Google started it. When it released its financial results earlier this year they were accompanied by a 50 word news release: “Google intends to make future announcements regarding its financial performance exclusively through its investor relations website”. Essentially Google was signalling a new era of disseminating business news, with a focus on the electronic and its related social media connections. Social media combines instant news and information distribution with relationship building, principally through twitter (news to mobile phones), facebook (connecting with shared interests), YouTube (video on the web) and LinkedIn (business networking).
While social media is ultimately an endpoint of communications strategy and its content, there is a groundswell towards using it as the following statistics show: •
79% of the top 100 companies in the Fortune Global 500 use at least one social media platform
35% of Fortune 500 companies have a twitter account
65% of twitter use in the US is for investor relations
58% of institutional investors and sell-side analysts in the US and Europe believe new media will become more important in their investment decisions
75% of online news consumers have this news forwarded to them
Australians visit social media sites more often than people in the US and UK
Between 76% and 82% of Australian retail investors prefer to receive routine communications electronically
Why bother? There will always be arguments about not venturing into something new, like it’s not widely used yet, my target audiences aren’t active and there’s no connection between social media and business. However, that’s not what the statistics are showing and there are a number of benefits in using social media, since it: •
connects with audiences that matter, principally because they have to register an interest to receive communication
starts conversations and strengthens existing relationships
is a listening post for what others are saying about you
provides a direct link to sharing a variety of news instantly
can be invaluable in contributing to crisis management
increases the extent to which a company’s news is found in online search engines
It’s a stakeholder world, not a shareholder world Perhaps a chief reason for the impending widespread adoption of social media for business news is that it recognises the wider connection of a listed company with the world around it. A company doesn’t operate in isolation; it prospers through meaningful connections with its stakeholders.
Corporate examples Major multinational companies, liknall use social media, in particular, twitter, to engage with stakeholders and report financial and business information. Larger Australian companies such aanse social media, for business news and connecting with customers. Rio Tinto recently used twitter to give a website link to a media release, tweeting:
Rio Tinto announces trial of a new tunnelling system partnering with Aker Wirth -
An Australian mid-cap example of extending investor relations to social media is with its website providing a range of social media options:
A principal advantage of social media is its mechanism of providing access to news in
real timeecently showed how social media can be invaluable at a
time of crisis, tweeting links to press releases when its diabetes drug Avandia was
The easiest social media starting points for business news are twitter and facebook.
Both require basic information and logos and then become vehicles for business news
dissemination and building followers, as this twitter icon shows:
Crucial to this is guidance on the content of what is said and the how
Twitter allows tweets, with a maximum of 140 characters, to be transmitted to mobile
phones of registered followers or viewed on a company’s website. To maximise
communication value, the brief message requires some thought, essentially converting
information into news as part of the ongoing corporate story.
Recognising that price sensitive information must appear on the ASX platform first,
social media then provides an opportunity for broad news dissemination. Managed
effectively, social media adds interest and builds followers within corporate governance
Our news distribution This combines targeted news distribution to the media and investment community nationally, as well as social media updates on news coverage, accessed from
Publications Dr. W.M.A. Niessen In refereed scientific journals: C.P. Terweij-Groen, J.C. Kraak, W.M.A. Niessen, J.F. Lawrence, C.E. Werkhoven-Goewie, U.A.Th. Brinkman, and R.W. Frei, An ion pair extraction detector for the liquid chromatographicdetermination of anionic surfactants. Int. J. Environ. Anal. Chem., 9 (1981) 45-57. C.E. Werkhoven-Goewie, W.M.A. Niessen, U.A.Th. Brinkman, and R.
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