Social Networks’ Impact on Capital Markets

Introduction

In the rapidly growing world of communication, the interaction between people has taken a new trend. Social media has altered the way people shared ideas, interacted, and how conducted their businesses. Indeed, social media networks have changed the conduct of business in the world capital markets. Social media are the current communication networks that include facebook, twitter, Skype and others. The fact is that social media has had a considerable impact on the capital markets. However, questions have been raised on how social media came to overtake the old media as a tool of communication. In the same way, questions have been raised on how social media has been part of the financial intensive capital markets. In addition, specialists are also devising ways on how social media can best be utilized in conducting business on social media. This paper seeks to analyze social media besides showing the significance of capital markets and the interaction between the two forces in the financial world. The paper will also research the current trends on how social media is being implemented in capital markets, and how social media has influenced the financial markets. The capital markets can be referred to as the financial markets in which investors buy and sell securities that are security-backed and long-term debts. The capital markets convey the money that savers invest to people who want to use the money in long-term and productive financial use. These investors may include companies and governments, which aim at making long-term financial investments. Due to the volatile nature of the capital markets, they are predisposed to possible fraud and financial abuse. The capital markets are therefore placed under the supervision of national banks and security and exchange commissions for example the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, and the United Kingdom’s Bank of England. In most cases, capital market trade is conducted through computerized electronic trading mode.

Literature Review

There is a great interactivity between social media networks and the capital markets. The current revolution in the use of internet and internet-based networks has changed the way financial market officers interacted and conducted trade. According to Agnihotri, Kothandaraman, Kashyap, and Singh (2012, p.333), social media refers to various internet-based platforms and tools which facilitate the exchange of information between people. Mcquarrie, Miller, and Phillip (2013, p.136) reveal that social media is a new of the platform of communication that enables those who use the internet exchange text messages, audio messages, and video and photo messages. According to Galunic, Ertug, and Gargiulo (2012, p.213), social media is being used today in both business and personal communication. Since the capital markets make use of internet-based networks to enhance interaction among various stakeholders, social media has been widely and quickly adopted in financial markets.

Digital revolution has resulted in various forms of social media. Andzulis, Panagopoulos and Rapp (2012, p332) confirm that the most widely adopted forms of social media include internet forums, magazines, social blogs, wikis, weblogs, social networks, micro-blogging, photographs, video and even social bookmarks. According to (Kietzmann et al., 2001), social media can be differentiated with regard to its use in its seven building blocks for example for conversation, sharing, identity, presence, reputation, groups and relationships. The capital markets make use of all these building blocks. The social media platforms that are used in capital markets can be categorized into six groups. Mcquarrie, Miller, and Phillip (2013, p.136) argue that there are collaborative social media for example Wikipedia, micro blogs and blogs for example Twitter, content communities for example YouTube, the social network sites for example Facebook, the virtual networks for example war craft world, and the virtual worlds for example second life.

Social media are used for sharing photographs, for wall posting, for sending and receiving emails, for sending instant messages, for sharing of music and for voice over internet protocol. However, Obamuyi (2013, p.141) asserts that in capital markets social media are used to exchange financial information via instant emails and messages. Various medial networks have been adopted in capital markets today. These include; Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, and the Bebo. Andzulis, Panagopoulos, and Rapp (2012, p332) assert that the social media has grown into popularity due to applications of mobile phones. When applied on mobile phones then they are referred to as mobile social media. Rodriguez, Peterson, and Krishnan (2012, p.365) observe that the capital markets have therefore widely adopted the use of mobile social media. There are four types of mobile social media. These include space timers that account for the location of the user and the time of use for example Facebook and Foursquare. The space-locators that account for the location only for example Yelp and Qype together with the quick timers that account for time only for example Twitter constitute other types of mobile social media in addition to slow timers that do not account of location and time for example Wikipedia and YouTube. According to Galunic, Ertug, and Gargiulo (2012, p.213), the capital markets authority officers have used the social media to reach millions of people with information, news, education, and other information. Reveley (2013, p.512) argues that compared to traditional forms of media like newspapers, radio, and television that were used by the financial markets; the social media is cheaper and more accessible. People have therefore been able to use social media to publish information. Tetlock (2007, p.1139) confirms that it is easy for investors to obtain information on capital markets via social media.

There are various reasons why capital market authority officers make use of social media. Mcquarrie, Miller, and Phillip (2013, p.136) observe that one of the reasons for using social media is that the social media has a wider reach as they can reach the global audience almost instantaneously. Tetlock (2007, p.1139) affirms capital markets are also accessible both by individuals, organizations and governments via social media. The tools for application can be easily obtained for example mobile phones. Social media also bridge time gaps and messages are exchanged immediately. Kietzmann, Hermkens, McCarthy, and Silvestre (2011, p.241) assert that the social media has less permanency in that information disseminated through it can be edited almost immediately through comments. This serves the capital markets authority finance officers and other stakeholders better since its details keeps on changing. Tang, Gu, and Whinston (2012, p.41) observe that the financial markets have also turned to social media in exchange of corporate information, for branding and marketing of products. Obamuyi (2013, p.141) asserts that capital market authorities are able to disseminate information on their companies and brands as they listen to the audience and respond to their comments immediately hence managing the image of their products on time.

Data collection

Table 1.0 Adoption of mobile social media by different capital markets authority stakeholders

Type of Mobile social media Government officers (out of 10) National bank officers (out of 15) Capital market managers (out of 25) Capital market supervisors (out of 25) Capital market general officers (out of 25)
Space timers-Facebook 98% 90% 90% 86% 92%
Space locators-Yelp, Qype 80% 78% 78% 84% 85%
Quick timers-Twitter 78% 72% 71% 78% 90%
Slow timers- Wikipedia, YouTube 20% 32% 22% 43% 24%

Table 2.0 Functions of social media networks in capital markets authorities

Reasons for social media Government officers (out of 10) National bank officers (out of 15) Capital market managers (out of 25) Capital market supervisors (out of 25) Capital market general officers (out of 25)
Marketing 90% 92% 80% 82% 92%
Reputation building 60% 58% 68% 74% 75%
Group building 58% 52% 61% 82% 90%
Identity 70% 62% 72% 73% 74%
Exchange of information 90% 92% 94% 95% 98%
Conversation 80% 86% 76% 90% 92%
Branding 55% 53% 45% 58% 46%
Research 76% 72% 65% 72% 78%

Table 3.0 Reasons why capital markets authority has widely adopted social media as a means of communication

Reasons for preferring social media Government officers (out of 10) National bank officers (out of 15) Capital market managers (out of 25) Capital market supervisors (out of 25) Capital market general officers (out of 25)
Wider reach 70% 72% 70% 62% 82%
Speed/time 70% 88% 88% 84% 95%
Availability 78% 72% 81% 82% 90%
Accessibility 80% 82% 82% 73% 94%
Location 40% 42% 54% 55% 58%

Data Discussion and Analysis

Adoption of mobile social media by different capital markets authority stakeholders
Graph 1.0 Adoption of mobile social media by different capital markets authority stakeholders

Analysis of graph 1.0 and table 1.0 indicates that almost all the stakeholders in the capital markets authority have adopted the use of social media networks in their work. The graph indicates that the most adopted form of mobile social media is the space timers. Reveley (2013, p.512) affirms that the most adopted space timer is the Facebook. From graph 1.0, Facebook had an indication of very high percentages. For example, 98% of the government officers that regulate and supervise capital market authorities affirmed that they use Facebook in their daily financial activities. In the same way, 90% of the national bank officers that also supervise and regulate the capital markets affirmed to using Facebook in their duties. Another 90% of the capital markets authority managers also use Facebook in their daily communication about capital markets. In addition, 86% of the capital markets supervisors also affirmed that they used Facebook in their routine communication. In addition, 92% of the general officers in the capital markets use Facebook when carrying out their financial duties.

The other form of social media that has been widely adopted by capital markets authority is the space locators. Space locators include Yelp and Qype. Graph 1.0 and table 1.0 indicate that 80% of the government officers and commissioners use space locators in their endeavors in capital markets authority. The graph also indicates that 78% of the national bank officers that supervise the capital markets authorities use Yelp and Qype. Another 78% of the managers at the capital markets authority affirmed to the use of Qype in their job. Graph 1.0 also indicates that 84% of the supervisors in the capital markets authority also responded that thy use space locators in their daily routine. The graph also indicate that a consistent 85% of the general employees in the capital markets authority make use of space locators like Skype when carrying out their duties. Indicators that various stakeholders in the capital market authority uses space locators’ forms of social media was also highly rated.

Another mobile social network that has been adopted in capital markets authority is the quick timers. The most widely adopted form of quick timer is the Twitter. The graph 1.0 indicates that use of twitter in capital markets authority was above average. All the stakeholders scored above average. The graph shows that 78% of the government commissioners in charge of capital markets use twitter for communication during their duties. Out of all the national bank officers in charge of capital markets regulations 72% of them affirmed to use of twitter in their daily activities. A close figure of 71% of the capital markets authority managers also uses twitter to communicate with other officers in the course of their duties. In addition, 78% of the supervisors in the capital markets authority in United State also indicate that they use twitter for communication. Moreover, a staggering 90% of the respondents affirmed that they use twitter in communication and in reaching out to other practitioners on time.

The least adopted form of mobile social media in the capital markets is the slow timers. Slow timers include Wikipedia and YouTube. Graph 1.0 and table 1.0 indicate that the stakeholders of capital markets authority that make use of this form of social media in their daily jobs are below average. The graph indicated that none of the stakeholders scored above 50%. All the stakeholders were rated as below average. For instance, 20% of the government officers that were in charge of capital markets scored 20% in the way they use YouTube and Wikipedia. The graph also indicates that only 32% of the national bank officers that man the capital market uses slow timers for communication. We can also learn that the graph indicated that only 22 % of the capital markets authority managers make use of YouTube and Wikipedia. Another group of 43% of the general supervisors affirmed to using the Wikipedia. Finally, 24 percent of the general employees in the capital markets also affirmed that they use YouTube and Wikipedia. However, as table 1.0 and graph 1.0 indicate few officers of the capital markets authority make use of the slow timers. Perhaps it is because the capital markets business happens in real time. The slowness of the process may have resulted to the poor ratings.

Functions of social media networks in capital markets authorities
Graph 2.0 Functions of social media networks in capital markets authorities

Graph 2.0 and table 2.0 indicate that capital markets authority stakeholders adopt the use of social media in their business for various functions. The social media has therefore been able to facilitate and to accomplish some of the major functions that capital markets authority undertook. For example, graph 2.0 indicates that social media networks have been adopted in nearly all the functions of capital markets authorities. Most of these functions score above average in their adoption of social media. Graph 2.0 indicates that marketing is the leading function in adopting social media in capital markets authority. All stakeholders scored above 80% in the use of social media in marketing. For example, 90% of the government officers in charge of capital markets use social media for marketing, 92% of the national bank officers in charge of regulation of capital markets also use social media for marketing, 80% of the managers that were interviewed during this research also affirmed to the use of social media for marketing. In addition, another 82% of the capital markets supervisors also affirmed that they use social media for marketing purposes in capital markets authority. Moreover, 90% of the general employees in the capital markets authority also said that they mainly use social media for marketing of the capital markets authority products. Reveley (2013, p.512) affirms that social media may have received the wide acceptance and adoption due to its ability to reach a wider target market, which works well for marketing teams.

The other function of social media that was widely adopted was for building reputation and image. From graph 2.0, it is clear that 60% of the government officers in charge of capital markets used social media to build their reputation and that of their companies. Another 58% of the national bank officers in charge of capital markets used social media for purposes of image building. A higher percentage of 68% of the managers in capital market authority used social media networks to build a reputation. The graph also indicates that 74% of the capital markets authority supervisors also used social media to build their reputation. A majority of 75% of the general employees in the financial markets also used the social media to build a reputation. Andzulis, Panagopoulos, and Rapp (2012, p332) affirms that the media is a strong tool for building and for destroying the image of an individual, a company or a group. We can therefore deduce that the social media has been widely adopted in capital markets authority due to its ability to build a good image or even to med a soiled image.

Graph 2.0 also indicates that the social media networks have been used in capital markets authority for purposes of building groups. This function scored above average in percentage ratings. For example, the graph indicates that 58% of the government officers in charge of capital markets use social media to establish and maintain investor groups. Another 52% of the national bank officers who operate the performance of the capital markets also use social media for group building. In the same way, graph 2.0 indicates that 61% of the managers in capital markets use social media to build working groups. A staggering 82% of the supervisors in financial markets use social media to build working groups. The supervisor seems to depend on social media to establish employee groups, investor groups, and even to monitor their functions. The graph also indicates that a higher percentage of 90% of the general employees in the capital markets authority use social media in group building. Kietzmann, Hermkens, McCarthy, and Silvestre (2011, p.241) assert that since the social media has the ability to bring close people of a certain characteristic through information sharing, it has enabled capital markets authority to build interactive investor groups.

Another widely adopted function of social media as indicated on graph 2.0 is identity. Identity function of the social media in capital markets scored above average in percentage rating. The graph indicates that 70% of the government officers in charge of financial markets adopt the use of social media in order to identify themselves with a certain group. The officers interact and identify with each other through social media platforms. Another 62% of the national bank commissioners who regulate the performance of the capital markets also uses social media networks for identity purposes. Graph 2.0 shows that 72% of the managers in financial markets use social media to identity with investors and other managers. The graph also indicates that 73% of the supervisors in capital markets also use social media to identify with other investors and supervisors. In addition, it is also clear that 70% of the general employees of the capital markets use social media as a form of identity. People that interact via social media build a certain identity. They are seen as elites and outgoing people. According to Galunic, Ertug, and Gargiulo (2012, p.213), in many instances, groups formed in social media have come together to console others, to support others and even to advise those who identify themselves with them.

The major function of social media in capital markets is information exchange. The rate in which information changes in capital markets necessitates the use of social media. Graph 2.0 portrays this fact. For example, the graph indicates that 90% of the government commissioners in charge of capital markets use social media to exchange information. Another 92% of the national bank officers that regulate the capital markets also use social media to exchange information. A higher 94% of the managers in the financial markets also use social media to exchange information. In addition, 95% of the supervisors in the financial markets use social media to exchange information with other officers and their juniors. Moreover, 98% of the general employees in the capital markets authority use social media for information exchange. Tang, Gu, and Whinston (2012, p.41) observe that the social media especially Facebook and twitter have become the preferred means of information exchange among various groups of people. The financial market being part of the information society has not also been left behind in the adoption of social media for information exchange. In the same way, graph 2.0 indicates that 80% of government officers in capital markets use social media for conversations. 86% of the national bank officers who supervise capital market authorities use social media for conversations. Moreover, 76% of the managers of the financial markets, 90% of the supervisors in the capital markets, and 92% of the general employees in the financial markets use social media for conversation purposes. These stakeholders constantly converse about the trends of various shares and government bonds in the market. Such conversations enable the capital market stakeholders to predict trends and to advise investors in an informed way.

Graph 2.0 indicates that 55% of the government officers in capital markets ad 53% of the national bank officers in capital markets use the social media in branding. The graph also shows that 45% of the managers in capital markets authority and 58% of supervisors use the social media for branding purposes in financial marketing. In a similar way, the graph indicates that 46% of the general employees use social media for branding purposes. The social media has the ability to create a brand, market it and even maintain it. This case is attributed to its ability to reach a great number of audiences in real time and within a short period. According to Agnihotri, Kothandaraman, Kashyap, and Singh (2012, p.333), many people are also part of the social media especially with the wide adoption of mobile phones across the world. Various stakeholders in the capital markets are therefore using the social media in building strong brands for their companies or for different investor groups.

Graph 2.0 also indicates that 76% of the government officers who man the capital markets use social media for research purposes. The national bank officers in charge of the capital markets also indicate a 72% uses of the social markets to carry out research. Another 65% of the managers in the financial markets use social media for research purposes. The graph also indicates that 72% of the supervisors in various financial markets use the social media to carry out researchers on their markets. Graph 2.0 also indicates that 78% of the general employees of the capital markets authority use social media to carry out researches on investors, markets and financial trends. Social media are widely adopted in carrying out researches due to its ability to have a wide reach. The number of people that participate in information exchange via social media are also many. Hence, it is possible to carryout research on various topics via social media.

Reasons why capital markets authority has widely adopted social media as a means of communication
Graph 3.0 Reasons why capital markets authority has widely adopted social media as a means of communication

There are various reasons why various stakeholders in the capital markets use different kinds of social media in their duties. Graph 3.0 and table 3.0 above indicates that these reasons range from reach, speed, availability, accessibility, and location. From graph 3.0, it is clear that most of the capital market authority stakeholders have adopted the use of social media due to its ability to have a wider reach. Graph 3.0 shows that 70% of the government officers in charge of capital markets use social media due to its ability to reach a wider audience compared to traditional media. Another 72% of the national bank officers who regulate the capital markets authority prefers the use of social media due to its ability to have a wider reach compared to other media. In the same way, 70% of the managers in the capital markets authority prefer to use social media due to its wide reach. The graph also indicates that 62% of the supervisors in the capital markets also prefer to use social media in communication rather than the other conventional media. Moreover, 82% of the general employees of the capital markets authority prefer the use of social media in carrying out their duties due to their ability to reach a wide audience. There are millions of people that make use of social media for communication, sharing of ideas, entertainment, and information exchange. This makes it possible for different stakeholders of capital markets to use social media to communicate to one another and to the clients. For example, the government commissioners who monitor the financial markets use the social media to share information about the financial positions of various shares and bonds in the market. The officers also use the social media for conversation and socialization. Mcquarrie, Miller, and Phillip (2013, p.136) affirm that the ability to reach a wider audience makes the government officers reach most of the customers and investors in the stock markets. The managers in the capital markets authority also make use of social media due to its ability to reach most of their target audience. The managers require constant communication with supervisors and investors. They also need to monitor the trends of investments in the market. Since social media is able to disseminate information to a wide reach, they are able to post information to various stakeholders in real time. Communication among managers, stakeholders, and clients becomes more efficient.

Speed is another major reason for the capital market authority to use social media for communication. The capital market authority makes use of internet-based communication to exchange financial information. From graph 3.0, we can infer that speed scored above average on importance rating. From the graph, 70% of government officers in charge of capital markets use social media due to its speed and ability to save money. The government officers can share information instantly with other officers and with investors. In the same way, graph 3.0 indicates that 88% of the national bank officers that monitor the financial markets use social media due to its speed of communication. Another 88% of the financial markets managers use the social media due to its speed. The managers have therefore been able to save time and to communicate to their juniors and investors on time. Time management is important in the management field. Managers have therefore adopted the use of social media in communication due to its speed. Similarly, 84% of the capital market authority supervisors use social media due to its speed. Every supervisor would want to save time and to increase efficiency at work. Supervisors use social media platforms like twitter and Facebook to communicate with their junior officers and their clients. Speed is very crucial in financial markets since prices keep on changing every minute. Clients need to know the most appropriate time to invest and the most important time to sell their shares. It is therefore important to communicate with them in real time. In the financial markets, time is an important factor. The graph also indicates that 95% of the general employees of the capital markets also use social media due to speed. The general employees are in close contact with each other and with the investors. The employees are also in close ties with the stockbrokers. It is therefore important for the financial marketers to save time and to communicate on time. Well-packaged information, which is delivered on time to the right audience, is likely to result in high profits.

The other reason for using social media is due to its availability to the users. According to graph 3.0 about 70% of the government officer in charge of capital markets authorities in different countries use social media due to their availability. The officers can therefore be able to obtain devices that are used by social media without straining. The graph also indicates that 72% of the national bank officers who monitor the financial markets use the social media due to their availability. The availability of mobile phones, iPads, and iPods has also enhanced the accessibility of the social media by various stakeholders. These devices have also become relatively cheap. Graph 3.0, it is true 81% of the managers in capital markets have adopted the use of social media due to their availability. The managers can readily obtain devices on which they can access the social media platforms. Another 82% of the supervisors in capital market authorities use social media due to its accessibility. A staggering 90% of the financial markets employees have adopted the use of social media in communication, marketing and other functions due to its availability. The employees of capital markets can be able to use social media in various places. For example, Obamuyi (2013, p.141) asserts that employees can use mobile phones, iPads, and iPods to disseminate information and to share financial ideas on time. The graph also indicates that accessibility is another reason why capital market authority uses social media. Graph 3.0 shows that 80% of government officers, 82% of national bank officers, 82% of capital market authority managers, 73% of the capital market authority supervisors, and 94% of the general employees use social media due to their accessibility. Social media are available in many places. The managers and supervisors can therefore be able to communicate with the investors, government authorities and even employees on time. An investor in a rural area can be able to access information of financial markets in real time. Instructions on the right step to take can also be issued to the brokers and managers. The graph also indicates that location of various social media makes stakeholders in capital markets use them. For example, graph 3.0 indicates that 40% of government officers in charge of capital markets, 42% of national commissioners, 54% of capital markets managers, 55% of capital market supervisors, and 58% of capital market general employees use social media due to its location. Social media devices are portable and can be located close to the operators hence making them easier for them to communicate.

Findings and Implications

After a thorough quantitative research, it was realized that there has been wide adoption of the social media networks by capital markets authority. Various forms of social media have been adopted in social markets for example space timers like Facebook (average of 91.2%), space locators like Qype and Yelp (average of 81%), quick timers like Twitter (average of 77.8%), and slow timers like Wikipedia and YouTube (an average of 28%). However, lack of electricity in some places may hinder the use of these devices. The business language used in capital market may hinder its accessibility by some investors. The research also revealed that there were various reasons for adoption of social media networks in the financial markets. The capital markets authority highly depends on internet based networks in it activities. It is for this reason that the social media has fitted well in the financial markets. The social media networks offer a competitive edge to the capital markets. The research realized that most of the stakeholders in the capital markets use the social media due its ability to reach a great number of audiences. From the research, an average of 71.1% of the capital markets authority indicated that they use the social media due to its wide reach. Rodriguez, Peterson, and Krishnan (2012, p.365) observe that the implication is that the social media can be used to reach many people instantly. An average of 85% of the stakeholders in the capital markets authority adopted the social media in their daily activities due to its speed. The implication is that the social media especially the Facebook and twitter can be used to send messages and images instantly. It also implies that time is a great factor in capital markets since the financial markets are dependent on timing of the markets by both investors and the managers. An average of 80.6% of the stakeholders in the financial markets used the social media due to its availability. The research imply that devices like computers, mobile phones, iPhones, iPads, and other internet-enabled devices are readily available for the stakeholders in capital markets. The same devices are also available for investors and other clients of the financial markets.

Recommendations

The research recommends that capital markets authority fully adopt the use of social media in its activities due to its wide reach and speed. The speed of the social media can work to the advantage of the financial markets. The capital markets should therefore install internet software that enables their staff to have quick and accessible internet. The research also recommend that the capital markets train their clients, investors and even government officers in charge of the financial markets on the use of social media. There is a need for coherency in communication levels between the management, government, investors, and clients of the capital markets. The findings that some investors may not have knowledge on social media may be a big obstacle to the success of the financial markets. Investors and potential customers should be trained on modern computer technologies. It is also highly recommended that capital markets authority filter the use of social media in the authority. Computers that are used in financial markets should have filtration software that censures the content that is accessible by their officers. Such censorship will prevent accessibility of the pornographic sites and sending of hate speech, and defamatory messages. The government should also ensure the provision of energy supply especially electricity in most parts of the country to ensure that all the clients and investors use the electronic devices to access social media. The future of social media in capital market will be marked by wider adoption of social media by most of the stakeholders.

Conclusion

In conclusion, this research was conducted in order to investigate how social media has become part of the capital markets. The research also sought to investigate on how capital markets have used the social media and its impact. However, the social media can work for or against the capital markets. Various forms of social media have been adopted in the capital markets, for example Facebook, Yelp, Skype, Twitter, YouTube, and Wikipedia. Use of these social media requires a certain level of computer technology skills. The social media has been adopted in capital markets for research, marketing, conversations and, information sharing. The major reasons for adoption of social media in capital markets include its reach, speed, accessibility, availability, and location. However, there is need to train people on how to use social media networks, to install electricity in most parts of the country, to censure the social media for harmful content, and to enhance accessibility by all. If the current trend of adoption of social media continues, the capital markets will be easy to monitor for most of the investors. This will also encourage transparency and accountability of investors.

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