Are you tweeting your investors?

How companies communicate with investors is changing. In this short video Elizabeth Blankespoor, assistant professor at Stanford, explains how smaller firms can benefit from using Twitter:

Got some news that the market should know about, tweet it. According to Elizabeth, it works and is actually  an effective way of reaching investors.

Twitter should be taken seriously

A  lot of new technology is being dismissed because it’s not the way it used to be done and definitely not the normal way of communicating with investors.

A study done at Stanford, however, shows that Twitter works very well indeed. The more invisible your company is to media outlets the more important Twitter is for you. So if you are a start-up or an SME that media hasn’t paid much attention to, you have a lot to gain from using Twitter.

Have personally used Twitter for 6 years and am very happy with how I can update followers

Have personally used Twitter for 6 years and am very happy with how it enables me to update followers

Whether companies like it or not, new technologies are changing the way businesses communicate. And don’t forget that it’s also altering what investors expect from companies. Social media can hence not be ignored, but should be used in ways that benefit your company as much as possible.

Twitter is a great way of delivering company news directly to investors, improve market  liquidity  and enable you to compete with bigger companies with access to media outlets.

All this obviously depends on who your followers on Twitter are. You have to start by building up the right kind of followers. Then Twitter will be a great tool for reaching not only your investors but media outlets, customers and potential customers as well.

Do you use Twitter? If so, do you have followers that are of importance to your business? Are you tweeting news about your company? Have you had great response? What reaction have you had from investors? Do they like the fact that you are up to date and communicate in innovative ways?  Do you agree with Elizabeth Blankespoor that Twitter is a useful tool for reaching investors?

Video: stanfordbusiness – You Tube

58 comments to Are you tweeting your investors?

  • polfeck  says:

    I tweet posts and article for the websitesblogs I have built for clients. I find those in financial corporate services are pretty nervous about social sharing.

    I think these companies need a Social Network policy driven from the top
    My recent post Bonsai and Tai Chi in harmony!

    • catarinaalexon  says:

      Don't we all tweet articles Paul?:-) But the issue here is that a study at Stanford has found that in the US part of investor relations is done by tweets. And it works. Do take into account that Europe is behind the US when it comes to using social media.

  • Jeannette Paladino  says:

    Catarina — every company needs to be using social media to reach investors. For smaller public companies Twitter can be an essential tool if they attract the right followers who could be larger public companies who retweet their content. Those companies are followed by large equity and institutional investors so it will be possible to get on their radar screens as the RTs go viral.
    My recent post The 12 Elements of Employee Engagement

  • Vrindavan_Rao  says:

    Although I’m not running a company Catarina, I am looking to provide a service. This was very informative. Thanks!
    My recent post the art of work

  • Doreen Pendgracs  says:

    Hello Catarina: I love Twitter and use it to communicate with colleagues, as well as current and potential clients, and in the case of my crowdfunding campaign, donor or "investors." It has been working quite well for me in driving home my attributes, services and goals.

    • catarinaalexon  says:

      Doreen, glad to note you use Twitter to communicate with donors/investors.

  • yearwoodcom  says:

    Good reminder about how valuable Twitter can be. It is a tool that I use for my day job, though I need to give it more careful thought. I am embarrassed to say that while Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube are top of mind for me when I'm thinking about social media, the Twitter feed has not ranked high in my considerations. I tend to use it at work as an after thought, rather than a deliberate approach to reach my audiences. I think my bias comes from seeing too many silly tweets from folks in the public eye who should know better. I'm going to get over it. Thanks. :)
    My recent post Remember Your Manners – A True Story

    • catarinaalexon  says:

      Good points Debra. Personally use Twitter to inform about new articles I have published as well as news. But to use it to inform investors is a great idea I had never thought of for the simple reason that I don't need to do investor relations:-)

  • becc03  says:

    As a blogger, Twitter is a must have for me to build a community. I would think it would be the same in the investment area to build trust and another avenue to get information out.
    My recent post Travelling with Children Is Not tough – Parenting Is

    • catarinaalexon  says:

      Glad you use Twitter and find it useful for building a community, Rebecca.

  • GuyW  says:

    Properly used, Twitter is a great tool for companies. The problem is that few use it properly – they see it as a way to just push out company information, not realising that it is truly a conversation medium and they need to both listen and put information out – information not just from the company itself, but from other sources that would be of interest to its audience. That's how companies build strong communities…

    The fact that it is of increasing importance to investors, too, was underscored by the SEC last week giving permission for companies to use social media sites like Twitter and Facebook for distributing their news (including financial results).

    • catarinaalexon  says:

      Great information, Guy, about the SEC in the US giving permission for companies to use social media sites, like Twitter for distributing news, including financial results. Agree with you that few use Twitter properly.

  • Trinidad  says:

    Twitter is great way to get to really talk to your audience. It's good interact AND share articles. People like to know they are dealing with a real person. Great post!
    My recent post How to Add a “Pin It” Button to Your Images

  • JeriWB  says:

    Beyond a doubt, Twitter is a valuable tool as I find my way as a 21st Century author. Beyond that, I often tweet about the places I eat and tourist sites I visit.
    My recent post The Allure of Magnetic Poetry

    • catarinaalexon  says:

      Yes Jeri, Twitter really is a useful tool, isn't it.

  • findingourwaynow  says:

    I do agree. I think that the power of twitter is overlooked by the fact that you're limited to a short message. However short messages, when well thought out, have great power in the world of tweets. As for me, I am still growing my followers in food, wine and short story writers. It has greatly impact my conversations and blog presence for the positive. :-)
    My recent post Award Winning Blog Wins Yet Again

    • catarinaalexon  says:

      Well said about Twitter being overllooked due to the short messages, Susan. But that's the beauty of it. Who reeds long texts online?:-)

  • Kelly Wade  says:

    You always give really good advice about social media and online marketing for your business. Twitter is definitely becoming a key player in building a brand and communicating with others about your business; both customers and other important contacts.
    My recent post How do you know if Your Hormones are in Check?

    • catarinaalexon  says:

      Thank you, Kelly. Glad we agree about Twitter.

  • Susan Oakes  says:

    That is interesting about investor relations. I must do a search to see if any Australian companies are doing that. With growing acceptance of Twitter and other networks I think we will find companies will get creative as to what they share.
    My recent post Get Reacquainted To Grow Your Business

    • catarinaalexon  says:

      Yes it is, isn't it Susan. Twitter is a great and easy way for investor relations. The rest of the world will no doubt follow in the US footsteps.

  • Karen  says:

    This is great advice. I don't use Twitter as much as I probably should to promote my blog. I feel like…do I really have something interesting to say?? But then I see that people and brands are just tweeting pictures of food or their product placed in a pretty vignette. I could do that! I just took a blogging seminar that taught us that when brands look to sponsor bloggers, they look for your Pinterest and Twitter influence first and foremost…not even your blog stats. Interesting stuff.
    My recent post Host a Tapas and Sangria Party

    • catarinaalexon  says:

      Use Twitter more Karen. It's a great tool and works very well.

  • Christian  says:

    Of course twitter is important in today's marketing. From my perspective social media is already a standard when it comes to communicating online, so basically old news. We need to focus on new ways of getting the word out and staying in touch with our customers and investors, because frankly, having a twitter account and facebook page its not enough by a long shot any more.

    Twitter and other social networks are also very limited, from every perspective possible, this is why I always considered that a strong online presence can only be achieved by having a main websites, with feed updates, customer support as well as all the info a potential customer needs.

    • catarinaalexon  says:

      Thank you for letting us know your opinion, Christian.

  • Leora  says:

    My understanding is small business have an advantage over larger ones when it comes to social media such as Twitter. A small business can make decisions easily on how to utilize these new tools. Larger businesses are hampered by needing more social media rules and in some cases legal issues. The larger businesses also are slower to learn the value of social media.

    Personally, I have grown my business through social media as have some of my clients.
    My recent post Make Your Website into Home Base

    • catarinaalexon  says:

      Good points that I agree with Leora. But now the SEC in your country has determined that it's OK for businesses to use Twitter, and other social media. for investor relations. So that should make a difference.

  • madlemmings  says:

    TWitter like all social media is part of the future. Bloggers, companies and anyone looking to reach a crowd or customers must get on the wagon.

    Thanks Catarina for sharing this very interesting video
    My recent post 4 Tips for your Perfect WordPress Theme

    • catarinaalexon  says:

      Glad you agree that Twitter is an important tool and it's important to use it, Ashley.

  • keepupweb  says:

    Catarina,
    Thanks for sharing this video. Twitter is undeniably an effective (and inexpensive) tool for businesses to use to build awareness. It also can be used to help a business connect on a more personal level.
    My recent post Do NOT Delete Your Google FeedBurner RSS Feed Migrate It

    • catarinaalexon  says:

      Yes Twitter is great, isn't it Sherryl.

  • Geek Girl  says:

    Twitter is just one avenue for the new marktet place these days and it works. If businesses don't use it, they are missing out. It seems that most firms have begun using social media and even have plans to expand their use.
    My recent post Best Business Tech Upgrades for Your Office In 2013

  • jacquiegum  says:

    Twitter definitely has emerged as a must-do for small businesses. This is something that I also need to spend more time developing! The benefits can be huge!

    • catarinaalexon  says:

      Absolutely, Twitter is a great way of updating your followers, Jacqueline.

  • stimulating52  says:

    Great advice as usual.
    I have not yet joined Twitter but have been contemplating it. I suppose it feels a little overwhelming.

    • catarinaalexon  says:

      Not sure why you regard Twitter as overwhelming? It's just another form of social media.

  • Donna Janke  says:

    I think Twitter and social media in general needs to be part of a company’s overall marketing plan these days. I think many companies are still figuring out the best way to use it, though. It requires a very different approach than traditional advertising.

    • catarinaalexon  says:

      True, Donna. When it comes to Twitter though many companies are of the opinion that it's something people use privately to update their followers on what they had for breakfast and so forth. Once they get over that they can use it to update, say, investors. Provided of course that their investors follow them on Twitter, which is something that can be arranged.

  • Tom  says:

    I work for a corporate communications consultancy that works with publicly listed companies and I am forever shocked by the amount of financial professionals, especially working for AIM companies, who still believe having a Twitter presence is pointless. It's infuriating!

  • lenie5860  says:

    I have been learning about Twitter but still have a long way to go to really know what it is all about. I do believe it can help business tremendously. Probably as younger people become the business leaders will social media become the tool it can be. I think for the older generation much of it is intimidating.

    • catarinaalexon  says:

      Lenie, why don't you just join and learn how to use, Twitter. It's not rocket science:-)

  • bethnieb  says:

    I greatly appreciate the value of social media in communicating because I started my first business 32 years ago and had to spend a lot of money on reaching my customers and potential ones. Newspaper, radio and printed ads were very expensive and so I am so happy that we have free to low cost powerful tools such as Twitter today. I provide links to longer content when my point can’t be contained within the 140 characters.

    • catarinaalexon  says:

      Glad you agree, Beth. Social media is great not least Twitter.

  • Ken Dowell  says:

    In the U.S. public company disclosure is regulated by the SEC. That fact tends to keep companies from trying new things. They tend to get very conservative guidance from their own lawyers, which often amounts to “don’t do anything different or it can be interpreted as selective disclosure.” This is changing but slowly. About 5 years ago, the SEC issued advice that you could use your Web site to disclose material information, but they added several qualifiers that confused everyone and again resulted in corporate lawyers advising against it. I would think social media is a logical next step. I’m sure the SEC will address it after everyone starts to use it anyway. Social media gives all investors access to information and that is something the government regulators should take into consideration.

    • catarinaalexon  says:

      Ken, according to Stanford University, US companies have already started using twitter for investor relations. Seems to me it's fine with the SEC. Doubt that Stanford would suggest doing so otherwise.

      • Ken Dowell  says:

        That is partially true. The SEC policy is “companies can use social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter to announce key information in compliance with Regulation Fair Disclosure (Regulation FD) so long as investors have been alerted about which social media will be used to disseminate such information.” There was a high profile case a couple years ago involving Netflix. The CEO posted monthly subscriber numbers on Twitter which caused the stock price to go up. But, according to the Columbia Law School blog, “Netflix received a Wells notice from the staff of the SEC indicating their intent to recommend that the SEC institute a cease-and-desist proceeding and/or bring a civil injunctive action against Netflix and Hastings for violations of Regulation FD and certain Securities Exchange Act provisions.” Nothing ever came of that but it is one of the reasons why public company lawyers are so cautious about this. Anyone who is counseling public companies to use social media should also advise of some of the restrictions when it involves disclosing material information.

        • catarinaalexon  says:

          Needless to say companies using social media for investor relations can not break the law. Sad that some US companies tried to do so. By the way, obviously no public US company is using only Twitter for investor relations and I am certain that the people handling investor relations for them are aware of what the SEC require from them.

  • patweber  says:

    This question, "do you use Twitter?" had me smiling Catarina. I Tweet, Retweet, ask for Retweets, Favorite and Reply to followers. But are they my investors? I think in my case, my investors are my influencers, my collaborators, someone else's valuable content and more. I've been on it for years but am learning something every day with it.
    My recent post 5 Top Weekly Blog posts, week 8, from #Introvert Inspirer

    • catarinaalexon  says:

      The same thing applies to me when it comes to "investors", Patricia. Have used Twitter since 2009 and am also content.

  • Jeri Walker  says:

    I just finished a manuscript critique and copy edit of a book where a newspaper and its staff is having a hard time embracing the use to Twitter and other social media outlets. We certainly live in a different world, and embracing the benefits is a must.

    • catarinaalexon  says:

      Absolutely, Jeri. The way things were done in the past will be history in the future. The sooner people accept that the better.

  • susan Cooper  says:

    I think Twitter is an effective marketing and business tool. Because you are limited to such a short message, I think the power of Twitter is underestimated at times. With much forethought though, even 140 characters have great power in the world of tweets. And, as we have all seen, the people that don’t think before they Tweet, can see the hugely negative impact an inappropriate tweet can have. So if we are using it to connect with customers, investors, etc…think before you tweet.

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