The Social Media and IR Hype Cycle
17 October 2012
By Darrell Heaps
There is a general theory of technology adoption know as The Hype Cycle. To sum it up, the theory outlines the phases of adoption that most new technology goes through in any market.
If you’re a regular reader of Q4?s blog and whitepapers you know we’re big believers in the value and importance of using social media in investor relations. This year has been an interesting one for me personally, as I’ve had the opportunity to speak to hundreds of IR professionals across the country about social media and IR. Recently I’ve noticed some interesting things that are happening in investor relations that made me think of the hype cycle.
- Quite a few of IROs are generally positive about social media?s use for IR, but many have a ?wait and see? attitude
- Early adopters of social media for IR are in, laggards are not
- Adoption of social media use for IR is increasing but not as fast as earlier
This makes me think that we are somewhere between the Trough of Disillusionment and the Slope of Enlightenment in the Hype Cycle.?So what does this mean?
As social media has become a part of the web it’s now evolved as part of regular communication with key audiences.
So as much as communication is a part of IR, so is social media. If your company does not put a lot of emphasis on refining key messages and effectively communicating those messages to your key stakeholders, chances are your company doesn’t see the value in using social media for IR. Similarly, if you believe in honing messages and being fully transparent with your stakeholders, then you are probably open to using social media.
This is key, because social media is a communication tool. Not an objective. From the work we do in the market we see for many companies social is now a part of the communication mix and always will be. For others, it’s not a fit yet, but will become an ever-important component as we move to the Plateau of Productivity.
Where do you think social IR is in the Hype Cycle?