Recent changes to ASX Continuous disclosures requirements (12 May 2013) now oblige listed companies to monitor investor blogs, chat sites and other social media.

ASX Guidance Note 8 identifies a number of instances where listed companies now have an obligation to monitor social media, investor blogs, and chat sites under listing rules 3.1 – 3.1 B, i.e.:

  • Responding to comment or speculation in media or analyst reports and market rumours (where issues often arise under Listing Rule 3.1B)

The ASX have recognised that such comment or speculation can now also circulate via blogs, bulletin boards, chat sites, FaceBook, Twitter or other social media.  Whitehaven Coal is the commonly quoted recent case study.

  • Where an entity is relying on Listing Rule 3.1A not to disclose information about a market sensitive transaction it is negotiating.

The ASX  have expanded monitoring obligations to include any investor blogs, chat-sites or other social media it is aware of that regularly post comments about the entity.

  • If a listed entity becomes aware that market sensitive information which has not been given to ASX under Listing Rule 3.1 has been released to a section of the market

The ASX have expanded the application to a section of the public to include websites and social media.

  • If the entity decides not to request a trading halt or voluntary suspension to prevent the market trading ahead of an announcement

The ASX strongly encourage listed companies to now also monitor any investor blogs, chat-sites or other social media it is aware of that regularly post comments about the entity.

How do ASX Listed Companies practically respond to these new Social Media monitoring requirements?  Whilst many larger listed companies already perform Social Media monitoring capable of responding to these new requirements, for smaller companies this can represent an additional (and unnecessary)  cost of compliance associated with being an ASX listed company.

There is a large and ever increasing range of solutions providing Social Media listening and monitoring.  Each option provides varying degrees of quality and coverage, cost to acquire/set up, and technical skills to operate.  At the cheaper end, solutions do not provide sufficient monitoring capability to be compliant, whilst the cost of operating industrial solutions in-house (or via a digital agency) can introduce an excessive cost of compliance.

Fishtank Solutions was an early-mover into Social Media and Brand Reputation monitoring for our Financial Services clients in Australia and the United Kingdom.  We have extensive experience monitoring and tracking mentions across investor forums, blogs, social media, and digital for our clients – utilising market leading Social media monitoring tools.

In response to these new ASX Social Media requirements, Fishtank has tailored a number of seamless monitoring solutions – including a fully compliant basic offering starting from $300 per month, ranging up to a fully serviced offering which also provides key digital insights to help drive wider Social and Digital marketing activities.

Unique to our approach is the delivery of daily or weekly insights directly to key company officers, eliminating the need to invest or establish in-house system capability.  We can also provide an extra layer of independent on-shore analysis to ensure sensitive findings are identified, flagged for your company officers attention, and where appropriate escalated.

To arrange a complimentary trial of our Social Media monitoring service, or to discuss your customised requirements, please contact our New Media Marketing Manager, Eben Hocking [].