In it’s early days, Social Media was overlooked by Investor Relations professionals. But the industry has matured a lot since those times, offering publicly traded companies real-time performance analysis, an incredibly targeted reach, and if you are running paid ads, lower costs. We get it; publicly traded companies in Canada, as far as communication is concerned – especially financial communication – must adhere to very strict disclosure requirements. The ebb and flow of information on social media can catch companies offside. That said, you have a far greater chance of monitoring and controlling conversations about your company when you are part of it. Of course you should post press releases whenever you launch new products, add a new member to your executive team, release financial statements, or had a breakthrough at your mine. But how do you stay in touch with your shareholders and the broader investor community in between your news cycle? Investor Relations is an activity where your company communicates with investors and investment analysts after all. Therefore, social media is not just part of an Investor Relations strategy; it’s an essential part of your IR communication cycle.
Now, to get the best results from Social Media, you need to get the best from it. Here are four ways using social media will benefit your overall IR initiatives.
It Allows You To Post Content Across Many Platforms
There is no doubt that publicly traded companies who are producing relevant, quality and consistent content are ahead of the game. When you regularly deliver great content, investors will begin to see you as an expert in your industry. The more content you share on your social media networks, the more audience you will reach, bringing more traffic and awareness to your website and brand.
But social media is beyond a simple publishing tool; you can go beyond that and use it as a network for investor engagement. For example, you can create and share a visual with a quote from your CEO after a recent press release on Twitter and Instagram. Or you can ask your CTO to explain a very technical presentation as an article on LinkedIn. Why not ask your shareholders to post their questions about your recent NI43-101 on your Facebook page? That way, you can answer these common questions once for your shareholders, and that information will be out there for investors who have that same question.
Attract Attention From The Press
It’s no secret that getting attention from the financial press or a reporter is no easy task. But if you are producing and sharing content on social media, you are proving to a journalist that you and your team are experts in your field. Consider this, consumers will read a minimum of three pieces of content about a brand before making contact with them. Why would a journalist be any different?
Remember, journalists receive hundreds of press releases every day. At the same time, they are using the internet, including social media, looking for stories their readers will enjoy. So why not go straight to the source, and put content in front of them? Start by creating a list on Twitter of business bloggers or journalists you want to work with. This makes it easy to find out what they are talking about or sharing. If you engage them with enough quality conversation, they may be willing to do something for you in return. This strategy can also be used on LinkedIn. Create a list of relevant tags, like “journalist”, “gold mining”, or “AI”. You can see what people are talking about and if your insights are of value to them there, you may ask them to share your content later.
Improve Your Reputation Management
One of the unfortunate drawbacks of social media, is that negative or outright false comments about a publicly traded company spread fast. Whether you are part of these conversations or not, you can bet the barn on it that they are happening. Rather than getting upset over this, you need to seize the opportunity. especially in situations there are some factual inaccuracies. If you are using social media, you can address these comments directly.
But that’s not all. A quick trip around social media will quickly reveal any need to respond. Let’s assume a couple of investors are quite incensed over a development at your company. Send them a message showing empathy and understanding. Something with a caring tone. Your goal is to resolving these issues before this dissatisfaction spreads to a wider audience.
Integrate Social Media Into Your Press Release Policy
As a publicly traded company, you are under the obligation to post press releases when the news can affect your share price. That’s a fact. But are you making these press releases social media friendly? If you are posting your news releases on your own website, make sure to add social sharing links on each article. Taking a step further, write a short article on your blog, summarizing your latest news release while highlighting what is important about it. Try writing in short sentences, to make it easier to read and share.
Don’t stop there – keep it going. You can extend the shelf-life of your news by using social media. For example, you can produce a short video a few days after your press release, allowing an opportunity for your CEO or other executives to elaborate on a few finer points, while inviting additional attention from the investment community at the same time. Another great idea is to create a micro-graphic; using visuals, you can illustrate how your company is a step closer to taking your mine to production, or show-off a user sign up milestone. You are only limited by your imagination in this regard.
Social media provide too great an opportunity to connect with retail and institutional investors. When it comes to your Investor Relations efforts, ignoring social media entirely, or not using it strategically simply will not work. Investors have become more involved with the companies they are invested in since the financial crisis. Therefore it is really important to use social media, where you can communicate your cash flow and debt characteristics, and clearly explain your vision as management.
Are you ready to start using Social Media as part of your Investor Relations strategy? Reach out to us and we would be happy to get you going.