These are the six building blocks to developing a well-rounded social media strategy. Over the next few minutes, I will walk through each of these steps and provide some examples to help you determine if social media is right for you.
How many use social media for their IR program?How many of your companies are using social media for other reasons?
The most important step!
Get set up with alerts. Google is great. Tweet deck allows you to keep track of a variety of terms. How are people talking about your company?Observe how peers are using social media.Who is talking about your company and peers? How influential are they (following, interactions)?Are there misperceptions about the company?Are employees sharing information online?There are paid for monitoring services that provide you with detailed reports.
You will be overwhelmed by social media…there are many many platforms available.Determine which platforms are most applicable to you.In our view, and for the purposes of today, these are the most important for an IR program.
Now that you’ve got an understanding of the social sphere and how it applies to your company, it is time to develop a strategy for how it will be handled as part of your outreach program.
Whether you want to engage on social media or not, a social media policy is a MUST HAVE!Take what you have learned from your research and develop a policy that outlines proper use for all employees, including management.Even low level employees require education. You cannot rely on common senses.This is not about being “Big Brother” it’s more about education.There is no one-size fits all…depends on the goal of your program.
Maybe you decided not to proactively participate in social media. That will be determined on a case by case basis. However, the conversation will go on with or without you.So I will reiterate that every company should have a monitoring program and a social media policy in place.On the next few slides, I’ll give you some tools to focus on for building a social media strategy.
News release headlinesEvents, webcastsSpeaking engagementsIndustry news/dataArticles featuring the company/managementWhite papers/study resultsTraining seminarsNew product announcementsTrade show informationWhere to find answers/more information on the company website
Tweets can be drafted before the call and sent after the statements are made.Solicit questions from investors on Twitter. Let people know in your prepared remarks. Alcoa, Fed Ex, Boeing, Coca Cola, LinkedInTruly establish a two-way channel of communication with interested investors since it is unlikely you would take their questions on a call.If done before the call, can help with your prepared remarks and providing a solid answer to the tough questions.
You can set up a company page on SlideShare to host company presentations. Strong SEO.The best use is to embed the slides right into your IR website with the code provided by SlideShare. Much more user friendly than asking someone to download a PDF.Investors time is limited, so you want to make it as easy as possible for them to consume the information they need to understand your company.
Great tool to keep investors updated during the time in between quarterly announcements with news that would be of interest, but not necessarily news release-worthy.
Companies have been known to use the blog to clarify the company’s position while not responding directly to market rumors. (acquisition strategy)Other ideas:Quarterly recapsSoliciting questions
The website should serve as the hub to your social media strategyThe IR portion often becomes a dumping ground for required documents rather than a site that is full of resourceful content.
Let investors know you are on social platforms, otherwise they may never look for you.It may be hard to see but the site on the left has embedded SlideShare and also a StockTwits widget.
Give investors a reason to come to your IR website. Here are a couple of examples from Cameco and Dankse.Train them that this is the go-to place for information before they pick up the phone and call you.Will take some time to train them – when answering questions that are available on the website, let investors know where the information is available.
Minimize the amount of calls coming in and having to answer the same question over and over again. Frequently update your FAQs. A great way to do this is add the most valuable Q&A from the earnings call. Also promotes consistency in answers from management.Consider all outside vendor options for hosting your IR website – be sure the vendor will be able to accommodate your social media needs
To bring it all together, here’s an example of a comprehensive plan to announce earnings.
So how do you show the value of a social media program to management?
Metrics are available, but the true value is hard to measure