IR Social

IR.Social is a mobile application for publicly traded companies, that aids them in creating an engaging connection with their investors. Through real-time social media integration, stock information and a powerful CMS, you are able to showcase the most important company information in a fun, engaging and social manner.

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👤 🕔 May 21, 2013 0

Social Media, the new wave in research for investors.

Times are changing, and Social Media is taking by storm the way we do everything. We now date through Social Media, keep in contact with our peers through Social media, have meetings through Social Media and even do research, ask for answers and recommendation through Social Media. There is a new wave of research coming our way that is being fostered by the younger (40 and under) investors in our community; this is making financial and investment research through Social Media.

As stated by the website Inside Investor Relations in there article “Social media flourishes in finance despite workplace blocks”, 60% of people interviewed say that they regularly checked social channels in order to research investments. This number is really encouraging for us that are trying to advocate for Social Media usage as a “Best Practice” in Investor Relations, because it is telling us that the users are listening, it is telling us that if we put something out there, our target market will be listening to us.
The next question that comes to my mind, is what type of information are, the users looking for in the social channels? I believe they are looking for any kind of information that can support the numbers they can find in Bloomberg and the editorials they find in Seeking Alpha.

Social Media is becoming such an important source of information, that spinoffs of social media sites are arising that are completely concentrated on investors. Two very good examples of this are: StockTwits and Stockr.

StockTwits

StockTwits is a financial communications platform for the financial and investing community. This platform is built on top of Twitter and therefore through this social media you can check what is being said about a certain company by performing a search on the “$Ticker” tag for the company you are looking for (example: $AAPL to see what is being said about Apple in the “twittersphere”). Being that this platform is built on top of Twitter the information given to you is limited to 140 characters at a time. Because of this, StockTwits is a great platform to get quick facts about how a company is doing, at a precise time.

Stockr

Stockr is a social network for people interested in the stock market. Stockr uses a Facebook like social infrastructure where you get to follow users who you believe can help you make an investment decision possible. Apart from following your peers, you can also follow companies and monitor what they have to say. In comparison with StockTwits, Stockr is much more personal and it is targeted to getting conversations with your peers started about certain companies or trends that are emerging around the channels you are interested in. I see Stockr as somewhere I would go and post a question and see what other people interested in the stock or the channel have to say about it, it might turn into a great place to get “crowd advice” about an investment decision.

These are just two of the platforms that have flourished from the usage of social media as an investment research tool and I believe there are many more to come. Companies are now starting to use different channels to diffuse information, videos through YouTube, facts through Twitter, photos through Facebook and with the SEC ruling about dissemination through social media, the possibilities just grow.

IR Social at the App pitch competition Vancouver.

👤 🕔 May 8, 2013 0

Last March, the IR.Social team competed against other entrepreneurs in an app pitch competition (http://apppitchvan.eventbrite.ca/).

This competition consisted on performing for the judges and people present a 2-minute presentation about our app and how we planned to monetize on it. There were more than 20 contestants all presenting different apps from very different categories (music business, healthcare, social messaging, Investor Relations, etc.).

The IR.Social team based their pitch on the framework that gives life to the IR.Social platform: The Social App.

The competition was divided into 2 phases:

  • In Phase 1, the competitors where divided into 2 groups and they each had to present to judges and other competitors.
  • The top three teams of each group, made it to Phase 2 (The IR.Social team made it). In this phase teams had 5 minutes to present their app and other everyone watching, got to vote to choose the finalists and the winner.

Our team made it all the way to the three finalists but unfortunately we didn’t win. Still, for being in the final 3, we did get some tickets for the Polyglot Conference in Vancouver.

To see our Pitch view the video below!

 

Using Social Media for Investor Relations: Two sections to be careful about

👤 🕔 May 3, 2013 0

 

The usage of social media has been on the rise since the April 2nd SEC announcement that social media channels can be “Regulation FD-compliant means of communicating material non-public information”.
Although these are very good news, Investor Relations, PR and Marketing people should still be careful about what is being posted on the social media sites. They should specially take notice of two things:
• The public is correctly notified of the use of a certain channel for the purpose of communicating that type of information.
• All social media “posts” should be clear.

Usage of correctly notified channels

For the first point, this has implications on who can share the information. There should be one Twitter, Facebook, Google+, etc. account that will be in charge of disseminating the information, and a person who knows about the rules should control this.
The problem would arise when executives of the company misunderstand this ruling and start “Tweeting” or “posting” information in their personal accounts (which have not been notified to the public as a channel used for the purpose of communicating that information). IR, PR, Marketing and Legal departments should work together in order to decide who would be in charge of making these updates, getting this person or team up to date on all the new rulings, and train other members of the company on what they can and can’t share via Social Media platforms.

Social Media is about being brief, but be careful.

Social media is a great tool for conveying information because of two main aspects: it is real-time and concise. By disseminating information through social media, investors are always up to date and because of the nature of social media to be concise, they don’t have to read a lot in order to know the information.
This doesn’t come without a price, the real time nature of social media, means that there is no opportunity to “proof read”. If a mistake is made, the information is already out there and even if deleted shortly after, chances are someone has already seen it.
The conciseness of social media can also be a problem. For example the usage of twitter, limits the company to convey information in 140 characters, therefore in such a small piece of real state it might be difficult to convey a complete idea. A solution might be to separate the message in different tweets, but we have to also take into account that user will read and share these tweets separately. At the end of the day each tweet should convey an idea and not leave space for confusion. In terms of Blogs, a company might be interested in summarizing a press release, earnings call, etc. through this medium, if this is done we would advice to include a link to the complete document in order to avoid any confusion.

At the end of the day, the company needs to be sure that they are combining the benefits from social media while still being compliant with securities commission’s rules. We believe that with creative thinking and constant communication, any company can reap the benefits of using social media to convey information to investors.

IR.Social: Native or Web-based?

👤 🕔 April 19, 2013 0

When we started to design and develop the IR.Social app, among many other tough decisions we came across was deciding between native or the web-based apps. The only thing we had clear in our minds is that we wanted to have our app present in as many devices as possible and this meant being in as many platforms and stores as possible.

Both native and web-based methods would let us achieve this primary goal. But there were still a lot of pros and cons to consider.

In terms of going the HTML5 way, the biggest pro was that we were only going to need to maintain one single code base. Any changes we make wouldn’t require much, if any, rework for  Android and iOS.

In exchange there was a big con. HTML5 limited the use of the device features that we could use like memory and storage.

On the other hand, going the Native way would mean a lot more work coding. We would have to make different code bases from the start and maintenance would take longer.

But, we would get complete access to device features. Users would get smoother transitions. And the UI would be native to each platform resulting in a superior user experience.

We decided to go native. The IR.Social apps are all made using native languages and frameworks.

Each platform has its own look and feel and their own Human Interface Guide to maintain the experience. And we would be able to take advantage of all the great features provided by devices on each platform.

On Wednesday there was some news that supported our decision with facts. One of the most avid supporters of HTML5, LinkedIn, who created one of the best HTML5 apps available went native. They dropped their HTML5 framework.

They gave three reasons:

  1. Users were spending a lot of time in the app, which in turn made the app run out of memory.
  2. They wanted to get the overall flow smoother.
  3. Developers are developing libraries and tools for Native languages and not so many for HTML5.

Due to the nature of our app; these three errors would have also become problems for our app. Although it was more time and effort to go the native way, we are sure we made the right decision and we are sure our users would benefit from the better usability and user experience a native development achieves.

What does Social Media mean to Investor Relations

👤 🕔 April 17, 2013 0

Social media has been gaining influence over our daily lives. Twitter is the fastest source of breaking news. Facebook is the main hub of social activity for many people. And YouTube has turned into a video record of ordinary lives.

From a business point of view, social media impacts how we engage with the people that are interested in our company. Twitter aids us in propagating our thoughts and news. Facebook functions as an extension of our website where people can see what we are up to and swear allegiance to our cause. Social media is so important that followers and likes have become an important metric for many Internet marketing professionals.

But how about investor relations? Has social media impacted the way companies and investors interact? Until a couple of weeks ago, I would have thought that this was debatable. Information that was released to the social media platforms by publicly held companies was, most of the time, not up to date and important investors had already seen this information through press releases.  Social media hasn’t been as relevant as a news or other traditional investor engagement platforms.

That is about to change. On April 2nd 2013, after investigating a Facebook status from Netflix CEO’s stating that they had streamed 1 billion hours of video during the previous month, the SEC issued a report detailing that companies can now use social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook to disclose information. This is as long as the investors are alerted which platform and account these disclosures will come from.

This recommendation from the SEC will change the way investors relations will be performed especially for the junior companies. Now these companies won’t have to spend thousands of dollars publishing a press release every month, they will be able to keep press releases for really important matters.

For investors this is also a big change and I believe it is a change for the better. Investors will now have the opportunity to be more engaged with the company. The use of social media allows the investors and companies to create a more engaging, real time connection. Investors will be more up to date on what is going on in the company while the company will be able to be more transparent about its daily actions.

It will take some time before the full effect of social media entering in to investor relations, but I believe it is just a matter of time.

Introducing IR Social.

👤 🕔 April 12, 2013 0

Social Media has become a big part of business and with the SEC endorsing social media as a public disclosure channel it has also gain importance in the realm of Investor Relations. It is a good way of communicating with all those involved with the company internally and externally, from customers to investors to staff and contractors. Different social media sites allow us to communicate in different ways: YouTube for videos, Flicker for photos, Twitter for micro-blogging, Facebook for sharing, Blogger, WordPress and Tumblr for blogging.

Social media can be a great for businesses, but maintaining your accounts and keeping them all current is a hassle. It has gotten to a point of importance and intricacy that some companies are now hiring Social Media Managers whose only responsibility is to keep all these profiles up to date. Also applications like HootSuite have arise and have made it very easy to keep most of the social media sites up to date by allowing members of the social media team to post messages to different sites through a single interface without having to access all the different social media sites.

But what happens if a stakeholder wants to follow your company and all your social media? They will have to access each social media site to see the content and follow the company.

Mobile devices are now a great part of this social media culture. Most sites are now accessed more through mobile interfaces than through personal computers. OptimusMobility has come up with a solution to this problem; we call it IRSocial.

The application consolidates all the information your company publishes on different social media sites and displays them in the same interface. By integrating all of your social media profiles into one application your stakeholders will be able to see a more complete picture of what your business is about, it will allow you to showcase every little thing the company is doing and better connect stakeholders with the company.

Built in analytics help you understand more about your stakeholders, such as what type of device they are using, with what carrier, what are the most visited sections, where in the world they are located and even through what mediums they are sharing your information.

The application has a modular architecture letting you add or remove modules depending of what type of social media sites your business is using.

If you would like to know more about IR.Social, don’t hesitate on contacting us.

You can view an Optimus version of the Social App in HTML5, Android and iOS with Windows Phone support coming soon.