Twitter seems to be sweeping the nation in corporations as a strong social media tool. Blogging is something I think all companies need to be taking part in. Like BP, Exxon uses Twitter to communicate information, but Exxon also uses a blog, ExxonMobil’s Perspective’s. Of course, there is every category on the blog that every possible person who is interested in Exxon would like to know about the company except for shareholders. Financial information is not given out on their blog or twitter, shocking! Not at all, every company I have been researching so far has disappointed me on their lack of communicating with shareholders via social media. I will give Exxon a thumbs up by allowing shareholders to receive email alerts with the newest financial information from their website Exxon.com. Exxon is taking steps in the right direction in getting information to their shareholders, but email alerts are not good enough. Email alerts do not allow the shareholders to respond and have input which is what builds the relationships with the shareholders. Also, Exxon only has a fan page on Facebook, not even a Facebook page to find out information. It is important to have a facebook page because it allows multiple levels of social media communication. IR Web Report agrees that having multiple levels of social media in one web page really helps the corporations image, and Exxon needs to make a Facebook. Compared to BP though, Exxon has “jumped on the bandwagon” as I continue to put it, with at least having a corporate blog and email alerts for their shareholders.
I understand Exxon being a little hesitant to use social media, like BP, Exxon was subject to a fake twitter account was made in their name and the account caused some commotion, but damage was minimal if nothing. If companies choose to not use social media with shareholders because of possible risks, well then they should probably think of the risks they take every day and the possible consequences with those because everything could have a possible bad ending. Nothing in life is a given, and you can either try to play it safe with everything and not get anywhere in the corporate world, or corporations like Exxon can continue to be persistent and partake in social media use to build relationships. By ignoring the idea of using social media, you can start slowly saying goodbye to your shareholders.
Now, as I am blogging about the importance of using social media to build relationships with shareholders, I am not trying to say that this should be the main way corporations communicate with their shareholders. I am stating that this should be used in congruence with all other ways of releasing financial information in order to give shareholders a voice. Giving somebody a voice and allowing them to have an opinion is one of the strongest ways to build trust. Studies done by Aeron Davis on how social media impacts shareholder relationships has shown that using social media as another way to communicate with shareholders can have strong outcomes for the company in the long run. Exxon has clearly given thought to this with even just starting a blog. Now, Exxon just needs to start tailoring some of their blogs to talking about the financial ends. If you can have a section for everybody else and every other department, it’s about time Exxon has a section for one of the most important aspects to the corporation, the financial aspect.