Even Facebook Isn't Using Facebook To Communicate With Investors

You know those old chestnuts: Accountants never get around to doing their own taxes. Advertising agencies don’t advertise. Plumbers have leaky pipes. And now, there’s Facebook, the No. 1 social media platform in the Western world. For obvious reasons, the company doesn’t use competitor channels like LinkedIn and Twitter. But according to a recent study by Investis, Facebook execs also fail to use their own channel well. “Facebook's investor relations page fell well short of best practice,” says the press release, “For example, it does not use videos or hashtags and it does not appear to have responded to any of the posts left by users.”

This lack of engagement resulted in Facebook being ranked 242nd out of 500 major companies in its use of social media for corporate communications -- which, given its core service offering, is even more ironic than Apple’s dismal 416th-place finish.



So I had a look at the Facebook investor relations page. Turns out “best practice” seems to be the least of its problems.

I wasn’t sure whether the page was a joke. It got just over 4,000 likes. Four thousand. Its posts get two likes, four, maybe eight. There are comments like this one from Ysis Grossi, posted to an uncaptioned Facebook investor relations logo: “I am desperate because it excludes some messages from my Gmail and want to recover them, mainly because I need some of these messages… urgent help me recover?” Or Anil Kumar who, Hodor-style, just posts his own name.

It couldn’t be more obvious that this is not a serious channel for Facebook -- which can’t help but make you wonder two things. The first is why the company bothers maintaining the page at all. The second is whether its strategists know something we don’t about how people engage on the Facebook platform.

I have no answer for why Facebook bothers maintaining the page. On the one hand, it would be embarrassing to not have one if someone goes looking for it. On the other hand, it would hardly be more embarrassing than what searchers would currently find.

Maybe, like so many of us, Facebook strategists don’t think their page content is going to get seen. We’ve all heard organicreachisdeclining, right? But surely if the company wanted to treat the page seriously, Facebook could give itself a little algorithm bump?

Or let’s imagine that strategists are taking the moral high ground and treating their own Page exactly as they treat everyone else’s. Still, they’ve got around 2.8 billion shares outstanding; their shareholders must number in the hundreds of thousands, and those who care about investor activity will be significantly more than that. Between a small amount of organic reach and a little bit of Boosting, Facebook should be able to find the folks they’re looking for.

Or maybe -- just maybe -- investors don’t actually care about the Facebook investor relations page. After all, the company’s share price has tripled in the past two years. Surely that’s what shareholders care about, not whether the corporate social media team is appropriately using hashtags?

The Investis release seems to suggest that Facebook should up its game, saying, “corporate content is an important driver of social media engagement, even on accounts that are primarily used for marketing purposes. Companies also attract significantly more followers and receive more and better interaction if they reply to user comments, post regularly and vary the content of their posts.”

To me, though, Facebook isn’t the one that needs to improve here. The audience for its investor relations page just isn’t interested. And the appropriate response to that is not to force the company to up its game. How many other companies do you know that are willing to let it go at that?

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