In recent years, the landscape of business engagement has undergone a significant transformation due to the digital revolution. With advancements in technology, the channels and methods through which investors and stakeholders interact with businesses have expanded and diversified. Gone are the days when social media was just a digital hangout for friends and family. Today, it stands as a formidable platform for professional communication, bridging the gap between corporations and their audience in real-time.
Episode 12 of the Street Tweets podcast shed light on this evolving trend. The episode showcased the expertise of Christian Röhl, a renowned entrepreneur and investor. Röhl delved into the intricacies of how social media, with its vast reach and dynamic capabilities, is reshaping the way businesses communicate, build trust, and foster investor relations in this digital age.
The insights Röhl shared offer a fresh perspective on the nexus between social media and business communication. His observations underscore the importance and potential of these platforms in shaping the future of corporate engagement. Let's unpack the knowledge he shared and explore the myriad ways in which social media is revolutionizing business communication.
Key Takeaway #1: Building a social media presence for a listed company is becoming important since institutional investors look for them through social media.
"In fact, institutional investors also look at social media for private companies that are on the way to becoming publicly listed, or even at listed companies, just to have a look. How does the CEO present himself to representative management? What do employees say on social media and what do companies say on social media? So I think it's definitely becoming more and more important to be present there."
For institutional investors, social media is no longer just a channel for casual browsing. It's a research tool, an avenue to gain insights into the internal dynamics of companies, and a way to gauge the public persona of corporate leadership. This underscores the importance for companies to cultivate a strategic online presence.
Key Takeaway #2: The effectiveness of a company's social media presence depends on consistency.
"If you really want to go into an interaction, think about how you want to do it in advance. So there are a whole range of companies: listed companies who started at some point for example with a Twitter account, because that was kind of cool. Then things went really well for 3 to 4 weeks, you had 130 followers and then at some point the person who did it was on vacation and there was no longer a mandate for the agency. So, now it drags on and on and on. Then someone from the PR department goes and posts the current press release on Twitter and then believes that must be of interest to someone now."
Consistency is the linchpin of an effective social media strategy. An erratic posting schedule or a lack of cohesive messaging can result in dwindling engagement. Röhl's insights underline the importance of having a sustainable plan, which prevents content droughts and ensures relevance for the audience.
Key Takeaway #3: Finfluencing is a term for communication, networking, and social media.
"I lived in the so-called noughties where I built a community in the area of Certificates at that time. There were over 100,000 in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and the Czech Republic members who we provided with information, where we had weekly chats. This was basically social media without it being called that. And that was maybe finfluencing without it being called that."
Before "finfluencing" became a buzzword, it existed in the essence of online communities and information-sharing platforms tailored for the financial sector. Röhl's perspective sheds light on how the essence of finfluencing is not new; only the medium and terminology have evolved.
Key Takeaway #4: Investor relations officers' collaborations with finfluencers should be treated equivalently as with stock exchange magazines, daily newspapers, and journalists.
"Well, I mean, there is also investor relations always in contact with the press representatives, journalists from daily newspapers, from stock exchanges magazines or from stock exchange letters. And now there's just additionally a channel for it. These are just people who are on social media, be it YouTube, Twitter, be it Instagram or Facebook, offer content about financial topics or companies. So it's just another channel and you should treat this channel the same way you treat other channels."
The digital age has broadened the spectrum of media outlets. Where previously investor relations officers engaged with traditional media, they now have the added responsibility of collaborating with finfluencers. Röhl emphasizes that the ethos of communication remains consistent, regardless of the medium.
Key Takeaway #5: Events as relationship-building opportunities
"So you can't always just do that Stock culture babble and then believe that politics will somehow solve it’s important to show that these are companies, they are represented by people with whom you can enter into dialogue."
Events, whether online or offline, serve as a platform where businesses can directly engage with their stakeholders. They are a testament to the human element behind corporate entities, offering a chance for open dialogue and relationship building.
The digital revolution has reshaped the investor landscape, bringing forth new mediums and methodologies for engagement. Christian Röhl's insights from the Street Tweets podcast illuminate the pivotal role of social media in modern investor relations. From the necessity of a consistent online presence to the emergence of finfluencing and the age-old importance of human connection in events, the core message is evident: Companies must evolve and adapt to stay relevant in this digital age. As we look forward, embracing these insights not only equips businesses for contemporary challenges but also positions them for success in a future that continues to be shaped by technology and human-centric interactions.