Early Adopters of Twitter for IR – Case Study: Acciona
In our look back at companies that helped paved the way in best practice use of social media for investor relations, we would first like to highlight a company who is an early adopter of using Twitter. Our research has revealed that Twitter is the most widely used social channel for interacting with investors. Considering that now, it seems like a natural space for companies to reach out to investors.
The structure of Twitter allows for users to easily follow a company’s activities in many ways:
- Using the custom lists option users can create unique lists of Twitter feeds to ensure they are only looking at a specific set of information.
- Twitter’s 140-character limit, only allows to share minimal information. So it encourages companies to give only the headline of the news they are sharing and provide a link back to their website or press release, for users to get the full story.
- Finally, #hashtag capabilities allow users to follow along with a specific stream of content in real-time or search by the #hashtag at a later time; chime in with their own thoughts; and see what others are thinking as well.
One of the most inventive uses of Twitter for investor relations is live tweeting during important events like earnings calls and annual investor meetings. This is a great opportunity to expand the reach of your IR messaging as well as adding an interactive element by creating a #hashtag investors can use to follow along.
Our research has found it is quite commonplace for companies to announce the date, time, and mode of availability (call, webcast, etc.) of their Annual Meetings on their Twitter feeds. In our 2012 Whitepaper on Twitter use for investor relations we observed many different tweets related to annual meetings. As such, we highlighted the efforts of Acciona, which is a great example of a company who maximized their use of Twitter to inform shareholders about their upcoming AGM, as well as sharing tidbits of relevant information in real-time before and during the meeting.
Here’s what Acciona did:
On May 10, they tweeted the date and time of their upcoming meeting and included a link to all the AGM reading materials (proposed resolutions, consolidated financials, audited reports, Board of Directors report, etc.):
To ensure that their followers were aware of their impeding tweets, on the actual day of the event, they sent out a tweet an hour prior to the meeting, indicating that it was a carbon neutral event. They also introduced the #hashtag (#JGA2012) that they would be using:
As soon as the meeting began they sent out another tweet letting everyone know that the meeting was getting underway:
An hour later, directly following the meeting, they sent out a number of tweets highlighting key information that was brought up during the meeting, such as the CEO quotes on growth drivers:
In addition to the CEO quotes on growth drivers and strategy, they also shared the approval of their 2011 sustainability report:
By using Twitter, Acciona is able to highlight key points discussed from their annual meeting that are easily read and understood by those following along. In our experience, it is best practice to tweet information that provides extra context around an event. Instead of the standard information that is provided such as linking to the press release.
Also, from the consistency of the tweets and the specific information that was being highlighted, we get the impression that even though the tweeting was happening live during the event, the statements were prepared earlier on – what we at Q4, consider a best practice for live Twitter use as it ensures your messaging is on topic and in line with any disclosure requirements.
Four hours later, Acciona sent out another tweet with a link to the press release summarizing the highlights of the meeting (below). Though they didn’t provide a webcast or call, they made an effort to connect with their followers about the AGM, keeping it top of mind, and providing highlights:
As investors continue to get more comfortable with social media, they are going to prefer to interact with the companies through their preferred channel of communication. Acciona’s use of Twitter is exemplar, in that it offers investors the unique opportunity to follow along with the annual meeting through social media. Companies like Acciona are leading the pack in providing meaningful investor content and highlighting their Twitter account as a recognized channel of disclosure.
Make sure to check blog over the next couple of days as we investigate companies that have been making use of Facebook to distribute investor content.