Since the SEC approved the use of social media for announcements in compliance with Regulation FD in April 2013, a few U.S. companies have answered the call by integrating social media platforms to help communicate financial information and engage shareholders.
This is highlighted by Yahoo and Netflix “breaking the staid tradition of executives huddled around a speakerphone” and utilizing live video conference and tweets for their recent quarterly results and Zillow soliciting questions submitted via Facebook and Twitter during their earning call.
Nonetheless, social media adoption by companies for investor engagement and financial communications remains in its early stages.
According to relatively recent research from NIRI “72 percent of IR professionals don’t use social media as part of their IR program” but almost half will reassess the issue within the next year. Reasons cited range from regulation, perceived lack of interest by investors and overall demand.
However, given Bloomberg has integrated live twitter feeds with its financial platform and Carl Icahn’s recent “multibillion dollar tweets,” IRO’s will need to be at least monitoring – if not engaging with – investors who are increasingly social media savvy.
Joe Calabrese is a Senior Vice President with approximately 20 years of investor relations experience. Working closely with publicly-traded and private companies, Joe provides strategic counsel, message and collateral materials development and has in-depth experience assisting IPOs, M&A transactions, restructurings, restatements, analyst days and management changes.