How to be an expert at live-tweeting for investor relations

So retro. We gave you a cheat sheet over two years ago to help you live-tweet IR events, but we’re coming back bright-eyed and bushy-tailed to talk about IR tweeting 2.0. Twitter has absolutely taken off in the past two years, especially when it comes to investor relations practices and how IR professionals and public companies alike are using social media to circulate news and get people listening. What’s new in the world of live-tweeting, and how can some new practices help more people clue in to an annual meeting or an earnings call?

Here’s what’s new and need-t0-know (as well as some golden oldies) when you’re preparing to live-tweet at an IR event

*Disclaimer:* since we’re IR specific, some of these tips may be a bit different than if you were live-tweeting any big convention or event, especially since the world of investor relations comes with a lot more rules and regulations. We’ve tweaked a few of the best pointers out there so they fit better in the IR world, but some pointers remain true for all parties (everyone, I repeat EVERYONE, loves images).

 

Before You Go

1. Schedule tweets ahead of time and use templates

One thing’s for sure: during the event you probably won’t even have much time to pee, let alone compose all your tweets with appropriate event hashtags, individual tags, and eye-catching images. Believe it or not, a lot of live-tweeting prep work can be done before you’re actually live. Create tweet-optimized images of those people speaking, whether it’s the CEO, CFO, or other. Leave white space, and during their actual presentation you can quickly fill in the template and tweet away.

2. Cross promote on other social media accounts

Even though live-tweeting is for Twitter, who says Facebook can’t get in on the fun? You don’t have to simultaneously tweet with one account and post to Facebook at the same time (that’s sweaty work) but at least let your Facebook community know that you’ll be live-tweeting the upcoming event. Share the hashtag on Facebook, say WHEN the live-tweeting will begin, and add a link where they can follow you on Twitter.

3. Make them save the date (like a wedding)

Your event is the most important thing that will happen that day, and make sure people know it. Our client NOVAGOLD tweeted out their Q3 conference call date three weeks before go-time. Now that’s prepared.

4. Know the correct hashtag and cashtag

Those people following your event are like sheep. And you–and your Twitter hashtag prowess–are their shepherd. Create an official event hashtag (or find the official hashtag if you’re not putting on the event) and tweet out to your community days beforehand what the hashtag will be. Since it’s an IR event, cashtags are also key. Each live-tweet needs to include the company’s cashtag so investors will easily find all the tweets when searching.

 

It's Go Time

 

5. Give people some “insider secrets”

The whole reason many people may be following your live-tweet session is because they aren’t there! Sounds obvious, but think about it. Use your special ‘insider status’ to tweet pictures of what’s going on inside the room, speakers as they’re presenting, and any important presentation slides. Just make sure everything you’re tweeting is IR-okayed and public company approved.

6. Walk people through the itinerary 

Since the majority of your audience isn’t there unless they’re also live-tweeting, make sure you’re very clear about who’s speaking at all times and where the conversation is at. Even if you feel like you’re over-clarifying, that’s ok. We like Ebay’s example below. They tweet to their audience right before the event begins and clearly announce who is speaking first.

7. Tweet out influencer speeches

We talk about ‘quotebiting’ a lot when it comes to Twitter for investor relations purposes, but it’s especially crucial if you’re live-tweeting an IR event. If you need a refresher, when we refer to ‘quote-biting’ we mean tweeting out a crucial quote from the CEO, CFO, etc. during the presentation. The Social Media Examiner also recommends “creat[ing] blank-quote Twitter templates with your logo to capture important points from speakers”.

8. Check your tone

Tweeting for IR is a bit different than live-tweeting for any other big event (so forget those sweaty, Apple enthusiasts tweeting up a storm), as your #1 goal is to clearly share the information that’s being presented. However, make sure the tone of your tweets also matches the tone and personality of the company and leadership you’re representing. Live-tweeting is all about being accessible, so your tone doesn’t have to be full of corporate language. Be informal, but be informative.

 

The "After" Party

9. Connect with any new followers

This could be as simple as a ‘Thanks for connecting at [event]’ tweet, and reminding people where they can go to ask any further investor relations questions they may have.

10. #ICYMI

In the days following, tweet out a visual representation of the most important numbers from the event in case people missed your live-tweet. Also remind people of the hashtag associated with the live-tweeting, so they can go back and filter out all the IR information after the event.

Extra Credit: (a few extra tid-bits to get you started) 

11. Don’t forget to let your followers know exactly when your live-tweet session is beginning and, more importantly, when ‘that’s all folks!’

12. Remember to use a ‘.’ at the beginning of a tweet where you’re tweeting about someone using their @handle first, if you want your network to see the tweet, and not just that one person.

13. This could easily be a two person job. Consider having one person doing all the live-tweeting, while another is checking the engagement, following back relevant new followers, and responding to your community right away. That way there’s both a steady stream of information going out as well as someone engaging with others.

14. Over prepare. Especially if it’s your first live-tweeting rodeo. Come to the event with templates, take pictures before that you can tweet out during the event, and schedule all the tweets you can (like event reminders, presenter bios, and when the live-tweeting will begin and end).

Good luck!

 

Blender takes on New York and the IR awards

Last week was a whirlwind! The New York IR awards were a huge success. We had a great time seeing everyone in the investor relations community, as well as presenting the award for Best Use of Social Media. Read on to see highlights of the night, as well as the wrap up of our social media IR champ showdown.

Guess who’s back…back again…

The IR Magazine-US awards (not to be confused with the Canada awards that we attended last month) celebrated 20 years last Thursday, March 26. We flew to New York to celebrate with the investor relations community and to take part in the biggest gathering of IR professionals.We were very excited to be in New York (note the appropriate hashtag on our first night’s dessert) and appropriately played the tourist with a visit to the NYSE.

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So what happened the night of?

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Eventually it was time to get dapper and down to business. We loved seeing old friends and colleagues as well as meeting new faces. And the night was a huge success! We want to say a huge congratulations to not only the winners but all the nominees, it really was a special night. Being totally unbiased, our favorite part of the evening (see, we’re spelling favorite without a ‘u’ to stay on theme with the American week we had) was the social media award. We were happy to give out the award as well as a custom #IRchamp championship wrestling belt to T-Mobile USA, and to Nils Paellmann, the head of their IR department.

The belt in all its glory

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The rest of the night was full of other great awards. Congrats to Grand prix winners Wright Medical Group, Ryder System, and Covidien who won for best overall investor relations for small, mid, and large caps respectively. A special moment of the night was the lifetime achievement award that went to JoAnna Morris of General Electric, who has headed their IR team for all 20 years that the IRawards have been around. Congrats JoAnna!

 

Another great moment was when IR Magazine awarded their president, Ian Richman, with a trophy for ‘Most Loved President.’

 

 

Meanwhile, we wish we could give our Blender president an award for ‘best selfie of the evening’:

 

 

We hope everyone who attended had a great evening. Until 2016!

We’ll just leave you with one more opportunity to get Final Countdown stuck in your head…

 

 

Blender’s shaking up the US IR awards

No, you’re not getting deja vu. 

The IR Magazine-US awards are coming up at the end of this month-March 26th to be exact-and we’re excited to be partnering with IR Magazine to bring something new and exciting to the event’s 20th anniversary. If you feel like you recently heard us talking about these awards, you’re right. Kind of. The magazine’s Canada awards were just last month, and if you want to know what they were all about, click here.

I probably won’t click that link, can I have a refresher? 
Sure thing. The IR Magazine Awards-US was first launched in 1996, and is an awards program set up to recognize and honour the great work of those in the investor relations profession. According to the IR Magazine website, since the launch “tens of thousands of analysts and investors have voted in the surveys behind the awards”. IR Magazine is proud of the result that is “vital benchmarking information on which companies do the best IR”. In this way, those with the best work can be recognized, and others can take the chance to study their methods and learn.

Want some visual highlights?

Here’s a highlight video IR Magazine put out of the 2014 IR awards in New York.

What we’ll be doing there

We’re excited to partner with IR Magazine and to present the award for Best Use of Social Media to one of these four strong nominees:

Best Use of Social Media

Each of these brands holds a wide influence with a formidable presence online, and we’re excited to see who the analysts have chosen! Also, here’s a highlighted list of the nominees for the four biggest awards of the night. For a full list of nominees, click here.

Grand prix for best overall investor relations (large cap)

Grand prix for best overall investor relations (mid cap)

Grand prix for best overall investor relations (small cap)

What we have up our sleeve 

We’re teaming up with IR Magazine to add a little spice to the event’s 20th birthday. You’ll find out more this Thursday, March 19th, but until then here’s a little teaser to get you guessing:

#PDACbestdressed favourites and event recap

What a week! We just returned from PDAC 2015 with a lot of great memories and a bit of a fuzzy head. A big thanks to everyone who participated in fashion’s best kept secret that was #PDACbestdressed. We had a lot of great entries on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram:

We gotta say, the sock and footwear game was on point this year:

Here are some of our favourite fashion gurus of the convention! 

The Blender men at PDAC also took their time to represent…

 …And Tony (aka Blender’s ‘nighttime correspondent’) took his job of promoting the #PDACbestdressed very seriously:

All in all #PDACbestdressed was a smashing success, thanks to all who participated and made the convention even more memorable.

Blender sponsors IR Magazine Awards – Canada

What are they exactly?

The annual IR Magazine Awards-Canada is the Canadian IR community’s largest annual gathering. The night celebrates feats in the industry by many exceptional nominees and provides great networking opportunities. IR Magazine states “for the last quarter-century the IR Magazine Awards have honoured excellence in investor relations around the world”.

Why they’re pretty cool

The IR Magazine awards are unique because companies cannot enter the competition or put forth their names to be considered for a nomination. IR Magazine writes that “for our awards, companies do not enter. The winners are identified by research so any publicly traded company is eligible to be considered”.

Kind of like how The Academy selects a winner at The Oscars?

Kind of, if by ‘The Academy’ you’re thinking of and thanking the investment community. “The IR Magazine Awards – Canada 2015 were decided by an independent telephone survey of more than 270 analysts and investors based in Canada”. The method is “via a combination of an electronic survey and one-to-one- telephone interviews, and canvass[ing] the opinions of the people who matter most to you.”

So what happened?

The 2015 IR Magazine Awards took place last week on February 4th, and was a smashing success. The event was held at the Fairmont Royal York in Toronto, ON.

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Three of Blender’s finest, Arash, Andree, and Pooya,  at the pre-show cocktail hour

Who got the hardware? 

The big award of the night, or what IR Magazine called “the grand prix” went to TD Bank for best overall IR by a large-cap company. They also won awards for best IR by a CFO and best IR by a company in the financials sector. TD Bank garnered six total awards at this year’s event, and also secured their first place ranking in IR Magazine’s Canada’s Top 50 public companies list for another year.

Another big award of the night was for best IR by a CEO, which went to Charles Brindamour of Intact Financial. Some other winners included ARC Resources, the energy company, who won grand prix for the best IR by a mid-cap company, and CN, who won five awards and is ranked third in Canada’s Top 50.

What did Blender do?

We were excited to be one of the sponsors of the event, as well as getting to present the award for Most Progress in IR. Congratulations to Loblaw Companies for that win!

Here’s our page in the IR Magazine Awards program (now you can finally see what some of us look like!)

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Our president Arash Adnani presented the award and tweeted his eager moment of anticipation backstage beforehand:

What were people saying about it?

Was it a party?

Of course it was! It was a great night of celebration for all the hard work done in investor relations this year. Don’t believe us, here’s some more fun photos of the night (check out that pirate and cowboy).

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blender sponsor

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TMX ice sculpture

IR MAG ballroom

IR MAG bar

See the rest of the photos from the event here.

BONUS: 

There’s something special coming for the New York awards next month…

Dragons’ Den – IR Style

The reality television show Dragons’ Den is an entertaining, CBC, series that gives aspiring entrepreneurs a chance to pitch their ideas to a panel of Venture Capitalists. On December 5th CIRI BC did an excellent job at recreating the entertaining reality series – IR style! The chosen dragons are all very experienced and well respected in the IR community. Meghan Brown – Director of Investor Relations at Endeavor Silver, Darren Seed – Vice President, Investor Relations and Communications at Westport Innovations, George Kesteven – Manager, Corporate and Investor Relations with Calgary based Sterling Resources Ltd. All three did an outstanding job at keeping the audience engaged with clever humor and insightful inquiry.

Thank you to CIRI BC’s event, our president, Arash, got to transform into a television star as he pitched Blender Media to the panel. He focused on our services, strengths and unique capabilities.

“We are the only agency that covers and manages all the different stages of a company’s website in house, under one roof.”

“We look at every project through the eyes of an investor.”

 “We’ve worked with all different size companies and we’ve learned to be effective with all of their different timelines and budgets.”

At the end of Arash’s three minute pitch, it was time for the Dragons to make their decision. Meghan instantaneously gave us her support – Darren and George were soon to follow! We are glad that all three Dragons (without hesitation) agreed that Blender has a lot to offer IR professional’s. Thank you for a wonderful night CIRI BC!

 

 

 

 

Cheat sheet to Live Tweeting at IR Events

 

Why live tweet? – Because “there is no time like the present.” It is real-time communication with IR professionals online, and it’s a great opportunity to provide valuable content that is worthwhile to the IR society. Twitter has found that across many different industries, live tweets consistently boost retweets, @mentions and new followers. So do give your point of view in tweets at IR conferences and events, and below are some ways to get started. We’ve also revamped this post to add a few new tips from Twitter’s latest developments. Read the newly refreshed blog post here! 

Find the #Event2013 hashtag
The first step is, of course, finding the specific hashtag for that particular conference, event or webinar.
#CIRI2013, #SMCorpGov, #DMSummit

Get those @Twitter handles!
It’ll be useful to do some research beforehand to create a list of Twitter handles. That would include speakers and attendees as well. It’s probably best to get to know the crowd and exchange Twitter handles? So if you were to quote a certain comment made at this event, you can @mention them to engage.

Preschedule standard tweets
This would be an absolute timesaver. Get those standard tweets ready-to-go before you walk in. For instance:
Now: live tweeting on #topic hosted by @Speaker at #Event2013
Looking forward to @Speaker’s #paneltopic at #Event2013
Getting ready for the #topic webinar today 10AM with @Speaker #WebinarHashtag

Give insider perspectives
Take advantage of your presence at the event and make a tweet that only you can provide. You can quote a big moment and comment on it. You can act as the reporter and share strong opinions that are expressed or the explorer who poses questions. The important thing is to share useful information and give a point of view.

Join the larger conversation
Do have a read through other @attendees’ live tweets by searching the hashtag #Event2013. Retweet if you find the tweet useful or reply to share insights, it’s all about social engagement. You don’t have to worry about flooding your followers’ timelines because unless they also follow the person you’re tweeting to, your conversation won’t show up on their timeline.

Capture moments in photos
See a PowerPoint slide that sums up the panel? Take a photo of it and share it. It’s a great way to deconstruct the content you have at hand, and disseminating it in different mediums. With a photo, you can share it on other social networks that rely heavily on photos, i.e. Instagram.

Or even better, in videos!
Yes! Press record and share real-time information! A 15 second video clip of a certain slide will allow you to give your followers “zoomed-in detail” that they usually don’t get to see. Mobile video is booming and social media platforms are welcoming the use of videos. Why not take advantage of it right?

Happy live tweeting all! And if you have other tips you’d like to share, let us know or tweet @BlenderMedia!