Now that we have considered the information I have found from researching BP, Exxon, Chevron, and Shell, I have come across a gas and oil company website that hardly incorporates any social media. Sunoco has a strong shareholder tab on its main website that allows investors to retrieve financial information like online annual reports. This is the extent of Sunoco’s social media use with its shareholders though. How does this seem possible? With today’s technology, and the ability for a company to be somewhat technological savvy with its shareholders, Sunoco is being ignorant to the changing times of corporations using social media.
With Twitter and Facebook sweeping the nation, how does a company build credibility without giving in to at least one of the two of these? From the article A Descriptive Account of the Investor Relations Profession, in order to build strong relationships with shareholders companies must allow for two-way communication. Using social media that provides the financial information to shareholders, and allowing the shareholders to provide feedback is what allows for trust in the company from the shareholder. Sunoco is failing miserably at being transparent for the shareholder. Providing financial information through social media online can be dangerous for a company, but not providing financial information through social media is even more dangerous because you lack transparency and opportunities to build trust.
Sunoco is showing the complete opposite of my last posts on corporations using social media to communicate with its shareholders. IR Web Report shows that some companies are not willing to use social media with shareholders. Though many companies have “jumped on the bandwagon”, many companies are also still too hesitant and unwilling. As a college student, and the fact that I have grown up using social media as a tool to communicate, I think it is completely foolish for companies to resist using social media with shareholders. Since the SEC has ruled for making all financial information public information, corporations are now just being ignorant to the change in communication. Companies like Sunoco who are hesitant to use social media to communicate financial information should look into StockTwits. StockTwits is a website like Twitter that is used by shareholders and corporations to discuss financial information in a more controlled setting. This would at least be a start for the company.
Through the research I have conducted I have found some great corporations who are strongly, yet slowly, jumping into using social media to communicate with their shareholders. We have now also seen with Sunoco the opposite effect of a company being ignorant. Sunoco should start “jumping on the bandwagon” before the company gets pushed out due to social ignorance.