Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Major Milestone for StockTwits, Investor Relations and Social Media

During yesterday's FedEx (FDX) earnings call, Investor Relations Director Mickey Foster said something remarkable:


"During our question-and-answer session, callers will be limited to one question in order to allow us to accommodate all those who would like to participate. If you are listening to the call through our live webcast, feel free to submit your questions via email or as a message on StockTwits.com. For example, please include your full name and contact information with your question and send it to ir@fedex.com address.

To send a question via StockTwits.com, please be sure to include the $FDX in the message. Preference will be given to enquiries of a long-term strategic nature."
Two important takeaways:

Until now, public companies encouraged earnings call participation by soliciting investor questions in a variety of ways -- from press releases to blog posts. By tapping the StockTwits community, FedEx signaled their willingness to include social media platforms in that group, too.

Investor relations pros should take note of this development -- especially those representing small-cap public companies who typically struggle to attract earnings call participation. Social media offers public companies endless opportunities to gain investor attention. Even large-cap public companies like FedEx have taken note.

The second important takeaway from Foster's earnings call intro is this comment: "preference will be given to enquiries of a long-term strategic nature".

Until now, StockTwits has been known as a largely "day-trading" community -- not exactly what public company IR directors are interested in. Foster's comment recognizes that while StockTwits may host day-traders there are a substantial number of long-term investors there, too -- with long-term strategic questions. Again, IR pros take note.

Disclosure: I focused on IR product development at Seeking Alpha. My posts can also be found at IR Web Report.

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