Facing Facebook

Social Media’s Growing Role in M&A

The full article appears in the July/August 2016 issue of Middle Market Growth.

Company leaders understand the obvious impact social media can have on their business. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and even Instagram are increasingly used to publicize products and services, or position a company as an industry leader. Businesses are investing in social media analytics and closely tracking public posts, but they should also consider digital platforms in the context of a merger or acquisition. Surprising as it may seem, a good social media strategy will have implications for the due diligence process.

Private equity investors and others involved in dealmaking often start their research by Googling a target company and looking at its social media. It’s a reflex today, says Amy Forrestal, managing director at investment banking firm Brookwood Associates. For middle-market companies, particularly those without a household name, first impressions online are essential for their brands. A company needn’t be on the Fortune 500 to establish a strong social media strategy, and it makes sense, given the stakes.

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