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How your firm’s Tweets affect its value — both temporarily and permanently

Firm-generated tweets induce both permanent and temporary price impacts, which are linked to the tweet attributes of valence (i.e., positive and negative sentiment) and subject matter (i.e., consumer and competitor orientation).

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Photo by Souvik Banerjee from Unsplash.com

Researchers from University of Edinburgh and University of Maryland published a new paper in the Journal of Marketing that examines the impact of firm-generated social media content on firm stock price in real time.

The study, forthcoming in the Journal of Marketing, is titled “Measuring the Real-Time Stock Market Impact of Firm-Generated Content” and is authored by Ewelina Lacka, D. Eric Boyd, Gbenga Ibikunle, and P.K. Kannan.

Firms increasingly follow an ‘always on’ approach to social media marketing and post social media content multiple times during a day. For example, 92% of firms use their Twitter accounts more than once a day, with 42% of those tweeting 1 – 5 times a day and 19% tweeting 6 – 10 times a day. Although marketing managers engage heavily with this contemporary marketing practice, they are unable to demonstrate its immediate contribution to firm’s financial outcomes. 
 
This new research uses a combination of tweets disseminated by a sample of S&P 500 IT firms and ultra-high frequency trading data to examine the impact of firm-generated social media content on firm stock price in real time. The price impact estimation approach exploits the variance of sub-second level changes in stock price to capture the temporary and permanent stock price impacts of firm-generated tweets. Firms should aim for their firm-generated content to induce permanent price impact because it reflects information about the value of their firm. Temporary price impact can increase transaction costs for investors and the cost of capital acquisition for firms themselves because it reflects uncertainty about firm value. One could say, therefore, that permanent price impact is positive, while temporary price impact is undesirable, and potentially negative, especially if it leads to a higher firm cost of capital.

The researchers find that firm-generated tweets induce both permanent and temporary price impacts, which are linked to the tweet attributes of valence (i.e., positive and negative sentiment) and subject matter (i.e., consumer and competitor orientation).

Tweets reflecting negative or positive valence are consistently linked with a reduction in permanent price impact and an increase in temporary price impact as measured by the variance in stock price. Similar findings are obtained for tweets that only reflect a consumer or competitor orientation, although the impacts are smaller. Thus, both findings indicate that tweets reflecting only valence (positive or negative) or subject matter (consumer or competitor orientation) are associated with an increase in temporary price impact and a decrease in permanent price impact.

“Our results show the importance of interaction effects between tweet valence and subject matter in generating permanent price impact. The average negative and positive valence tweet when viewed through the lens of consumer or competitor orientation generates a permanent price impact, while a competitor-oriented tweet with a negative valence is likely to have the highest permanent price impact,” explains Lacka. From the perspectives of marketing practice and intraday social media marketing strategy design, this is a crucial finding because valence as a singular attribute is associated with decreasing permanent price impact. 
 
Boyd says “The implications of our study are clear. Investors in financial markets pay attention to firm-generated social media content and their ability to act on information at sub-second levels allows for instantaneous incorporation of social media content.” This is possible because of a new non-human breed of investor that now make most trade-by-trade decisions in financial markets—the so-called algorithmic traders or ‘algos.’ Algos scour many sources, including firms’ social media content such as tweets, for any indication of firm relevant information and act on it, often all within milliseconds. 
 
Marketing managers need to be aware of this when designing social media posts and campaigns. When social media posts contain what could be referred as “partial information” (i.e., only valence or subject matter), they lack the context that allows investors to make inferences about firm value. However, when, for example, tweet valence is set in the context of a specific subject (e.g., customer or competitor), it, on average, offers valid information that can be acted on by investors. “Our study shows that by carefully incorporating attributes, such as valence and subject matter, marketing managers can design social media content to generate varying degrees of permanent or temporary impact,” Ibikunle points out. 

In conclusion, these results suggest that firms should reflect valence and subject matter in their tweets if their aim is to improve the informativeness of their stocks with respect to firm value.

Kannan says that “By using permanent price impact as a metric to evaluate the long-term impact of tweets, social media managers can design campaigns that have an enduring impact on firm stock price, which should be a desirable outcome for firms.”

Not all intraday tweets will, nor should they, induce permanent impact on a firm’s stock price. Some tweets are aimed at the creation of social media ‘buzz,’ which is similar to the temporary price impacts we examine in this study. Firms can achieve social media ‘buzz’ by disseminating tweets as we show that tweets, in general, mostly generate temporary price impacts. The researchers urge caution, however, because temporary price impacts are linked to larger transaction costs for investors and cost of capital for firms.

Strategies

5 Tips for small business owners to help grow their business online

Choosing and registering a domain name for your business that’s memorable is increasingly important in an expanding digital marketplace, as it helps to shape your online business identity.

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Small businesses are embracing digitalization and catering to their customer needs through a variety of online channels. With new technologies emerging such as artificial intelligence, there is no time like the present to help your small business grow by taking advantage of the online world.

A GoDaddy 2023 global survey examined the status of small businesses including their ways to reach customers and survive in highly competitive markets. APAC countries surveyed, including Philippines, Singapore and Thailand, showed use of a business website, online store, ecommerce or a combination of them ranking at 57% of survey respondents. These results support having a strong online presence with multiple complementary channels can be vital for businesses to thrive and grow in today’s competitive digital environments.

With this in mind, GoDaddy shares five tips to help your small business grow with an online presence.

1. It starts with a domain name

When getting started, check availability of domain names for the desired name. A domain name can be considered a business’ piece of real estate and identity on the internet. It is a way for customers to easily find a business online.

Choosing and registering a domain name for your business that’s memorable is increasingly important in an expanding digital marketplace, as it helps to shape your online business identity. If the .com extension is not available, there are many new extensions available, such as: .shop; .co.; .photography; .tech, to name a few, for you to consider which can help define your business.  After choosing a domain name register it with a reliable hosting provider right away.

2. Build a website 

Websites help create visibility for small businesses and acts as a home base for your business on the internet, even if you have a brick-and-mortar store.  A website can help consumers easily find your business, learn about your product offerings and services, and contact you for more information.

A well-designed professional looking website can offer an engaging customer experience with the use of text along with photo images and video.  Having a website gives you control over the messaging about your business and can serve as a hub by linking with your social media channels.

3. Listen to your customers

The growth of your business is directly related to customer satisfaction. Listen to your customers and pay attention to the needs of your target market. Identify their problems and pain points. How can your offerings act as a solution? Is it possible to develop new products to help solve these problems?  Engage for customer feedback and keep an eye on customer behaviour changes and audience interests.

4. Develop a business support system

By developing a strong business support system, entrepreneurs can benefit from new ideas on ways to address a particular issue or ideas for growth. In addition to close family and friends, consider mentors and business coaches who can provide relevant insights into your business.

5. Review your business plan

Many entrepreneurs make a business plan at the beginning of their business journey, but do not take the time to revisit it from time-to-time. So, analysing aspects of that business plan like target audience and competitors, examining cash flows and what can make the business profitable, while also checking timelines to reach business goals is all equally essential to help ensure continued growth of your business.

For more information on how GoDaddy can help your small business: Domain Names, Websites, Hosting & Online Marketing Tools – GoDaddy PH.

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BizNews

Sticking with old technology can be a strategic move

As competitors adopt new technology in some markets, firms that stick with the old technology may experience an initial decline before actually rebounding and even reaching new heights.

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Technological innovation — especially disruptive innovation — is often heralded as the best strategy for a company. But new research published in Strategic Management Journal found that as competitors adopt new technology in some markets, firms that stick with the old technology may experience an initial decline before actually rebounding and even reaching new heights. While the rise of a discontinuous technology does pose a substitute threat to the old technology, it also further exposes niche segments where companies can gain a foothold with customers who favor the old technology.

The analysis by Xu Li, a professor at the London School of Economics and Political Science, used archival data from the traditional Chinese medicine industry in China during the 1990s. In his interviews with managers in the field, he found that some chose not to innovate along with their competitors. In many cases, Li found these companies were performing well, if not sometimes better, by not making changes. Inspired by these conversations, Li chose to study under what conditions a firm may benefit from not innovating.

Li found some prior research on why companies would stick with older technology, but none explored why — during times of disruptive change in the market — sometimes firms are able to survive and even perform better within a small niche with old technology. What Li’s paper showed was that adhering to the old technology can, in some cases, be an effective strategy that ultimately improves firm performance.

The data showed a U-curve effect for traditional Chinese medicine firms that chose not to adopt new technology: The decline in performance began as a few competitors started launching a new technology, but later recovered and reached new heights as most competitors had adopted the new technology and exited the old technology market. But a lack of competition within the niche group of consumers who prefer older technology essentially gave these firms a monopoly within a smaller market as fewer competitors remained.

“Even though the new technology is often superior in terms of functionality, it doesn’t mean that every single customer or customer segment will be willing to move to the new technology,” Li says. “It’s important to understand what customers like about your product. We tend to assume that if a firm introduces something new, then customers must appreciate the new thing or the newness of the offering. But that’s not always true. The emergence of new technology can actually reveal people’s preference for something older.”

The research also refutes the idea that when the market is small, a company won’t perform better — but that depends on how many firms are still serving this niche. If only a few firms are left to serve this market, a company has far more power to charge higher prices among loyal customers with few other options.

“When you see a firm that is not actively innovating, we tend to believe the firm must be either incapable or is suffering — it’s always a bit of a negative tone,” Li says. “Sometimes staying with old technology might actually be a strategic choice, because by doing so it might also lead to better performance.”

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BizNews

Customers prefer text over video to provide service feedback

More people indicated they would likely leave written compliments or complaints about service on a restaurant-provided tablet powered by artificial intelligence. A video message option appeared to discourage leaving feedback.

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At a time when one viral video can damage a business, some companies are turning to their own commenting platforms rather than letting social media be the main outlet for customer feedback. Only one wrinkle: in this context, customers appear to prefer writing a message rather than leaving a video.

In a recent study, more participants indicated they would likely leave written compliments or complaints about service on a restaurant-provided tablet powered by artificial intelligence. A video message option appeared to discourage leaving feedback.

With more restaurants and hotels turning to AI to enhance their service, the findings indicate that methods that require “low self-disclosure” would work better, meaning ones that don’t require customers to provide very much identifiable information.

“Some restaurants and hotels actually ask customers to create video testimonials that they can share, but for general customers, it seems they feel more comfortable with low self-disclosure. This is probably because people still do not trust AI to that level,” said lead author Ruiying Cai, a researcher in Washington State University’s Carson College of Business.

With a lot of hype around AI technology, many people have misperceptions about what it can do, Cai pointed out, perhaps believing it is capable of a lot more than simply recording a message.

The study participants reported being concerned about what would be done with their information in all the scenarios, but this was heightened with the option to leave a video.

For the study, published in the International Journal of Hospitality Management, Cai and her colleagues presented different online scenarios to a total of 439 people. The participants were first asked to imagine a restaurant where they had either good or bad service. Then they reported how willing they were to give the server compliments, or complaints, with either text or video on an AI-enabled tablet.

The researchers found that the participants were more willing to give feedback using text, whether positive or negative.

The scenarios also had participants receiving a theoretical immediate or delayed reward to provide feedback, namely a 5% discount of their current meal or a future one. For complaints, the reward timing did not appear to make much difference, which the authors said was not surprising as people tend to be more highly motivated to complain than compliment.

For compliments, the researchers found an interesting connection: with more participants choosing the delayed reward over the immediate one. This may indicate that giving the compliment itself is its own reward as it makes the giver feel good, Cai said.

“It’s a good start to think about how to encourage customers to leave more compliments which could be very important for frontline employees. It could also be beneficial for the customers themselves,” she said.

Even complaints are important to encourage, Cai added. As her previous research suggests, restaurants and hotels should make it easier for customers to complain to them directly rather than go elsewhere to air their grievances.

“There have been episodes when customers were not afraid of posting angry videos on their own social media,” Cai said. “If restaurants and hotels can encourage customers to complain directly to them, then they may be able to recover and solve that service failure before it goes viral online.”

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