E-mail as a communication tool does not always get the credit it deserves. When asking the capital market about their preferred way of communication the statistics were clear — 97% prefer to receive updates about listed companies via e-mail. Are you using this channel to its full potential?
Subscription services, which could be newsletters, releases or RSS, are the second most demanded features when visiting a corporate website. The first one being loading speed. Most companies offer a subscription function via e-mail. However, this function is often dedicated only to sending out press releases. This is a good start, but there is potential for more.
Make sure it’s possible to subscribe to all different types of news and that visitors are able to select subjects of interest.
For some investors, certain pages have crucial information they want to stay on top of. For instance, pages which are updated on a monthly basis. The possibility to get an e-mail whenever a page of interest has been revised could be valuable.
If you have the editorial resources, a dedicated newsletter is a good complement. Besides including recent news, you could also add other relevant content. Such as updated segments of your site, recent attention in media and important dates to keep track of. Why not let the content from your Annual Report have a longer life and include certain highlights as well?
A lot of companies forget a crucial part of their e-mail marketing strategy — signing up. To increase number of subscribers, the sign up form should be easy to access anywhere on the site. It’s also important to keep the form simple, and avoid the common trap of asking for too many details from the subscriber.
New directive from EU says you do no longer need to have quarterly reports.
As of 26 November 2015, Directive 2013/50/EU is now supposed to be incorporated into EU countries’ national law. This directive has removed the obligation to publish an interim statement or quarterly financial report, making it a legal possibility to only publish reports every six months.
At the same time, the directive states that the financial report must remain available to the public for at least 10 months, where it was previously only five months.
The purpose of this is to improve the efficiency of the transparency system. Is it time to make a change?
The results in the survey sends a consistent message about the capital market and social media. 59% answered “I don’t read corporate updates on social media”. When asked what type of corporate social media profile they follow, 60% replied “None” and only 34% followed the company’s official profile. Among the ones who are following companies, 82% are there only to listen and do not usually engage in retweets, likes or conversations.
It is clear that they are not the easiest group to strike up a conversation with on Twitter. But does this mean being active on these channels is not relevant?
It is, of course, up to each company to decide. Even though the capital market might not be the most engaged users, the ones who do use social media as a source for information about companies, do so fairly frequently. 28% on a weekly basis, 26% everyday and 21% on special occasions, such as capital market days or when reports are released.
So you are active, and you do wish to connect with this particular group of people. What are they interested in?
On Wikipedia, people want general company information, but also information about products and services, as well as financial information.
On Facebook, the topics people look for, are also in general, closely followed by news and press releases. Products/services ranks third. The same goes for both Twitter and Google+.
On LinkedIn, however, after general information, people mostly look for information about key executives, and after that press and news releases.
On YouTube, people primarily go to find information about products/services and, again, general company information.
There are plenty of other factors to consider. Target groups such as your current and potential employees, is one. Companies not making it relevant to follow them for this type of information is another.
What we can conclude from this survey is that being active in social channels is still relevant, and don’t forget to update during significant events, but you should probably put most your effort communicating with your more active target groups.