Apr 4, 2012
With the formalization of my relationship with Stocktwits.com yesterday I spent a lot of my time fielding questions centered on how it can benefit Vietnam's capital markets. As I answered these it became clear that while I am comfortable with the potential some in the industry are not familiar with it yet.
For the uninitiated, the idea of Twitter or LinkedIn sounds like just another way to broadcast, "Hey! Buy my product!" But, social media is more powerful than print or television advertising because it is more targeted and creates conversations. Those who think of it like a magazine ad or TV spot are missing the point.
How We Build Networks by Hand
We all understand the power of our contact lists because it is how we can maintain current business and cultivate personal relationships that will yield new opportunities.
But, business growth does not just come from an expanded relationship with an existing client. The bulk of it comes from signing up fresh ones. So, while your existing clients are great, friends of your clients are where your opportunities lie. Stocktwits inverts the time intensive beating the bushes and pushes the same information to hundreds of people at once.
Letting the Network Build Itself
Enter social media. By creating valuable content and sharing it with a group you know may be interested you are selecting what you are proud to be associated with; offering it not only to your existing client base but, potentially to their clients as well: quickly, easily and without fluff. What that does is the following:
- Creates enormous value with an informative tweet or blog that can leverage a small base audience.
- Frees your time to create information not spending it figuring out how to distribute it.
- Builds a rapport with your followers (and anyone else listening) with a constant stream of little observations.
- Finds out what is important to your audience based on what content they react to so you can target that more.
- Opens up the opportunity to find people you could have never met through your normal business connections.
- Filter up to you the people that are most interested in what you have to offer building your base network.
Networks on Top of Networks
Stocktwits.com takes this reality further. By integrating with both social media like Twitter and traditional media like Bloomberg there is now the opportunity for Bloomberg's media division to become a personal contact; letting them push your content to an entirely different audience.
So, my admittedly small readership and contact list of hundreds of people can now be multiplied through Stocktwits' 150,000 users to a potential audience of more than 40 million people through the following media outlets:
- Yahoo Finance
- Bing Finance
- MSN Money
- CNN Money
- The Globe and Mail
Now, 40 million people are not looking to invest in Vietnam but this partnership creates the opportunity to find a large share of those that do, slipping me into their network and them into mine.
Not only can I work with international brokers anywhere in the world, I can speak with people interested in Vietnam through them creating a direct connection to the person. This is a big comparative advantage for a small enterprise like mine. Stocktwits gives me the ability to find those people for very little cost.
The Value Proposition for Southeast Asia
My personal belief is that Vietnam's story is not being told to the investment world and that investors are not giving Vietnam the right feedback on what they want produced. To my mind, this is the first such partnership in all of Vietnam to attempt building that bridge. This is proven by the additional new traffic here at AlphaVN I've seen from the world over.
So, it all comes full circle. Having something of value to say is fantastic, but lacking means to share it with people who will act on it ensures it will have zero impact on the market. Given the poor quality of financial communications here in Vietnam, which I've discussed before, improving both its quality and flow breaks the cycle of under investment in both the equities and the sell-side analysis.
I had multiple conversations with people on the buy-side yesterday who saw the potential for this as an investor relations tool as well as a way to coordinate capital raising events by communicating directly with investors and soliciting their feedback. Stocktwits already has an Investor Relations division where earnings calls are now 'live-messaged' and press releases are automatically sent out to all the major media outlets as well as individual investors with the ability to monitor how effective the communication is. Simplifying the process of keeping in touch with their investors. It is this real-time feedback that will help to shape the direction of capital flows in the future.