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SOCIAL MEDIA: Listed Firms Fail to Engage with Stakeholders on Social Media

 





Recent Gauteng Business News

South African listed companies are failing to take advantage of digital communication channels to directly engage with their stakeholders, according to research released today by FTI Consulting

According to the research,

· Only 25% of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange’s(JSE) top 40 companies by market capitalisation are using Twitter to share financial results;

· 42% of the JSE top 40 don’t use Twitter at all; and

· South Africa’s listed companies lag behind their UK counterparts, of whom more than half (52%) use Twitter to share their financial results.

Max Gebhardt, Managing Director and South Africa Head in the Strategic Communications segment of FTI Consulting, said, “At a time when investors say they find digital communication more insightful and more motivating than traditional communications,South African firms aren’t adapting to and using contemporary communication channels to speak to their stakeholders.“There is also very little uptake by South African corporates in using other digital media platforms such

as LinkedIn, Facebook and YouTube with which to bring their corporate stories to life. They are, as a result,losing share of voice and their communications remain analogue in a digital world,” Gebhardt added. According to the South Africa Social Media Landscape 2014 research study, by World Wide Worx and

Fuseware, Twitter saw the highest percentage growth among the major social networks, from 2.4 million to 5.5 million, showing 129% growth in 12 months.

The research released recently by FTI Consulting shows that the best JSE users of Twitter also employ variety of social media platforms to communicate information directly to stakeholders regarding their financial and corporate performance. minority use hashtags effectively when communicating their

financial results to provide context to the numbers. However, many JSE companies that have a Twitter handle are not using it to its full potential.

“Our research found that the majority of those companies that do have a Twitter handle use the social media platform merely as a distribution network, tweeting links to a static, text - heavy press release on their websites. These companies are failing to appreciate that Twitter is not a medium for distributing press releases, but a platform to engage in discussions,” Gebhardt continued.

According to the research, the JSE companies that use Twitter the most to share financial results are:

· Anglo American ZA
· Exxaro Resources
· Intu Group
· Anglo American
· Discovery
· SABMiller
· Growthpoint
· Bidvest
· Investec
· Mediclinic
· Naspers
· Sanlam

“This new form of communication presents a whole different set of challenges and opportunities for a business, but it can’t be ignored. Customers use it. Investors use it. Employees use it. Potential new employees use it. Journalists use it. And there’s a good chance that some or all of these stakeholder groups are using social media to discuss your business. The ability to engage in these discussions is becoming increasingly important for the business community,” Gebhardt concluded

 
 
 
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