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Social Media Success in 2023 for Public Companies: Building a Loyal Community

Social media is like a crowded party, and everyone's there, but you can't hear what anyone says. So, how do you get people to pay attention to your public company?

As a marketing and social media professional working with small-cap public companies, I need to understand the changing trends and how they affect your business. Social media is a valuable tool for building brand awareness, engaging with investors, and sharing your corporate story with the capability of reaching a much larger audience.

However, with the over-saturation of social media accounts, there is now a much larger supply than demand, making it challenging to stand out from the crowd. Although the number of social media users is still increasing year over year, the oversupply of content has resulted in a social media redirection of the user's attention. Many people strive to consume less daily and only follow accounts that add value to their lives.

Building a Loyal Community of Engaged Followers

This over-saturation is the primary driver of the most significant new social media trend: Building a loyal community of engaged followers! This is good news because your business can thrive in a social media recession with a smaller community if you nurture it properly.

The focus should be on creating honest, educational, valuable, relatable, and entertaining content. Social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Youtube, and LinkedIn are great places to showcase behind-the-scenes glimpses of the company, highlight team members, and share press releases and stories that connect with the audience.

Transparency is always critical with public companies, but authenticity is equally important. A growing trend in the investment community is a desire to connect with the business and who runs it. Investors are more likely to convert to shareholders if they trust they will be part of a genuine and authentic team.

Email Marketing - The Most Effective and Underutilized Tool

Email Marketing an underutilized tool
E-Mail Marketing

The next critical trend is email marketing. Yes, you heard me right! Email marketing may sound like something we did in the '90s but hear me out. It's still the most effective marketing tool available and by far the most underutilized! "Email marketing remains a powerful and effective tool for businesses of all sizes. Email marketing revenue should reach an estimated $11 billion worldwide by 2023. The rise of social media and digital marketing channels may be tempting, but email marketing is still important." – according to Statista December 2022

Email marketing is a powerful tool that allows you to engage with your target audience, which has voluntarily provided their contact information. These leads are precious and should be handled with utmost care! Public companies can use targeted and automated email campaigns to broadcast company development, run polls, invite their audience to events, highlight management, and redistribute press releases. Email marketing allows businesses to direct their messages to specific groups based on demographics, investor vs. shareholder, or retail vs. accredited investor, to name a few.

Hiring Effectively for Social Media and Marketing Initiatives

Smaller companies sometimes lack the resources to hire full-time employees for every role. Thinking out-the-box and effectively breaking down the economics can help find the right professional for the specific task. Be open to hiring someone part-time, on a contract,

or even on a project basis. By doing so, small-cap public companies can effectively create engaging social media content, build their brand, and ultimately drive more investors to their company cost-effectively.

Social media and advertising rules in Canada and the United States

In Canada, the regulatory body that oversees social media and advertising practices by public companies is the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA). The CSA's guidance on social media is outlined in CSA Staff Notice 51-348 for social media and CSA Staff Notice 51-336, for advertising and marketing.

The SEC issued a report in 2013 on the use of social media for corporate disclosure. The report outlines the SEC's view on how public companies can use social media channels to comply with Regulation Fair Disclosure (Regulation FD) and other federal securities laws. This guidance requires companies to ensure that their social media communications comply with all applicable rules and regulations, including those related to anti-fraud and fair disclosure.

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) also has rules related to advertising and marketing materials for securities offerings. These rules require firms to ensure that all marketing materials are fair, balanced, and not misleading.

Canada and the United States require public companies to make timely and accurate disclosures through social media and advertising channels. However, there are differences in the types of information that need to be disclosed and the timing of those disclosures. Regarding marketing and advertising restrictions, both countries prohibit public companies from making misleading or false statements, but there may also be differences in the specific guidelines. While there are similarities between the social media and advertising rules in Canada and the United States, public companies need to be aware of the particular regulations and guidelines that apply in each country to ensure compliance and avoid potential regulatory issues.

In conclusion, in today's oversaturated social media landscape, public companies must focus on building a loyal community of engaged followers. Authenticity and transparency are essential; email marketing is a highly effective but underutilized tool. Smaller companies can hire professionals on a part-time or project basis to effectively create engaging social media content. Public companies in Canada and the United States must also comply with social media and advertising rules and regulations. Public companies can thrive and achieve their online marketing goals by shifting the focus from quantity to quality and nurturing a loyal community.

To build your social media presence, SIGN UP NOW and get instant access to our 14-page e-book "CRACKING THE CODE: A Social Media Roadmap for Small Cap Public Companies."


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