7 steps to the worst case scenario of IR-Social-Media

For the last couple of months I have been keeping myself busy with the use of Social Media for Investor Relations. I was looking for specific best practice solutions concerning real business cases. Basically communication within finance is a serious, almost dry topic. Nevertheless all people I talked to are humorous in some way. Those people might consider this instruction funny. Impatient IR-managers who cannot wait until my master thesis is done should simply take the following steps ;)

7 steps to the worst case scenario of IR-Social-Media

1. Start right now
Monitoring, the analysis of target groups and sophisticated concepts filling pages are for deadheads and procrastinators. Web 2.0 does not wait for you – be a part of it, even today. Creating a Twitter, Facebook and Youtube account only takes a few clicks. The first Information could be spread within the next minutes.

2. How to attract followers and fans
As you know the most important thing about Web 2.0 is the number of followers and fans. You can buy thousands of them from certain agencies in India or Vietnam. However it is way cheaper to get rid of some insider information in order to lure the Financial Community. The most suitable best practice example might be the Rapper “50 Cent”. The matter of fact that your company delivers for example insider information to the market on Twitter will spread like wildfire. The number of followers might rise slightly… Significant attention is also guaranteed if you issue the company’s annual report on your IR-Blog prior to the press conference.

3. Do not let them yak at you…
Because of the severely growing Web 2.0 community you will find more and more chatterboxes who are seeking desperately after your attention. These know-alls usually claim an “intense dialogue”…  Do not get bothered by these guys. Time is money! Neither being some wiseguy with a “SeekingAlpha” account does entitle anybody to waste a high-paid IR-manager’s time nor does some ridiculous, little blog.

4. Do not even spend a dime!
Social Media is an excellent marketing tool for free. Without any effort you are able to push any online content automated by RSS-feeds through various Social Media Channels. It is about quantity, not quality. Send as many messages to your investors as possible. Furthermore it is possible to connect the different media accounts. Every video watched on Youtube could be automatically posted on Twitter and could be subsequently displayed on Facebook without any manual activity. In case you are going to hire a highly motivated trainee and let him do the rest of the work your company will receive Social Media at no charge!

5. Do not formalize too much
Social Media is a funky hype. It’s all fun and games. Avoid working together with an overpriced agency – do not get lulled. Based on experience those needless “Social Media Guidelines” seem to confuse your employees anyway. They will make their own experience. In case you are contacted by a very cheeky user he will get an adequate response by your IR-manager. But besides that, your hard-hitting legal department will probably have the upper hand anyway. Be patient if one of your IR-employees issues a tweet causing some trouble. It takes some time…

6. Distinguish from other departments
Probably the sales department is smug about doing Social Media for quite a while now – all these “valuable experiences” they gathered. Those freaks will be surprised when you overtake sooner as imaginable! In order to ensure a certain surprise effect and success it is very important that none of the other departments gets information about any Investor Relation Account before.

7. Make the gossip factory work overtime
Moreover Social Media could be used to spread rumors – maybe rumors about the competitor. Simply use fake accounts on Twitter and Facebook. With posts, commentaries and negative mentions it will be pretty easy to pretend anonymously to be the duped investor. On the other hand you can celebrate your own company… This work might even be outsourced to an external service provider, for example Burson-Marsteller. No, actually Social Media should always be for free…


So, I tried to write it in English. Please feel free to correct and improve the text and to enlarge it with some other steps to the worst case scenario in the comment field.


Andreas Köster 19. Mai 2011 Aktuelles Ein Kommentar Trackback URI Kommentare RSS

Ein Kommentar zu “7 steps to the worst case scenario of IR-Social-Media”

  1. Clare O'Sullivanam 19. September 2011 um 07:18 Link zum Kommentar

    Thank you, some really useful guidelines for the worst case scenario. I’ve been working with some clients in the UK on how to best approach social media when you are disseminating financial information. It seems more and more people are becoming interested, especially since linked-in used it so successfully. It will be interesting to see how approaches change in the coming moths. Thanks for the information.

Einen Kommentar schreiben