How efficiently DAX companies apply social media to financial reporting in Germany has been analyzed by FTI Consulting for the first time in this Social DAX Analysis using the communication of their annual results. It shows: As diverse as the composition of the German lead index is, so is its social media performance.
The digital dialogue with stakeholders continually provides communicators with new challenges - also in financial communications. 28 of the DAX 30 companies use social media channels (i.e. Twitter, LinkedIn, XING, Facebook) strategically for publishing their financial figures – with partly very different approaches. The social media tool used most frequently for communicating annual results is Twitter (87%), followed by LinkedIn and Facebook (63% each). XING, the German equivalent of LinkedIn, rated 37%. Only eight companies used all four channels for their financial reporting.
Allianz, adidas and Bayer take the top three places in our Social DAX ranking, being ranking most highly for a) volume of posts, b) quality of the content and c) reactions by followers. Allianz led the way by successfully embedding its corporate story in its posts, formulating clear key messages and preparing relevant content for different channels.
Financial statement press conferences and analysts’ conferences are particularly suitable for an integrated approach which attracts the attention of different communities – even beyond the capital market. Joy in experimenting, nonchalance and surfing on current social media trends such as “Mannequin Challenge“ can increase the scope of posts significantly and even achieve viral effects: examples include thyssenkrupp, adidas and Continental. Other enterprises also employ social media features skillfully, e.g. by using live webcasts, humorous teaser videos and smart graphics.
From a strategic perspective, the overwhelming majority of enterprises exhibited a high level of consistency in their core messages, e.g. in terms of future business targets. Operatively, however, we see room for improvement in dealing with social media. Content is often not adapted to the platform yet and social media rules are neglected. As an example: Hashtags were not consistently used in the posts analyzed by us, links were missing or wrong picture formats used.
All in all, the example of the publication of the 2016 annual results shows very well how strategically and yet also very diversely social media communication is integrated in the corporate communication of the DAX 30 enterprises.