In a recent IR Magazine article, David Jackson, founder of Seeking Alpha explains, “Most large companies are ambivalent about social networks and web 2.0 … they’ve been slow to embrace social media for IR due to the risks of engaging in a framework that they cannot control”. Why should IR participate when we have established methods of communication that work just fine?
Look Who’s Talking
… In a sense, the issue is quite simple actually. As @georgemoen, CEO of Blenz Coffee, explains, “Your customers are having a conversation without you”(Social CEOs Panel, Social Media Week Vancouver 2011, #smwvan). Replace ‘customers’ with ‘Investors’, and you get the picture.
In the IR Magazine article, Jackson goes on to say that while, on the one hand, companies show some ambivalence; on the other hand, “It’s hard for a company to reach THIS AUDIENCE in any other way”.
And, that’s the point. The way in which many people receive the majority of their information has fundamentally changed. And, the numbers are astonishing:
Twitter? 140 million average tweets per day, 460,000 users signing up per day, 280% increase over last year (twitter.com).
800 million Facebook users, more than 2 billion posts are liked and commented on per day (facebook.com).
‘85% of financial services professionals under 50 are utilizing social media'(Ledermark, 2010).
‘100% of OF 48 financial firms surveyed thought social media is here to stay, and 84% thought it would have a lasting impact on financial services'(The Asset Manager’s Guide to Social Media, 2010).
Where are my followers?
You are starting to feel all warm and fuzzy about social media, but what if you ‘embrace social media’, and find that conversation doesn’t really exist about your ‘brand’? … Considering the numbers above, that should probably concern you even more, not drive you away from trying.
And, if IR is just starting to embrace social media, and even if you feel the ROI is unproven, is it better to be prepared or unprepared for the future/present? … because social media is here to stay.
I ‘Like’ you
If one of the primary goals of Investor Relations is to build relationships with our key stakeholders, then Social Media meets and exceeds that need.
In a sense, “We don’t have a choice on whether we do social media, the question is how well we do it”(Erik Qualman, Socialnomics)
Keep in mind, it is not just about communicating your story. There are many things you can do with social media … and we will get into those in later posts.
We really ‘Like’ you
Until then, let us know what you think. Find, Follow, Like us, and comment here:
facebook.com/SteelRoseComm … talk soon : )
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