How To Use Social Media For Earnings

Our portfolio companies are nowhere near having to worry too much about SEC guidelines when it comes to earnings announcements.  But many of them use social media quite effectively to build their business and engage their customers.  LinkedIN is a “social media” company and recently on Quora, they published a guideline to using social media when reporting your companies earnings.  We have cut and pasted it here for you.  Note, you still have to do a press release and investor relations online just like you always did.  Plus, the traditional methods have to be done first.  

One interesting thing to watch will be if any executives of a company begin live tweeting during a call.  What an interesting way to engage analysts! LinkedIN does do live twitter updates during their call, and there is a link to their twitter page below.

Mario SundarLinkedIn’s social media guy, since 2007

Here’s a quick cheat sheet on how companies can approach this using 5 social media channels. 

Here’s what we did during LinkedIn’s first earnings announcement (Aug 4, 2011) and why. 

  1. The LinkedIn Blog (http://blog.linkedin.com/2011/08…) – post from the CFO (don’t forget to add a safe harbor statement as a footnote to the post)
  2. LinkedIn’s Twitter Page (http://twitter.com/#!/search/%24…) – real time updates during the earning call
  3. LinkedIn’s Company Page (http://www.linkedin.com/company/…) – we updated the company page with a link to our twitter page @linkedin, since we didn’t want too many live tweets cluttering it


In addition, specific to the earnings call – I found the following two channels helpful. Here’s why:

  1. LinkedIn’s Slideshare Page (http://www.slideshare.net/linkedin) Sharing earnings slides is a huge chore on investor sites. Make it easy for your customers and investors to find it by uploading to slideshare and embedding that in your blog post (again; don’t forget the safe harbor statement)
  2. LinkedIn’s StockTwits Page (http://stocktwits.com/symbol/LNKD) If you choose to live tweet during earnings call, adding a disclaimer saves you from trouble with the regulatory authorities. Stocktwits premium functionality lets you do just that.


Hope this helps.

Note: This social media approach is in addition to your press release and investor relations site that are mandatory. Also, they’d have to go live before your social media strategy kicks in. There are strict regulations around this. 

So, please talk to your legal team so you can get all your ducks in a row. This answer is specific to social media only, per the question.

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