Investor relations and social medi(um) to luke warm

Last week, the shareholder communications sphere experienced the hat trick of “IR and social media” reports coming from three independent studies. No surprise to anyone in the niche – all reports were aligned.

The studies, in published order:

babyyawnFrom NIRI:

  • The majority of corporate investor relations (IR) professionals (73 percent) report they do not use social media for their work. These results have been consistent since NIRI first began to track social media for IR use in 2010.
  • The primary reason IR professionals do not use social media is due to lack of interest in the medium by the investment community.
  • By constituency, respondents report that industry analysts, financial media, and retail investors are the most actively engaged with their IR departments through social media channels.
  • Perceived investor interest across all constituency types appears to have waned since 2013.

From Rivel:

  • For now, investors will simply continue questioning the credibility of investment information gathered via social media and bide their time until its use is more commonplace and they can better tell what to trust and what not to trust.

From Vintage & PR Newswire:

  • Six percent more IROs are tweeting/StockTwitting. The most dramatic change, is the determination of “no, we will not be tweeting.” 56% report “no,” up from 19% in 2013. IR understands the media now.

Should IROs ignore social media?

No. that’s not the answer at all. Social media is an important communications network, with pros and cons like any network. Our shareholder communications advice has always stated use social media to get your facts and financial brand into the stream for others to share. Spend the appropriate amount of energy in balance with the ROI. No more, no less.

This blog post sums it up well.

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2 responses to “Investor relations and social medi(um) to luke warm

  1. Bless you for covering this topic and taking the risk of coming to a different conclusion than the IR pack – the same group that has standardized on “XYZ Enterprises, Inc. Reports Fiscal 2016 Results of Financial Operations” as the preferred headline template for optimizing exposure of their Company and 1/4ly financial performance or the headline template “XYZ Enterprises, Inc. Board of Directors Declares Regular Quarterly Dividend” to turbocharge visibility of this capital allocation strategy (and decides the actual amount of the dividend should remain hidden like a present in the release body).

    That the conversation is going on and a meaningful base of investors are engaged in social media of various types should certainly not dissuade those charged with investor relations to try to shape that dialogue with company prepared and vetted communications and disclosures. Far better to just ignore it and pretend that everything is just fine – certainly the market can take care of our reputation better than we can.

    I can certainly see the comfort of being completely satisfied with the breadth of your visibility and the clarity of investor perceptions, such that you needn’t lower or burden yourself with putting a toe into a new medium. Unfortunately, in my unsightly career – I’ve been saddled with fabulous clients that weren’t in such a great position – and so we have utilized this scary medium in a prudent way to help raise their visibility.

    Finally – how can the investors who’s opinions the surveyed IR practitioners value ever become more engaged in social media if 73% of IROs refrain from engaging? Nice work – hold them off at the pass. And we wonder why the IR profession is not held in the esteem we all think our role deserves – perhaps if we all try harder to lead than to follow – our perceived value might receive a boost.

  2. Pingback: We Offer a Snippy Response to IR’s Three-Peat Dismissal of Social Media – Catalyst Global

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