Role of Social Media in Performance Reporting
2 April 2012
The Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA) and the Canadian Investor Relations Institute (CIRI) have just released a new study looking at the role of Social Media in Performance Reporting. It a very interesting read and we highly recommend obtaining a copy. [you can download it here]. It’s a great chance for those who are considering adopting a social media component in their Performance Reporting communications to get some great tips on how to properly implement a program.
The paper is split into three different sections:
Advantages of utilizing Social Media for your performance reporting
Some of the advantages of using social media for your performance reporting include:
- Reaching a larger audience;
- Differentiating yourself from competitors;
- Building trust amongst stakeholders;
- Brand management;
- Being seen as proactive and innovative; and
- Alleviating the IR department’s efforts.
Overall, the advantages given reflect the reasons why most companies are interested in getting involved in social media in the first place. It takes a company from just another in the pack to being viewed as an innovative, communication focused company that wants to build strong relationships with its investors.
Potential Challenges in implementing Social Media for your performance reporting
Some of the challenges outlined include:
- Regulatory constraints;
- Increasing audience participation;
- Measuring success;
- Cost/benefit issues;
- Lack of senior management buy-in; and
- Evolving technology.
Many have probably heard these issues when discussing the possibility of implementing a social media plan. The report does an excellent job of outlining the challenges and offering key insights into how to over come them.
Roadmap for implementing a Social Media strategy
The report outlines 8 steps for implementing a social media strategy, including excellent tips for how to overcome certain obstacles that can get in the way of implementing the plan.
What are your peers doing?
The first steps have to do with early development ideas like going out and seeing how other companies are using Social Media and developing a clear strategy of how Social Media would work for you. Once you have a strategy it is important to get executives excited about the program and show them the potential Social Media has in their performance reporting goals.
Policies and Procedures
After outlining the first couple of steps in warming everyone up towards a Social Media plan, the study then takes an in-depth look at possibly the most important part of the process; setting up the necessary polices and procedures for your Social Media program. Making clear procedural plans minimizes the risk of anything going wrong with your program and ensures that if something unexpected does happen you will be ready for it.
The study then looks at setting up accounts on individual Social Media sites and makes suggestions on how to properly allocate resources to those sites. Not every company is the same and companies need to understand what they need how they can most effectively make use of a Social Media program.
Monitoring & Maintenance
Once everything is set up the study concludes by outlining the importance of monitoring the conversations that are taking place on your channels and regularly taking the time to evaluate how your program is doing. Although it is common knowledge by now for most, it is still worth noting that Social Media needs to do regularly maintained. You need to make sure that the program is being regularly monitored and evaluated in order to see results from the program. Letting your program fall by the wayside is not only a waste of the time you have already allocated to the project, but also damaging the relationship you have with the people who chose to interact with you through Social Media.
This is a truly excellent study for anyone to check out. Whether you are thinking about starting to use or are currently using Social Media as part of your performance reporting communication strategy it is a great resource for getting some key information and insights. In our work at Q4 has seen an amazing rise in the adoption of Social Media in the world of IR. If you have any questions regarding your current or future Social Media plan, check out CIRI’s and CICA’s Role of Social Media in Performance Reporting Discussion Brief – it is a great resource for you at whatever stage of the game you are in.