The paradigm shift that companies are undergoing at the hands of social media calls for change, and an increasing need for cutting-edge tech tools to adapt quickly and explore the possibilities presented by social media. Most professionals face certain obstacles when trying to keep pace with such changes and this guide aims to accompany those of you in need of concrete advice and relevant tutorials for implementing and understanding the uses of social media monitoring and analytics.
Discover the 5+5 steps for Monitoring and Analytics: five key steps in social media monitoring, and five factors to bear in mind as you drill down through social media data and discover new insights.
First of all, monitoring your company name and all its components will give you an idea of the general sentiment towards your company, and your image in the eyes of the investment community. Then, don’t forget to spot ‘discussion starters’, so you can take the opportunity to go out there and engage with your community (see examples in the list below).
Tip: Do not forget to monitor any common misspellings of your brand name!
Here is a list of topics we recommend for IR professionals:
- Company name
- Names of CEO and Management (national and international)
- Board of Directors
- PR spokespersons
- Key investors
- Cashtags (hashtags about your stock)
- Events, such as conferences, investor calls, and investor roadshows
- Annual reports, or quarterly results announcements
- Press releases/Corporate news
- Product Updates
- CSR campaigns
- Your own social media accounts, both at group level and at the branch level
For some names, setting up search queries can be very easy, but for other brands like Apple, noise needs to be reduced through the use of Boolean operators or Filters, which will be discussed later in this guide.
To oversee the expansion of your target audience, identify new persons of interest who can become ambassadors for your brand on the web. These influencers actively share information and knowledge that can have an impact on your investor relations, and shape opinions among their network.
Influencers can be closely followed and ranked by number of posts and reach. Those with the largest reach, or those initiating the highest level of engagement should be your first port of call.
The usual suspects:
- Investor bloggers
- Financial journalists, bloggers
Tip: Bear in mind the 20/80 rule: 20% of the contributors can shape 80% of opinion about IR.
After identifying these persons and sources of interest, think of all other stakeholders who could potentially have an impact on your reputation, and create a specific panel where you will be able to follow all their publications:
- Analysts, research boutiques, investment banks, investment companies
- Industry journalists or bloggers, Financial journalists or bloggers
- Journalists and bloggers that are particularly supportive or critical
- News agencies, industry-specific press, financial press
- Specialized forums like Wikinvest, StockTwits, The Motley Fool, Seeking Alpha
- Industry associations
- Major current investors
- NGO’s, activists
- Company’s and affiliates own social media accounts
The next step is to carefully categorize them by the nature of their activity (e.g. investors, activists, supporters, critics, company’s own social media accounts, and competitors).
Tip: Consider all media types: journalistic coverage can arise from and get distributed to news agencies, clients, journalists’ personal blogs or Twitter accounts, and press Twitter accounts.
Your provider of social media analytics should offer Page Monitoring, so you are able to closely follow everything that is published on those pages, even if the page does not include the particular topic or keyword you have pre-defined. This means all data published on the pages will be delivered to you and lets you discover topics that were not yet on your radar (e.g. a call for opinion on a certain topic by a regulator).
These monitoring efforts will enable you to better control and steer both your regular and crisis communications.
Setting up Alerts is a great way to establish a solid early warning system, which can be the starting point of identifying potential threats to your reputation and business, and ultimately enable you to react on time as new IR-related topics or issues emerge.
Alerts should be fully customizable in terms of:
- Format: can come as an email or can be added as a feed to your RSS reader
- Frequency: can be configured according to what works best for you and the given situation. For example:
- Instant notifications on all new publications
- Only when the volume of mentions exceeds the average flow by a certain percentage
- According to the number of publications
- A certain number of times a day
- Source: alerts can focus on the publications of specific panels you have created which monitor influential sources.
Filters are also a great way to cut the volume of notifications down to include only sensitive topics. For this, you can use pre-defined filters offered by the tool, or create your own based on a group of keywords concerning your stock, your equity, any underperformance, valuations, dividends, misselling and/or any information relevant to compliance and audit. This will help you to react quickly each time a new IR topic or issue emerges.
Once you’ve identified the themes that interest you, set up newsletters with detailed reports on the current status and striking findings. Include insights on volume, sentiment and topics of discussion, and customize your reporting to fit the specific interests and needs of your recipients. Main recipients can be:
- Office of the CEO
- International and local entities
- Investor roadshow organizers
- Compliance, Audit, and Legal units
- Public Relations