, identify segments they want to grow and serve them with a very targeted message”.

Wait, Super Bowl coverage is starting at 9 am for a 4pm gametime?

Ohhh yeah. Are you also confused about what all this targeted marketing talk has to do with the Super Bowl? Here’s an example for you. A luxury car company, rather than just blasting their message for all to see in hopes of filtering out those they want, can now also take part in a much more ‘honed in’ effort by partnering with a company like Facebook. This buddy-system ensures that that woman who just saw a car commercial and posts a status wishing she had a new car is suddenly seeing that advertiser’s newest model on her newsfeed throughout the game. And if she posts about a certain colour…well you get the idea.

What many may not realize this Sunday is that the fight for attention is happening just as much off the TV as on it. Adweek writes “Facebook is giving brands new ways to reach Super Bowl fans, breaking them into targeted groups and delivering tailor-made ads based on their profiles (anonymously, it says, of course)”. Why is Facebook pushing for brand’s ad dollars this year? According to Adweek, “last year, tools to aim ads at specific audiences were still evolving, and formats like video were still nascent. This year these are the main parts of Facebook’s pitch to advertisers”.

What does this have to do with me?

We get it. Most of us aren’t luxury car companies who are in talks with Facebook and have $4 million to spare on a Super Bowl segment. But the idea behind all these marketing tactics for the Sunday’s big game is something interesting to look into.

It’s all about lead generation

For those of us in investor relations, finding new ways to generate leads and get meaningful attention is what we all wished for at Christmas. Narrowed targeted marketing searches are ways to appeal to exactly the type of person you’re looking for. A NYT article states that “online behemoths like Facebook and Yahoo…already enabled advertisers to target narrow customer segments, like 30-something men who earn more than $200,000 and are in the market for luxury cars”.

Narrowed customer segments also means that it’s possible to target an industry competitor’s name and see who’s searching for them. Users who are searching online or in email correspondence with a competitor can then be served ads.

Conclusion

Marketers target specifics such as age, location, and interests of internet users. Facebook knows this of their users. A Facebook rep recently said that “the [targeting] segment includes not just football fans who like the Seahawks or the Patriots but also people engaging (e.g., likes, comments, shares) around party planning, sharing recipes, buying a new flat-screen TV, halftime show commentary, chatter about your favorite ads, and more, to identify new targets for the segment”.

Companies looking for investors can utilize targeted marketing to narrow their efforts and look at qualified investors who are interested in their industry. It is possible to target based on the users searching for competition and how much they make. Targeting gives companies the chance to create a web page and get pre-qualified investors’ names, email and phone numbers.

For more on Facebook’s new hyper-targeting segment, read the breakdown here.