BY now you have probably heard the sales pitches from various pundits and salespeople about how your company should be using social media in its investor relations program because investors are increasingly using new media.
And to a large extent, the pundits are right. Investors are using the web and various social media more today than in the past, and they will continue to do so in the future.
The problem, however, is that IR departments can easily find themselves chasing the latest fads or pursuing activities that have poor return on investment.
Consumer services lack focus on investors and IR
Twitter has been getting a lot of attention from some quarters, but the truth is that it’s only modestly useful as an IR tool. The pundits’ next bandwagon will likely be Facebook, which is a slightly better option than Twitter but still nothing to get excited about.
Don’t get me wrong, you should be using all of these services strategically and tactically, but they don’t really offer anything particularly exciting from an investor relations perspective. The problem is they are general consumer services and don’t focus on the unique needs of investors or investor relations departments.
Seeking Alpha attracts professional audience
And one of the best is a site I have written about several times in the past, and which has gotten even better with time. Seeking Alpha — an investment website, social network, research hub and financial blog aggregator — offers an unprecedented opportunity for good IR departments and competent CFOs and CEOs to get themselves and their companies in front of a highly qualified audience.
In fact, there is no more intelligent, influential and well educated financial audience on the social web than the people who frequent Seeking Alpha.
Consider the statistics:
- According to Quantcast, which directly measures Seeking Alpha’s traffic, about 2.8 million people visit the site monthly, of which 80% are based in the U.S.
- Seeking Alpha has the highest percentage of financial professionals of any major finance website, according to Nielsen, the audience analysis firm.
- Nielsen reports that more than half of Seeking Alpha’s readers provide frequent advice about financial information, with the closest second being Barron’s, with 28.3% of its audience providing frequent advice about financial information.
- Over 52% of Seeking Alpha readers bought stocks in the trailing 30 days — double the closest second TheStreet.com, at just over 26%.
- A higher percentage of readers are active purchasers of stock mutual funds, money market mutual funds and bond mutual funds than readers of any other site.
- Seeking Alpha has the highest percentage of readers with portfolios over $50,000, $100,000, $250,000, $500,000 and $1,000,000.
- It has the highest percentage of senior management (17.6%) of any major finance website, the closest second being WSJ.com with 15.8%.
- It has the highest percentage of C-Level executives, the highest percentage of business owners, and the highest percentage of readers with graduate or post graduate degrees — 77.2%.
What is drawing this audience to Seeking Alpha? Mostly it’s the site’s rich variety of alternative content and ideas from over 3,600 contributors (see latest stats). This is an audience that is hungry for fresh ideas, that craves different perspectives and which is not afraid to voice its opinions.
Honestly, I don’t think there are any sacred cows on Seeking Alpha, which was founded by David Jackson, a former technology research analyst for Morgan Stanley in New York.
Investor relations and corporate executives invited
Seeking Alpha recently issued an invitation to public company investor relations professionals and C-suite executives to join the website to share their expertise and talk about their companies with Seeking Alpha’s unique audience. Companies should seriously consider the offer because it is an unique opportunity.
However, before taking the plunge you should understand the audience you’re dealing with and familiarize yourself with the tools and services that Seeking Alpha provides to its registered members.
Make no mistake, joining Seeking Alpha comes with real risks for the unprepared. But as any investor will tell you, there is no reward without risk.
And the potential rewards Seeking Alpha offers are really quite exceptional.