My research is continuing in the area of corporations communicating with shareholders through social media. My next major oil and gas company that deals with shareholders and corporations using social media is Shell. I have hit on most of the major areas of corporations using social media with shareholders, but Shell adds a different element. Shell has a non-commercial blog that is aimed at making officials stand in compliance with Shell’s mission statement. Of course, the one major part of this is that Shell blogs a good amount about the financial end of the company. Shell also has a live news feed, and a webcast that can be accessed. This is a huge step, and a step above many of the other companies. From IR Web Report, using webcasts can allow for all types of shareholders to understand the financial information they are receiving. Blogging allows for feedback and two-way communication, which is what builds the relationships between the shareholders and the corporations.
It is very hard for companies to want to use social media as a means of communicating and disclosing information to its shareholders. From the case study Communicating Corporate Responsibility to Investors: The Changing Role of Investor Relations Function, the study helps to reiterate that companies need time to adjust to this new concept of releasing all financial information through the internet using social media. The financial problems that can occur by using social media place the companies in possible jeopardy. Shell has definitely taken a bigger leap into using social media with investors, and overtime the corporation will see the benefits of their actions.
Not only does Shell have a blog, Shell also has an investor section on their website that breaks down the online annual reports and all financial information. The down fall to this, like most corporate websites, is the lack of feedback as a function from the investors. Shell also has a Twitter and a Facebook. The Facebook page is a nice feature because it allows for multimedia to be used and for feedback, but many of the posts are not directed toward shareholders, and most the of language used on Shell’s Facebook page is not in English. Twitter is a big social media tool used by Shell to communicate with its shareholders. IR Web Report provides a chart that shows Twitter is the top used social media site by shareholders and corporations with Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube following. Twitter is a great tool for social media, but Shell does not link to their Twitter or Facebook page from their website which is a problem. There should not only be a link on the homepage of the website, but also in the investors’ page, considering financial information is posted on there.
Shell is definitely making headway past BP, Exxon, and Chevron with implementing the blog, but some work still needs to be done in connecting social media to their main site. If shareholders cannot find the social media, what is the point in using it to try to communicate with them?