Twitter announced that it's going public in a most appropriate forum: Twitter. Earlier today, the microblogging platform tweeted: "We’ve confidentially submitted an S-1 to the SEC for a planned IPO. This tweet does not constitute an offer of any securities for sale."
The tweet announcing that Twitter was planning an initial public offering was so effective in gaining media attention that rumors soon spread that Russian president Vladimir Putin had placed an angry call to his PR agency, demanding to know why his New York Times op-ed of this week hadn't been published as a series of several hundred consecutive tweets instead of as a long narrative piece in the wheezing Gray Lady.
But back to Twitter: Sharing big financial news via social networks is certainly enticing, as it can stroke investor excitement with the surging power of a Miley Cyrus twerk. But where there's titillation and feverish glimpses of glory, there's also the potential for danger and ruination, particularly where investors, FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (or any type of regulatory body) are concerned.
Tim Kane, EVP of digital branding for Makovsky Integrated Communications, offers a three-step strategy to stay on the good side of FINRA/SEC when communicating financial news via social channels:
1. Pre-review: All social media content related to financial communications must be pre-reviewed by legal. Analyze and moderate all static content before it's posted.
2. Archive: Retain interactive content in an easily discoverable form. Content used for real-time communication must be captured, retained, archived and post-reviewed. Examples: tweets, comments, responses.
3. Monitor: Scan posts in real time to detect exceptions.
Kane recommends that companies should not fear Twitter when communicating financial news, pointing out that 73% of people with financial assets of $5 million or more are using social media, and that 52% of investors want to interact with their financial advisers via social media.
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