Twitter, like Facebook, was a slow burn for me. Originally I was completely against – why would I care what Stephen Fry had for breakfast or what Wayne Rooney was cultivating on his head – surely there is more to life? That was until MHP’s fantastic Head of Digital started working his magic. At first I managed to remain a staunch objector, thoroughly convinced in my “it’s just a phase, it’ll pass” attitude. Ha, how wrong I was………..and then it began.
At first I asked “who do I follow?” But I wonder now if my first question should have been “what do I want to get out of this?” Once you decide that, you’re off. People frequently seem to ask what twitter is for / what it does / what use is it? Well, as with all social media platforms, it can be whatever you want it to be. Twitter has many guises and I’m sure I have only unearthed a tiny percent of what it can actually do. It can act as your own tailored news feed, keep you updated with breaking news, allow you to cultivate relationships with people usually far out of your reach, provide you with a platform to communicate on a global scale and, some might say more importantly, it can enable you to communicate with Simon Cowell – well if you’re very very lucky.
At an MHP seminar this week, the idea of social media and hedge funds was brought to the fore. In a world where hedge funds often don’t even have websites, I suspected that hammering the “social media is the future” message to this group was optimistic at best. That was before Man Group came along leading the charge. As one of the biggest alternative investment managers in the business, it is encouraging to see. The firm have taken on the philosophy of “it might not be perfect, but we’re getting stuck in” – very impressive and rather exciting for an alternatives manager!
I still believe, however, that social media isn’t for everyone. Some hedge funds, that have been around for a long time, like to keep themselves to themselves and are so very traditional that the mere idea of conversing with the outside world would just seem plain crazy – anonymity is their business and they do it very well. Others, however, realise that after the troubled times we have endured “open and honest” are the new buzz words and something that investors, stakeholders and society at large are now starting to hanker after more than those magical days when “25% average return over 5 years” was music to our ears.