STOCKTWITS, the growing investor and trader microblogging service, has introduced a new investor relations service that enables companies to provide verified information and better engage with their online investor audiences.
The StockTwits IR service, which is still in beta testing, is currently being used by technology giant Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ), exchange company CME Group Inc. (NASDAQ:CME), and the Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F), all of which have been leaders in adopting real-time social media in their public communications.
A major attraction of the new service is the ability for investor relations departments to highlight their most important information at the top of their symbol pages. These “sticky tweets” ensure that a company’s information isn’t buried in the stream of other tweets, which can easily happen for a company that has a large following. StockTwits now has more than 100,000 members.
All StockTwits IR accounts are identified by an IR badge so that investors can easily find their tweets. Source verification is a critical issue for disclosure information as fake information posted under the guise of a company account can move markets and damage a company’s reputation, as has been seen by recent fake news releases and previous fake social media stories.
Using StockTwits to alert investors to new company information is both fairer and faster than traditional PR wire distribution because of the uneven nature of the PR wire distribution system. Under the traditional model, traders who have direct access to expensive subscription services get breaking news before the rest of the market sees it on sites like Yahoo! Finance. The typical delay on Yahoo! Finance is 80 seconds, whereas on StockTwits it can be almost instantaneous.
Earnings Calls, SlideShare and Analytics
Investors who view a company’s symbol page can access its earnings call or other webcasts from a link on the right side of the page. Support is also provided for SlideShare presentations.
IR departments can also post their StockTwits messages on their own websites by copying and pasting a free widget into their website templates. This is an important feature for companies that need to make sure that all of their activities on StockTwits are brought under their websites as recognized channels of disclosure for the purposes of Reg FD.
StockTwits is providing basic analytics to IR account users, which enables companies to monitor and measure the community’s response to their messages. Improved analytics is planned for the next phase of the service.
Also in the works is the ability for companies to attach disclaimers to their tweets, which is something that many investor relations departments are interested in given the strict rules under which they have to work.
Overall, StockTwits IR is a good entry point for company investor relations departments to begin using social media in a more targeted and conscious way. Hundreds of companies already use Twitter, but often their messages for investors are mixed in with a lot of noise.
StockTwits IR accounts provide an improved user experience and give companies more control. You can learn more in a white paper that StockTwits is providing.
(Disclosure: IR Web Report advised StockTwits on aspects of the service.)