Harnessing social channels for investor relations

Australian investors are increasingly incorporating social media into their decision-making processes.

To stay competitive, companies must allocate resources towards the development of digital strategies for investor relations, maximising the-use of social media platforms for their extensive reach and growing influence with investors.

According to a recent Australian Investor Relations Association report, the percentage of Australian investors using social media channels is increasing at an exponential rate, with Linkedin and Twitter use by investors doubling in just two years.

The ASX’s annual Australian Investor Study paints a similar picture, showing that an emerging group of younger ‘next generation’ investors, paired with an abundance of online investment channels and tools, has led to an overall shift towards digital channels.

Globally, social media has already become an ingrained part of the investment landscape, with international studies showing that almost 80% of institutional investors use social media as part of their regular work flow, and roughly 30% have made an investment decision or recommendation based on information gathered from social media.

Moreover, current trends have made it abundantly clear, that investors are eagerly exploring digital channels and increasingly incorporating social media into their decision-making processes.

We recommend use of the following social media platforms to help you stay visible to investors:

1. Linkedin

Linkedin is widely regarded as the leading professional social network. The platform allows users to build relationships, establish thought leadership, generate leads, gain insights, conduct market research, improve reputation and build online communities. Highly valuable content for Linkedin may include:

  • Market updates
  • Presentations
  • Blog posts
  • Thought leadership

The platform can also deliver highly targeted messages, with sponsored and boosted content able to be directed to users with specific job titles, education levels, experience and interests.

2. Twitter

Twitter remains a valuable tool for delivering information to a broader audience outside professional circles, as well as connecting with key journalists. Perceived by users as a very timely channel, it is ideal for sharing real time information including earnings announcements and industry news.

A sharp Twitter strategy will help a company ‘cut through the noise’ with the use of key hashtags to insert the business into relevant research and discussions, as well as the use of the company’s cashtag – the ASX ticker code preceded by the dollar sign – to link with up-to-date company information and price data.

3. YouTube

Youtube holds the position as the world’s largest video sharing platform, with over two billion monthly users watching over one billion hours of content every day.

Using videos for investor relations is a critical tool to engage audiences, providing opportunities to both break down complex information and introduce human faces behind a company.

The ‘shareability’ of YouTube videos – either directly from the channel, or via another social media platform – makes it an effective way to reach new and untapped audiences with your key messages.

Highly valuable content for YouTube could include:

  • Quarterly or half yearly reports delivered via video
  • Videos that break down technical products, technologies and services
  • Q&As with key leadership personnel

4. Hotcopper

As one of Australia’s most popular online stock forums, HotCopper is an influential platform that should not be underestimated. The platform provides a direct link to an audience of 250,000 highly engaged investors.

The forum often plays host to speculative discussions, particularly surrounding small to mid-cap stocks, leaving opportunity for companies to contribute to the discussion and convert interest into investment. The channel requires management, as well as an in-depth monitoring and escalation protocol to ensure the company does not contravene ASX regulations or disclosure requirements.

Social media has become a vital part of increasing the reach and maximising the impact of investor communications. It is no longer best practice to only rely on ASX announcements, face-to-face meetings and sharing information with a select few media outlets – social channels can, and should, play an important part in communicating financial information, company achievements and management’s vision.

Looking to enhance your investor relations strategy? Contact us.

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