|Dave Hogan's Tips for IR and Social Media|
April 29, 2011
This is a companion article to the main article, “Bull, Bear, and Bird: Banks start using social media for investor relations.”
By Dave Hogan, APR (Accredited in Public Relations), is director of investor relations and corporate communications at First Financial Bankshares, Inc., in Abilene, Texas, and teaches public relations at Abilene Christian University. He is a former daily newspaperman in Florida and Tennessee.
Interested in integrating social media into your bank’s investor relations program? Here are some of the tools and services you need to know about. Don’t let this list overwhelm you. You can start slow and take it one step at a time.
Twitter (www.twitter.com) is by far the most popular social media service for investor relations. You can use it to post short announcements about earnings releases, webcasts, acquisitions and other corporate news. If your bank already has a Twitter account for marketing or customer service, consider adding your messages to it, or start a new account just for investor relations.
StockTwits (www.stocktwits.com) is a network for investors who want to track Twitter comments about companies they watch. You can post messages to StockTwits as well as Twitter, or, as Dell Inc. did this past quarter, post messages directly to StockTwits, which allows for greater distribution through financial news portals such as Yahoo Finance and CNN Money.
YouTube (www.youtube.com) is the popular video-sharing site. Companies can set up their own channels on YouTube. Some banks post their TV commercials on YouTube. A common use for investor relations is to record a short video featuring the CEO or CFO each quarter summarizing the bank’s financial results.
Slideshare (www.slideshare.net) is like YouTube for PowerPoint presentations. By posting your company’s quarterly PowerPoint slides on Slideshare, you can significantly increase the potential audience that will view them. One company, TVI Pacific, experienced a tenfold increase in viewership after first posting its investor relations slides on Slideshare. You can also integrate Slideshare into your investor relations website for easier viewing.
Flickr (www.flickr.com) allows you to share photos with the world. You can use Flickr to display photos from your company’s Annual Meeting of Shareholders or to show off a new bank you just acquired. Like YouTube and Slideshare, Flickr’s photos can be easily integrated with your investor relations website.
Linkedin (www.linkedin.com) is useful for targeting investors and preparing background research prior to road shows and other investor contacts. You can also maintain a company profile on Linkedin.
Facebook (www.facebook.com) is the most popular social networking site, with more than 600 million members. You can set up a company page on Facebook and post news announcements, share photos and videos, and link to interesting stories about banking or personal finance. If your bank already has a Facebook page, consider adding investor-specific posts to it.
Whether you are proactively using social media or not, you may want to monitor what is being said about your company online. Free services for this purpose include Google Alerts (www.google.com/alerts) and Twitter Search (http://search.twitter.com). For more detailed search and analytics, try Radian6 (www.radian6.com) or Sysomos (www.sysomos.com).
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