October 13, 2015 By FTI Consulting
In September 2015, FTI evaluated the performance of ASX 100 companies on their use of social media to report financial results during the reporting season. Our research covered company performance on two social media networks relevant to corporate communications – Twitter and LinkedIn.
Download the full report: A Social Divide 2015 (PDF 375kb)
Or view it on Slideshare below:
FTI Consulting’s Index ranking – The research evaluated three components of results-related social media presence such as volume, quality and impact. Scores were given for each component, which in turn generated an aggregate score. Based on our analysis, the top 20 companies using social media for financial reporting for August 2015 were:
1 – Wesfarmers Limited
2 – BHP Billiton Limited
3 – Rio Tinto Limited
4 – Lend Lease Group
5 – QBE Insurance Group Limited
6 – Telstra Corporation Limited
7 – GPT Group
8 – Aurizon Holdings Limited
9 – Fortescue Metals Group Ltd
10 = Treasury Wine Estates Limited
10 = Downer EDI Limited
12 – Stockland Corporation Ltd
13 – Goodman Group
14 – Amcor Limited
15 – Cochlear Limited
16 – Origin Energy Limited
17 – Oil Search Limited
18 – Perpetual Limited
19 = AGL Energy Limited
19 = Cimic Group Limited
19 = Qantas Airways Limited
Related coverage: FTI Consulting Managing Director, Robert Skeffington, writes in The Australian that social media is playing a greater role in the interaction between companies and their investors. Companies are getting more confident in using social media as a key communication tool for financial reporting.
Can investors afford to ignore social media any longer? (Paid subscription – The Australian)
Our research shows that 72 companies in the ASX 100 have a Twitter account – but only 34 of them tweeted their financial results.
There were 189 results related tweets posted over the August results season and these tweets provided an additional channel to develop the company narrative and to highlight the success of the company.
Many of the companies tweeted effectively using:
FTI Consulting found that 82 companies have a LinkedIn account but only 39 of them posted their financial results.
The engagement level on LinkedIn is higher that Twitter because every single result related post has received ‘likes’ and 21 companies received ‘comments’ on their posts. There were three companies that posted three times and one company that posted 18 times, and this has increased the visibility of their results.
In comparison, on the FTSE 250, 175 companies didn’t share their latest full or half year results on Twitter or LinkedIn.
FTSE 100 companies are better at leveraging social media, with 93% of companies active on Twitter and/or LinkedIn versus 65% of FTSE 250 companies.
Ahead of the results day, distil the key messages into tweets and posts, compile and organise all relevant content, and sign-off everything that will be published online. In addition, offer a variation in the way you tell your story and it will ensure that your messages have the best chance of being heard. Here are some great examples of companies in the ASX 100 that used different tools and techniques:
Images, Infographics and GIFs
Goodman group highlighted their headline figures and key performance measures in an infographic. This is an effective way to display complex number-led information in an eye-catching way.
— Goodman Group (@Goodman_Group) August 13, 2015
Lend Lease were creative in showing the comparison over the past three financial years in a bar graph. This is a great way of demonstrating the success and growth of the company.
— Lendlease (@LendLeaseGroup) August 23, 2015
BHP Billiton made an announcement with an invitation to join the webcast with a stock photo of their workers.
— BHP Billiton (@bhpbilliton) August 25, 2015
New Twitter feature: Pinned Tweet
REA Group tweeted their results and created it as a ‘pinned tweet’. This allows the tweet to not be constrained to time limits. It is labeled as “promoted” at the top of a user’s profile and is always displayed. The Twitter pinned tweet feature is located inside a user’s analytics page, making for easy use of the system.
More choice for customers & exceptional consumer experience boost revenue by 20% in FY2015. Full details at http://t.co/WbvQIxfqEe
— REA_Group (@REA_Group) August 12, 2015
New application: Periscope
Using a live stream service like Periscope will expand the reach of your announcement by giving your online audience access to the event. Periscope can also humanise your brand by adding a face and personality to the announcements.
Both Telstra and QBE made use of this new technology when announcing their financial results. Periscope is an app that allows you to post live streaming video footage direct to Twitter.
— Telstra_news (@Telstra_news) August 13, 2015
— QBE (@QBE) August 17, 2015
Mentioning a senior executive or other relevant stakeholders can be valuable particularly if they have an active and influential social presence.
Caresales.com.au mentioned their Chief Executive Officer Greg Roebuck and the host of Money News on 2GB in Sydney Ross Greenwood.
— carsales.com.au (@carsalescomau) August 12, 2015
Rio Tinto had a high engagement level on most of their tweets. This is an example of one tweet that highlighted not only their results but the pipeline of exceptional near-term projects, as they quoted their Chief Executive Officer Sam Walsh.
— Rio Tinto (@RioTinto) August 6, 2015
Qantas only tweeted once but their news was engaging with 25 retweets and 29 favourites which is the highest interaction we have found.
— Qantas (@Qantas) August 19, 2015