The case against stand-alone Investor Relations Twitter accounts

When a company chooses to be more active with its investor relations (IR) content on Twitter, one of the first decision points revolves around whether to create a separate IR Twitter account or to incorporate IR content into the company’s existing corporate Twitter account.

(Technically this decision applies across all social media channels, but as I’ve written before, Twitter is the easiest and most commonly used social media tool for sharing IR content.)

To be clear, I’m in favor of incorporating IR content into an existing corporate account. Thus, I was glad to see Nestlé announce it is shutting down its @Nestle_IR account and directing followers to the corporate @Nestle feed. 

If you’re on the fence about whether a single corporate account or a stand-alone IR account makes sense for your company, consider these benefits of using a corporate account to share IR content: 

Leverage existing followers

Most likely, your corporate account was started first and has been around for some time. That means it already has a base of followers to grow from, which is easier than starting over with no followers. (For example, at the time of this blog post, the @Nestle account had 109,000+ followers, while @Nestle_IR had….fewer than 1,000.) Even if the corporate account has a small amount of followers, it makes more sense to focus on growing one account instead of two.

Prevent confusion

Multiple accounts can be confusing to your audiences. It’s not always obvious which one matches their interests/information needs – and you’re asking them to do extra work by having to figure it out. (And in my case, I’ll often only pick one account per company.)

Share content – consistently

IR tends to have a lot of content around earnings (once a quarter), during an analyst/investor day (once a year), maybe related to the annual meeting and annual report (once a year) and any time an acquisition or other transaction is announced (hard to predict).

That translates into an IR account sitting quiet for weeks at a time, which is not a good way to grow followers, generate interest or tell a consistent story. On the other hand, there is plenty of content from across your company to populate a single corporate account for a whole year, and it is content investors would be interested in learning about.  This presents an opportunity for IR to take center stage during these additional news-generating events. 

In fact, your company’s story includes news around IR, HR, marketing, corporate communications, product development, sustainability/corporate social responsibility and much more. Using a single Twitter feed to tell your story provides a more complete – and interesting – picture to a variety of stakeholders.

Know your strengths

Many IROs already have a full plate of responsibility, and finding the time  to manage and populate an IR Twitter account can be challenging. Instead, by working closely with the communications and/or marketing team on the corporate account, you can make sure IR has a presence as well.   (And, yes, it might make sense to train that team in Reg FD and disclosure rules. Also, IROs should certainly review all IR content before it gets published.)

If these points don’t convince you to use just one Twitter account, how about this: just trust the people who have been providing some of the best-tasting chocolate chips on the planet for more than 75 years. They happen to believe a single integrated corporate Twitter account is a more effective vehicle for sharing investor relations content on social media.  I couldn’t agree more. 

If you’re getting serious about using social media for investor relations, check out my 10-point checklist for live-tweeting for IR. Also feel free to email or tweet me – I’d love to talk!

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