In the field of junior and mid-tier mining companies, separating one project from the others can be a very daunting struggle. Many investors outside of the mining and metals industries are unfamiliar with these markets, the processes of exploring and developing commodity projects, and understanding the differences from one company to the next.
Mickey Fulp, also known as The Mercenary Geologist, is a key market analyst and investor in the junior mining markets. With almost 35 years of mining and geology experience, he has been one of the successful professionals in the industry able to create and promote his business and brand. In large part, much of this success has been added to by his use of digital and social media.
Of course his professional experience and relationships were the foundations of such a reputation, but through the use of new media and social networking, he's been able to build a twitter following of more than 63K, a website where he provides audio and video content, newsletters of junior mining information and investor education, and a large (and free) email subscriber list to which he exclusively offers his stock picks.
Mickey admits a key member of his IT and Web team suggested he utilize social media around 2010 when those networks were seeing fast growth. "I said it sounds good to me since historically in this business we just grow organically," Mickey shared with us over a recent conversation.
Since that first suggestion, Mickey and his team have effectively utilized Twitter and Facebook, opting out of some other networks which have come and gone. Mickey said he is rethinking adoption of LinkedIn with its evolution over time.
Listen to our full conversation with Mickey here!
Despite growing contacts via his website, social media, and email subscribers, Mickey agrees a vast majority of junior mining companies are missing the mark with social media. In a crowded field, a company's story is a major key in setting itself apart. Social media and consistent use of it is an ingredient in doing so.
"I'm intimately involved in the junior resource sector. I hold something on the order of 35 stocks that are listed on either the Toronto Stock Exchange or Toronto Venture Exchange and only a couple of those companies use social media effectively. Most have a twitter feed with less than a hundred followers and all they post is their press releases. And that is not an effective use of social media," Fulp said.
There is concern that social media does not actually reach the key demographics of both institutional and retail investor. Many junior mining companies steer clear of these tools because of that reason, however misguided it might be.
David Coe, Managing Editor of Investor Torque and a Clear Creek Digital collaborator, recently wrote a LinkedIn post about the growing movement of institutional investors reaching to social media to research potential opportunities in the sector.
"But the tide is invisible largely because institutional investors are quiet consumers of social media content rather than egotistic creators of it. They are listening, not talking," Coe wrote.
If social media is now a vehicle in providing information, the content is the fuel which feeds the engine. "A picture is worth a thousand words," Fulp hinted. "Good graphics; good visuals; high-end video productions. I think all are very well received by the market."
The long-term advantages of using online networks will also reach the younger audience looking for potential investment opportunities.
"There's actually been a lot of discussion and some hand wringing in the junior resource sector about this. Our audiences are getting older and older as time progresses. And how do we reach that younger audience?"
Fulp's advice: find someone to manage your social media. It could be someone in the Investor Relations department with a knack for story and the ability to create content. If not there, a third party can assist in these strategies. Companies must be more proactive than simply posting news releases.
Both Fulp and Coe believe the benefits of social media are simple in the realm of investing and investor relations. Effective use of social media can lead to greater audience attention, a larger set of better informed investors, and an increase in liquidity.
About Clear Creek Digital......
CCD is a small creative media agency devoted to helping companies in the resource and mining markets communicate using current digital communication trends. Through social media, content writing, video and graphic design, CCD engages new and larger audiences to help increase company value, enhance social licensing and improve public knowledge of the mining industry. For further discussion about CCD strategies, please sign up for our email subscriptions or email Trevor at firstname.lastname@example.org.