Recently, the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) announced that listed companies are now required to monitor “investor blogs, chat sites or other social media [they are] aware of that regularly comment about that listed entity.”
Two months ago, the SEC issued a ruling stating that social sites such a Twitter and Facebook are acceptable outlets for disseminating public information as long as companies have made investors aware of which outlets they intend to use. While the ruling came as a shock to some, those of us at Marketwired saw the ruling as the SEC finally catching up to the market and the evolving face, needs and habits of stakeholders. We’ve been providing social solutions, intelligence and support to our customers for years, so for us this was nothing new.
If you regularly read our blog and have been paying attention, you know that the real opportunity with social media is in listening. Social is an ongoing, 24-7 conversation. Whether you’re part of that conversation or not, people are talking about you. The ASX’s ruling recognizes this as a fact. There are things being shared about your business on social media without your knowledge. You not only need to be aware of what is being said, you need to know who is talking and who they are influencing. If their message isn’t cohesive with yours, you need to feel empowered and prepared to address it.
It is only a matter of time before one or more ruling bodies mandate companies establish official channels of social communications. For the protection of their listed companies, and for investor confidence. What is a best practice today, will be policy tomorrow.
There is a massive amount of risk with social media for public investor relations and the risk is not doing anything. You must integrate and control your message by embracing tools that empower you to deliver information in ways that work for your investors.
If, prior to April 2, you thought Netflix’s Reed Hastings was an anomaly and social was not relevant to your business, the SEC ruling should have made you think twice. We have already shown you that Wall Street is paying attention, and the updated ASX guidelines should be another wake up call. We’re seeing a series of events that are interconnecting investor relations and social media. The question is no longer just a matter of whether it makes sense to integrate social media into your communication strategy. The bigger question is how long it will be before the NYSE and NASDAQ follow suit.
There is only one company that offers products certified by both Twitter and the major stock exchanges, and that is Marketwired. Only Marketwired has the ability to collect information from 189 different countries in 186 different languages. If you’re not thinking about social media from a 360-degree perspective, it’s time to open not only your eyes, but also your ears. The future of investor relations is no longer a distant dot on the horizon. It’s here. It’s social. It’s happening now.
Are you ready?