A GLOBAL survey of senior-level investor relations professionals has found that while most still have no intention of using social media for investor communications, 35% are interested and one in ten is already using services like Twitter for IR communications.
The online survey of 371 IR professionals in 47 countries – 69% of whom are their companies’ senior-most practitioners – was conducted by BNY Mellon between July and August this year. It probed respondents on a wide range of topics, including their use of social media. The online survey was supplemented by telephone interviews with 21 senior IROs between August 23 and September 1.
The survey findings suggest that less than half of the respondents steadfastly dismiss social media’s value for IR, while an equal proportion are either already converts or they are intrigued by the potential for social media in IR communications.
Among the companies that responded, 33 or 9% said they are already using social media. This is in line with our own findings of companies that have incorporated social media on their IR websites. Among current users, Twitter (73%) and corporate blogs (45%) are the most popular social media.
And while 57% of IR departments said they have no plans to use social media, just under 20% said this was due to company policy while about 37% indicated this was an IR decision.
Meanwhile, 35% of the participants said they are interested in learning more about the potential uses of social media for investor relations communications.
Less than half see no value
Digging deeper into the opinions of all respondents, it becomes clear that IROs are split between those who see no value in social media and those who either see value or who are undecided.
Among all respondents, corporate blogs were viewed most positively while Facebook was seen as having the least value, with more than half saying it was not valuable at all.
However, as demonstrated by the following charts, the proportion of respondents who hold strong anti-social media views is less than half in most cases.
While it’s not clear which way the “uncertains” will eventually go, the BNY Mellon survey results certainly show a thawing of anti-social media attitudes and growing interest from the IR community in exploring potential uses of social media for IR.