Companies And IR Firms: Here's How To Engage Your Investors On Social Media

by: SA Eli Hoffmann
Summary

Seeking Alpha is launching a Corporate Engagement program for companies and IR firms looking to engage with their investors on Seeking Alpha.

The program has two features: expanded news coverage for small- and mid-caps, and a meet-up forum where authors can discover new companies.

We hope companies will use Corporate Engagement to provide transparency to and facilitate discussion with their investors.

Frequently, publicly-traded companies and/or their IR teams approach Seeking Alpha and ask us questions such as:

  • How can we use Seeking Alpha to engage with our investor base, and to expose our company to new potential investors?
  • Our CEO would like to publish an article on SA outlining our strategy for the coming year. Can he do that? How?
  • We just put out great news, can you please cover it?
  • Here's our recent investor deck, can you ensure it appears on our quote page?

It's not surprising. Seeking Alpha owns the discussion of small- and mid-cap companies. Due to our razor-targeted ticker-based distribution, articles and news about companies go straight to their investors' inboxes and mobile devices. For the management team of small- and mid-cap companies, this is an unprecedented opportunity to reach their investor base.

Fundamentally, we believe companies should be part of the discussion. This is why, since inception, Seeking Alpha has spent millions of dollars to transcribe companies' earnings calls and make them available to investors for free, a service that was previously only available to institutions willing to pay thousands of dollars a year to access those transcripts.

Today, forward-thinking companies and investors crave organic, unsanitized engagement. They understand that the days of "owning the message" are over. In 2017, investors reward candidness and transparency more than they do polish and "messaging."

So we asked ourselves: how we can better facilitate the emerging relationship between companies and their investor base? We're starting modestly, with a two-prong corporate engagement program. We'll watch it closely, and are open to expanding it if companies and investors find it useful.

Prong I - News Coverage

Our small but amazing Breaking News team covers as much news as it humanly can. But monitoring more than 20,000 stocks means the news editors often are forced to make tradeoffs. Internally, we handle this via a dynamic "coverage universe" that ensures we cover the news of the stocks most followed by our users. Smaller companies, who already lack news coverage, find this frustrating. They have a small but passionate following on Seeking Alpha, and want them to be aware of important breaking news.

Here's our offer to companies: We're happy to cover your news if you engage with your investors.

Here's what a company needs to do to get guaranteed coverage of any company news that is relevant and newsworthy to your investors: Email our team (corpnews@seekingalpha.com) in advance (while the news is still under embargo) to let us know. When the news breaks, we will post it in our Breaking News feed and syndicate it to your SA followers, adding the following bullet point:

  • "{Company_executive_title_and_name} will be monitoring the discussion of this breaking news brief, and will, at his/her discretion, answer questions and engage in the discussion."

In your email, include the embargoed press release, and the name and title of the executive who will be engaging in the discussion.

Note to companies: This is not a one-and-done. You need to email us each time, and we need to see that you're serious about engaging.

Why are we willing to expand our coverage universe in this case? Simple. We want to go the extra mile for companies that are looking to use SA as a platform to engage with investors rather than just push information at them.

Disclaimer: The final decision as to newsworthiness is entirely at the discretion of our Breaking News team. We will not allow this to be abused by companies to push non-news at investors.

Prong II - Introduction to Authors

Companies frequently ask us if we can arrange to have an author write an article about them. Not surprising: positive coverage creates liquidity and can move stock prices.

Of course we say no. We will not make intros with an implied understanding that we would be happy for an author to publish a thesis on a specific stock.

On the other hand, SA authors constantly scan the world for investment opportunities, and frequently use their association with Seeking Alpha to reach out to management of a company they're interested in to arrange a call, face-to-face, or even published interview.

In order to facilitate these kinds of relationships, we have created an online forum where companies can meet and engage directly with SA authors. All SA authors already have access to this forum. Any company looking to engage with SA authors should email corpnews@seekingalpha.com and we will set you up with forum access.

Prong 0.1 - What Else?

I would be remiss not to note that companies can already create user accounts for their executives, and use those accounts to engage with their investors via article comments and StockTalks.

They are also welcome to (and many already do) submit articles that will be syndicated directly to their investor base.

To do either of the above, simply create a standard SA account (if you don't already have one). After that, click the Submit an article button on the lower right of our home page. If you need help with setting up an author account, please contact contributors@seekingalpha.com.

Cost

The cost for companies to use either or both of these two powerful tools to reach and engage with their investors? $0.00. This is about enriching the discussion. We hope companies use them and spread the word.

To Summarize

  1. We will cover your news if you plan to use our coverage to engage with your investors.
  2. You can join and participate in our author/company meet-up forum to engage with top SA authors.
  3. You can create a user/author account to participate in the discussion.

Looking forward to seeing you on Seeking Alpha!