How do investor relations utilize social media when social media has been long-marketed as a personal connection? Do federal regulations and social media go hand-in-hand? PR Newswire recently looked at the ways social media– particularly Twitter and StockTwits– can aid in shareholder communications. The bottom line is that both can be safe, easy to use, and useful ways of sharing content– and don’t require you to engage with investors.
Twitter versus StockTwits:
Twitter and StockTwits are both social micro-blogs, which limit posts to 140-characters. Twitter and StockTwits are different companies and platforms; if you have an account with both, you can post StockTwits to Twitter, but not the other way around. You can ‘tweet’ about an endless number of topics, but StockTwits only allows posts about the capital markets and investing ideas. StockTwits proactively monitors conversations, and as a result has earned the trust of financial portals. Although Twitter is a general news channel, it does have investors with profiles. It is essential to use stock symbol “cashtags” (i.e. $TICK) with both Twitter and StockTwits, so that investors and media and filter and find your information.
Choosing Who to Engage With:
PR Newswire offers the following great advice for social media and investor relations: “Do not ‘follow’ anyone back or follow everyone back. Don’t follow some people.” The goal is to get financial news to an investor audience– using a cashtag– without creating the extra work of any regulation risk. Any suspicious selectivity information sharing may come under review.
The Challenge of Brevity:
As previously mentioned, Twitter and StockTwits both limit individual tweets to 140-characters. Though it is possible to break up a longer message, each individual tweet could be shared and misunderstood out of context. Care should be taken that each message either stand alone, or be clearly marked as part of a longer message (i.e. by noting that it is 1 of 4- 1/4).
When In Doubt, Follow The Golden Rules:
You can find many suggestions for getting the most out of StockTwits on their blog. Check out their 7 Tips for Being Awesome on StockTwits, one of which is transparency: “If you only put winning trades out in hindsight, people will notice. If you disappear after losing a trade, people will also notice.” Transparency is key.
Bloomberg Law ties the topic up nicely: “Although to some it can appear that legal limitations present significant challenges to reaping the benefits of social media, that need not be the case. With care, creative thinking and frequent communication among legal, investor relations and public relations departments, new media can contribute to fulsome investor communications and improved corporate transparency. As the power of social media grows and expands, it will no doubt become increasingly relevant to businesses and their investors.”
Check out some of our sources for more information about using social media for investor relations:
Bloomberg Law: Investor Relations In The Social Media Age
StockTwits Blog: 7 Tips For Being Awesome On StockTwits
PR Newswire downloadable white paper: How To Automatically And Hands-free Send News Over Social Media