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How social media can be successfully leveraged by public companies

Social media is an immense and widely popular mechanism for public companies delivering content to their audience. It harbours the power for you to connect with your audience and gain insights about them, which is especially important for companies looking to generate new investor leads and grow their audience base. It can also give your brand the exposure it needs to thrive in a competitive environment. When 81 per cent of the US population alone is on social media[1], it becomes crucial for your brand to get in front of those eyes.

In light of the potential that social media holds, I’m sitting down with Hasnain Raza, Vice President of Digital Marketing from Market One Media Group, to discuss how social media can create new investor leads for your company. Hasnain is one of Canada’s top marketers in using social media for investor awareness, retention, and growth with platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and YouTube. He also understands how social media plays a vital role in becoming a thought leader in one’s industry.

Here, I’ve asked him 6 questions to help us understand why social media is so important and strategic for companies:

1. Why is social media a key component for reaching out to investors in today’s environment?

  • Most cost-effective way to raise brand awareness
  • For us, the only up-front cost associated with social media setup is time. It is the easiest way to reach your audience and it won’t cost you tens of thousands of dollars for each post you put up
  • It allows people that are invested in your company to get constant updates, providing for a better experience for investors, and can also be key in generating new leads

Become the industry leader

For all my clients, I have loved the influencer approach, because it brings in trust and reputation to the company. Internally, we have a rule that a majority of the content that is published will be based on the industry. We then use what’s trending within each industry and tie it back to the company, so that investors know what this means for the company with who they have their money with. Content that has done extremely well for us are short videos and articles that the company’s CEO is featured in.

Generate new leads

Who doesn’t want new leads? At MMG, we constantly create custom audiences to reach new leads and investor eyeballs for public companies globally. With Facebook’s targeting mechanisms, there is potential to generate a great deal of interest, while keeping costs down.

Your competition is probably on social already

Chances are, your competition is already active on social media generating investor awareness and getting their message out there. If you are left out of the conversation, that’s going to hurt your company.

2. What qualities do investors look for when looking at a company’s social media activity/presence?

I think investors want value they will not get elsewhere when they are following a company’s social media. Your next question is probably going to be, how can companies generate value for investors on social? It involves a multitude of things, but the most important thing you want to do is to let people know what’s going on as much as possible. Here are a few things you need to do:

• Take photos and videos of your CEO and team wherever they are. If you are at your project, or a conference, take a few pictures and clips on your phone and let people know what’s going on

• You are probably up-to-date with what’s going on in your industry, but chances are, your investors may not be or don’t understand what the latest news fully means. Social media can be very powerful for this very instance. Give investors your opinion on the news, and how it ties back to your company

• You will receive many questions and comments from investors when you are active on social media. If you don’t respond to them, it can create a negative experience with your company, which is something you don’t want to happen. Reply to their questions in a timely manner — it is very important

• Leverage content pieces Market One Media is able to create for you. We have a stable of award winning journalists and media directors that craft stories that capture the attention of the audience you are trying to reach

3. How can social media translate into an increase of investor eyeballs on one’s social media?

Not only is social media important in keeping your existing investor base satisfied, but it also allows you to reach millions of potential investors globally. If you provide great and timely content about your company and industry, investors will take notice.

A great example of a company that uses Twitter for valuable real-time content is Denison Mines. They have become the go-to source for breaking news in the uranium sector and their CEO, David Cates, is seen as a thought leader. Here’s a post they did that showed how significant news in their industry tied back to them.

Another thing you must do is create custom audiences of your ideal investor profile and run targeted ads to them when you have major news distributed. Facebook allows you to create an investor audience based off their interest-based targeting and through people that have visited your website via Facebook’s pixel.

The Facebook pixel has been a game changer for public companies. Since it allows us to serve content to people that have visited our client’s website, we see better engagement and conversion rates with pixel-based targeting.

4. How is social media advertising used in generating investor interest?

Social media has now become a pay-to-play environment. On average, only 10 per cent of your followers will get your posts organically. As a result, you have to run social media ads to reach more people, generate interest and hit your conversion benchmarks.

Facebook has the best ads platform I have worked with, and it has also given me the most success. You have to constantly A/B test different variables and try out different audiences to see what works best for you. The goal is to find your sweet spot with targeting the right people, and it can be tricky at first. Just keep going, once you nail down the perfect audience, you will see the investor conversation growing and bringing in powerful engagement on your channels.

Below is a great example of how one of my clients used social media to share one of the biggest stories in diamond mining history.

5. Video is the fastest and largest growing forms of content marketing across social media. How has your team been able to harness the use of this medium in order to generate new leads?

Filming with your smartphone is an inexpensive way to get content out to your investor audience immediately, and we always advise our clients to get photos and videos from conferences, mine site, labs, etc, whether that is for posting or hosting as a Facebook live event.

Having a more polished and branded social media video campaign is important as well. Many of my clients who come to our studio, get a few social media clips filmed and we can then create video campaigns based on that. Video works really well because it can be consumed extremely easily, and people prefer it too, especially if it’s a shorter video.

Another great advantage of video is that it is very cheap to promote video content on social media. We are moving to a more video-centric environment, and social channels encourage you to promote videos. It can cost anywhere from 3 cents to 10 cents per view, and with a couple hundred bucks, you can have thousands of views on your video.

We have run hundreds of video campaigns for corporate social responsibility, important news releases, and corporate updates — they have performed extremely well for us.

6. What is the most effective way to increase your following organically?

Engage. Engage. Engage. Have social listening tools set up and talk to people you want to attract to your company. Be involved in trending conversations and add value to them too by sharing your thoughts on a matter.

Follow relevant accounts, talk to their followers, and let them know what you are doing. Have natural conversations with people, retweet and like their content, and you’ll see that people will begin to take notice.

Another good idea is to have links to your social channels put on your website and news releases. We have seen a lot of people follow pages through that route.

I’d like to thank Hasnain for taking the time to answer these questions. Engaging your audience via social media is more nuanced and complex than many businesses realize. If your publicly traded company is interested in launching a campaign with Market One Media Group, fill out the form below and they will get back to you as soon as possible.