Institutional Investors Value Social Media Content

“Using new media isn’t worth my time to derive even the 50th datapoint of incremental value.”

That was the consensus of institutional investors four years ago, according to Jason Golz of the Brunswick Group. But that’s not the view any longer, says Golz, citing global research that Brunswick conducted in late 2012.

Blogs and microblogs (Twitter in the United States) are very much a part of the institutional investor’s regular information diet today, the survey of 230 buy-side and 246 sell-side investors found.

As you can see in the screenshots excerpted from the SlideShare deck embedded at the bottom of this post, more than half of institutional investors (61% in the U.S.) have investigated an issue based on something they read on a blog. Almost one-quarter of investors have made an investment decision or recommendation based on something they initially sourced on a blog.

While blogs are the top digital channel relied upon, also note the big year-over-year gains in investors' use of Twitter.

And They're Contributing, Too

Reliance on digital media overall has been building since Brunswick conducted its first such survey in 2009. New this year is the finding that investors are not just consuming what they read on social sites—they are increasingly contributing.

I know that some of you work with colleagues who have dismissed the value of digital and social to professional investors. This work may help you bring them up to date.

Do your responsibilities include buying media to reach institutional investors? Your own eyes might be opened by the 14 percentage point drop from 2011 to 2012 in investors’ reliance on online traditional business media. Information-seekers don't have a limitless capacity, and it stands to reason that something will have to give as investors find value elsewhere.

The Brunswick research was reviewed in a Q4 Web Systems Webinar held last week for investor relations professionals and also featuring Q4 CEO Darrell Heaps. There seems to have been a few technical issues in the recording and not all of it is on-point for asset management digital marketers. Even so, I recommend it and the full Brunswick deck to you.

Investor & Analyst Trends on Using Digital and Social Media: An Interactive Webinar with Brunswick Group and Q4 Web Systems from Q4 Web Systems Inc. on Vimeo.