Why does every public company need a corporate social media strategy?
There are thousands of public companies. Social media offers open access to a huge audience of investors — both retail and instutional — but more importantly it offers public companies a proven way to differentiate themselves.
Here are the three most important questions you need to ask:
- Is every piece of material information about the company available on social media? If not, why?
- Have you considered clustering your content by theme so that when people scroll through your Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or Instagram account they view the posts through the lens of classification? This is a great way to tell or build a storyline.
- Do you have a formal corporate social media strategy? If not, why?
The only restrictions you have are your own. How you use social media depends on your company’s corporate social media strategy.
Formulating corporate social media strategy and then executing it can be difficult. Not only must the social media fit in with everything else going on, it must also deliver tangible results with minimal risk.
For Social Media to Add Value it Must:
- Be a cultural fit with the communications planning and deployment process;
- Be compatible with ongoing reporting activities and requirements, such as quarterly results;
- Complement and enhance the planned and unplanned delivery of regular, special and tactical press releases;
- Highlight the company’s corporate strengths through a distinct storyline or narrative style;
- Bring new life to the company’s historical filings;
- Provide management and the operating team with a reliable channel to communicate with the financial community and other stakeholders
Delivering a corporate social media plan that satisfies these elements requires hands-on experience with communications strategy, disclosure regulations and social media.
Social Media Is Used By Institutional Investors
A survey by Greenwich Associates found that 80% of institutional investors use social media as part of their workflow. This has huge implications for public companies of all sizes.
— Sky Alphabet Social Media (@skyalphabet) November 7, 2018
As research from Deloitte shows, social media no longer exists in a bubble populated with teenagers.
In fact, Twitter and LinkedIn are the most popular social networks with B2B users:
New data from the University of Massachusetts shows that Twitter usage is increasing with Fortune 500 companies, ahead of Facebook and other channels. LinkedIn remains extremely strong. Twitter and LinkedIn are a great combo! https://t.co/KzZ8YmiMrp pic.twitter.com/WUeoOMwZWr
— Sky Alphabet Social Media (@skyalphabet) January 6, 2019
Social Media has become a critical part of the lives of analysts, investors and executives of public companies. Those of you who are reading this will relate with how the Wall Street Journal describes the findings that the internet has become the leading source of news for CFOs:
“…CFOs leave no stone unturned when it comes to keeping up with the day’s events.”
Twitter is a valuable source for information. Its search engine is often considered to be better than Google because it provides up to the minute information on a vast array of granular topics that simply cannot be found anywhere else reliably.
This is why a social media strategy that includes Twitter and LinkedIn is a must for any public company: the people who most want it from you will reward you when you give it to them.
Retaining a Social Media Firm Like Sky Alphabet Delivers Major Benefits:
- Get on the radar of research analysts and teams of investors considering the company;
- Communicate in a manner consistent with a top-tier listing;
- Execute a program of social media postings that reflect the company’s desired positioning;
- Egage with an audience on social media in a way that reflects the company’s valuation;
- Convey the impression the company has adopted modern communication techniques to connect with a growing young audience of millennials
As a contractor to public companies, we present a compelling value proposition because we are able to provide social media consulting on a wide variety of specialized use cases:
- Investor days
- Capital raising and IPO transactions
- Introducing new CFO, CEO, or CMO
- A re-focus of strategy
- Earnings pre-announcements
- Product launches
- Relationship building
- Reputation and perceptions management
It is surprising how quickly implementing a social media strategy changes perceptions with younger audiences.
We often work on a project basis so companies can conduct test pilots or tactical exercises without a long-term commitment.
For most publicly-listed companies, participating on social media has become a necessity. Failing to be present on social channels while other competitors post and engage daily with shareholders now seems to present a greater risk than it once did. This is why corporate social media strategy is essential.
We can help you formulate intelligent social media strategy based on peer group research and then help you execute flawlessly.
The Corporate Social Media Mandate
It has become increasingly difficult to classify social media as a non-core activity of corporate communications. Social media is now too important to be the domain of the executive assistant who no longer has time nor the tools required to maintain awareness over two or three social channels.
Corporate Social Media Strategy is a Vital Piece of the Overall Communications Pie
For some firms, social media provides a method of dissemination that is of equal or greater value than traditional disclosure mechanisms. In this environment, corporate social media strategy is prioritized before or during the planning of corporate press releases and conference calls.
As one consulting engineer stated in a recent report:
“Social media is apparently blurring the line between communications and customer service…the real power of social media [is] you could never reach that number of people through conventional means.” (source)
The upshot is that reaching this many people requires careful planning and execution.
Powered by the increased use of mobile devices, social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn have successfully capitalized on a major opportunity: to deliver real-time news and search results to a massive audience of business people looking to satisfy their daily information needs.
Target Retail and Institutional Investors
With key demographic segments spending more time with social media, high-profile organizations – especially those operating in multiple jurisdictions – have little choice but to rely on social media or risk not being heard.
How a public company chooses to utilize social media depends on the corporate social media strategy.
Millions of retail investors are on Twitter alone, not to mention every financial journalist and most analysts. What’s more, the influencers who shape opinion can be found everywhere on social media. You need a plan to capture the opportunities these varied audiences offer.
This is exactly the reason why the management of social media in a public company context requires experienced hands. This is why public companies of all sizes rely on Sky Alphabet.
A Social Media Agency With a Unique Pedigree
Our background involves $45 billion in capital markets experience. This makes us Canada’s leading social media consultants for professional service firms.
If you are a fintech company, law firm, insurance broker, hedge fund, quantitive trading operation, or any other firm that is regulated or abides by a communication code of ethics, we are represent one of the best equipped and most experienced social media agencies in Canada.
Our founder, Steve Yanor, wrote a communications operations manual on the marketing of corporate securities. The communications surrounding a public offering (IPO) is highly regulated and scrutinized; our experience in this area includes both large and very large equity and debt transactions involving many levels of corporate counsel.
As things happen in real time, our understanding and vast experience with disclosure laws, pitfalls, threats and opportunities are a vital asset.
As a social media agency, our role is to continuously communicate with audiences. Yet we must always be mindful of the risks, sensitivities and relationships that are always present but may not always be apparent. With our communications process and deep experience, we manage and mitigate the risks so that our clients gain the benefits made possible by the vast reach and one-to-one communication opportunities offered by social media.
Public Company Social Media is Too Important to Risk
Public company communications requires planning and a track record of experience. Sky Alphabet Social Media delivers all of these and much more. As leading Canadian social media consultants, we ensure that stakeholders and target audiences are engaged with content and communications consistent with the needs of the most skeptical of public company critics: the legal and compliance team. This means we adhere and comply with strict communication standards and procedures at all times.
At a minimum, the social media managers who manage the creation and dissemination of public company communications over social media have an investor relations or corporate communications background of no less than five years.
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With social media becoming mandatory for the liquidity of public companies (an increasing number of people now get their news on a social media platform), more TSX-listed companies in the Canadian resource, energy, financial services and technology sectors are relying on social media to strengthen liquidity, education and awareness.
With the buy-side on social media, the entire investment community continues to shift where the audience is.
Social media carries well-known risks: what if a social media manager at an agency you hire posts something inappropriate or, worse yet, from someone else’s account? What if the wrong version of the press release is posted? What if (heaven forbid) a release goes out before it is approved? An avoidable nightmare.
Reputations take years to build and only seconds to destroy. Don’t trust your public company social media to anyone else but Sky Alphabet Social Media.
Any number of scenarios present a nightmare for the CFO, IRO or VP of marketing who must explain the rogue tweet or social media post to colleagues and senior executives. Don’t expose yourself to unnecessary risks. Don’t suffer the consequences of inexperience or lack of focus.
Put $45 Billion in Transaction Experience To Work For You
We have over a decade of experience working with investment bankers on complex, mult-tranche international transactions. From marquee IPOs to record-smashing leveraged buyouts by the largest private equity firms in the world, we bring disciplined and rigorous communications process to every social media post across eight platforms.
We value the integrity of every turn, edit, change and re-work involved with getting the messaging just right. We are a strong link in the chain of confidentiality necessary to craft communications that resonate.
Disciplined Execution Is Behind Every Post
Social media is every bit as serious as the CEO’s speech to investors or the CFO’s quarterly MD&A. Sky Alphabet mitigates the angst of constructing and launching a first-rate social media communications program that works in tandem with the rest of the marketing and sales team. Don’t wait. Let’s get going on bringing your organization the power social media.