12Aug 2017

Social Media Today – If you’re not part of it, you will be left behind

Are today’s financial industry players paying attention to the revolution that is ongoing across the social media landscape today, being played out right in front their eyes?

Twitter, WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram and Viber to name a few, are the powerful tools of choice of today’s savvy punters. These platforms are used on a daily basis by investors to communicate with like minded people, usually beyond the public gaze.

Open up any investors android phone today and most will have the tools – app’s they need to join these groups IF they can gain access to them?

Whatsapp is awash with private chat groups, you better believe it when l say that groups of a 1,000 plus are talking 24/7 in the back ground, altering/fluctuating share prices, volume, market sentiment, driving their own agenda. This is the modern land scape and it is here to stay, in fact, l would say it looks to be gaining momentum with most city players unaware they are being undermined by the target audience they think are listening.

There is a landslide of change happening before our eyes, not too long ago most people would use bulletin boards to communicate and share information. Large financial websites had a monopoly on pushing out information and everything was set out like a bread trail for investors to follow. They monopolised the market place, controlled information flow, made a shed load of money in the process, that is all changing.

Today we see the new savvy investor in direct messaging with other like-minded people discussing all aspects of news. Private chat rooms on social media that have mid/high net worth investors openly talking about buying a percentage of companies before the markets, market maker even know it. This is easy to orchestrate, see when you have low market cap companies targeted by groups who buy, break cover and blitz social media with a coordinated message.

How many times have you watched the SP of company rising on fresh air? In the first instance we point the finger at market manipulation, it may be so but social media plays a part and this is what l am trying to highlight to the reader.

The power social media has today has been missed by most in today’s markets. I believe we will see a demographical change very soon with large over budgeted websites having to evaluate or perish.  Gone are the days when companies could pay outlets to publish their information they want to be put into the market place, sit back and job is done.

Retail Investors now have the power to open their own blogs, websites, investigate companies on the world web, directly contact brokers, MD, Directors etc. Go to private investors events to meet the very people they are investing in and talk in a relaxed environment. Then report back in private chat room’s and give an opinion that can’t be blocked, censored or controlled by a website.

A new phenomenon we are seeing today is private-retail investors organising events, shows for PI to attend. With companies, public relation, brokers to attend and retail their products in person to direct to the investors. A health market place is a choice and we are seeing a lot of that over the past couple of years. The wise are embracing change and adapting to the shift in the land scape, monopolizing the new outlets and reconising the benefits. We will see these independent outlets team-up with PR, broker’s, companies and gain more traction as the stronger ones establish themselves and fill the void that has allowed this growth.

Even the established UK Investors shows should pay attention, as they are seeing social media driving change to what retail – private investors want, and how they deliver it. As I said earlier, it’s a demographic wind of change and the wise should sit up and embrace it or they will fall by the wayside.

Andrew Bell discuss the pitfalls of social media today

Downside of social media

I have to stop here as all the above comes with a price tag and a big downside that very few will be aware of and could cost you your portfolio. For the new private investors coming into the market place, this is a minefield that will rob you of your hard earned cash. Fake news is the new buzz word but believe me when l say this is a true comment’ if it is too good to be true’ you have to ask the why? Think ‘agenda’ and then work from that thought mode. Sorry to be brutal but no one is your friend here when it comes to making or losing money, to make money, someone has to lose money, a simple equation, just market forces and a fact of life.

Let’s take Twitter as an example. Today you have individuals and organisations with multiple accounts. Sounds bizarre, why talk to yourself? One simple answer, they push a share, a website, their own agendas etc. Bots are the new kid on the block, you are not even interacting with a real person, soft wear controls the data being released, hence sites asking people who log on to use simple maths question or image recognition button.

FCA Unregulated accounts that tip shares, without redress it usually all ends in tears for private investors are the ones left holding the baby. Tweeters talking about a company as they are selling into the rise, yes social media is a good tool for greed.

Trolls that will attack anyone that calls them out, yet hide behind a keyboard because they can’t substantiate their claims. Family members, wife, the husband will never be aware of what they are doing and it will come as a shock if their IP address is tracked and they are exposed. The crazy thing today is that it is so easy to track those who don’t hide purposely hide their IP address, and the only people who go to them lenght are doing it for a reason.

Twitter has banned over 125,000 accounts in the last eight months according to data supplied, this explains the throwaway account capacity that is used for abuse on line etc.

The list goes on, but the wise should watch and learn who is knowledgeable, gives a balanced view, have been established online for a good length of time and will not disappear tomorrow.

On a positive note here is a snap shot of a single graph below that show the social reach of a single twitter account. Not the biggest or the smallest numbers yet this gives the reader an idea of what one single account hit rate on just one social media outlet. When you take into account share Talk use Audioboom, Itunes, FaceBook, Whatsapp, LinkedIn and other media news agencies that we use to deliver our message.

Now times this calculation above using 3- 5-10 account of like-minded people who interact, retweet the same message and you get an idea of the target audience they can reach. This is a powerful tool in the modern media today.

On a closing note, today we see the growth of LinkedIn, Instagram and the leap across with investors using these platforms to gain knowledge. Today we see listed companies opening accounts with others following. It’s a fluid changing landscape and if today’s players don’t keep up, they will be left behind for sure.

@ABMckinley 

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