Social media inputs need to be added to analyst opinion monitoring programs

icon-social-media-blue.jpgAnalyst opinion monitoring is a critical AR task because it contributes to AR planning, rapid response to sales impact, relationship management, message management, internal politics, and overall metrics programs. In the past, savvy AR means focused on the spoken word – using the SageCircle spoken word audit technique – in addition to the usual written word tracking, typically press quotes and written research. The 21st century raises the bar for what is required to be best-in-class savvy because AR now has to track analyst opinion as expressed in social media.

At this point in time, the analyst opinion monitoring program needs to add analyst podcasts, analyst Twitter streams, analyst blogs and analyst participation in LinkedIn Questions. A potentially interesting and troublesome opinion stream could be analysts leaving comments on blogs. At this point it does not appear that social networks like Facebook need to be included, but that could change at any point.

In addition to what is happening today, savvy AR managers will build flexibility into their programs so that additional inputs can be added relatively easily. Some of the other forms for social media to watch include private social networks, analyst firm wikis, business wikis, and even analyst firm widgets that are used to broadcast instant analysis direct to end-user desktops.

I am sure that at this point, some managers are heaving a heavy sigh at the additional burden this represents. Actually, the work can be minimized using search tools and alerts.

SageCircle Technique:

  • Redesign your metrics database and reports to include social media inputs
  • If relevant, renegotiate your third-party opinion monitoring contracts to include social media inputs
  • Set up alerts on all relevant social media types
  • Ask your analysts on a regular basis to what extent they are participating in social media
  • Train your sales, lead management, and win-loss teams to be on the lookout for analyst opinions delivered via social media.

Bottom Line: While most social media, with the exception of blogs, are currently not a major source of analyst opinion that will be changing over time and in some situations quite quickly. Savvy AR managers will start the collecting of analyst opinion expressed on social media today so that they will not be blindsided by analyst commentary outside of the press and published research.

Question: AR managers – Have you done any test research to see if your analysts are using social media to disseminate their opinions? Do you feel that your current analyst opinion monitoring program is flexible enough to handle new forms of communications?

Are you concerned that your AR measurement program is not best-in-class? SageCircle can Help – SageCircle strategists can:

  • Review your AR measurement program and make recommendations where it can be improved.
  • If you do not have a formal program, we can conduct an AR metrics workshop to assist you in putting together an AR measurement plan
  • Because SageCircle does not offer opinion monitoring services, we can provide you with objective advice on the various AR services firms and PR agencies that might meet your needs.

For more information please contact info [at] sagecircle dot com or call 650-274-8309.

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4 Responses

  1. There is no doubt that social media is going to become more and more important as we go forward, but I have serious concerns with the investment/reward math associated with it today — specifically how much time do we invest?

    I have found that most analyst bloggers seem to be small firms or independants who really want to sell something to the vendor and post a blog for marketing reasons. For me, they fall into the hazy area between consulting and trade press, rather than being true analysts/influencers.

    True: it’s a good idea to monitor them but even reading through the Google alerts (most recently I had more than 30) can really eat up the clock.

  2. Hi Alex, Thanks for the comment. I agree that a careful cost/benefit analysis is required for any measurement program, much less one with as many potential data points as social media.

    One approach is to focus on a subset of the analysts that use social media that you consider most relevant or provide a representative sample of social media-based analyst opinion.

    Another opportunity is to outsource the gathering of the content. Perhaps the PR team is already using a clipping service is gathering blogs in general. For an incremental investment, AR can get the firm always check specific analyst bloggers or tweeters.

  3. I beleive that the key here is awareness in a new area so that you are not blindsided. As Carter suggests you need to track key people, but at the same time watch for changes in influence. In much the same way your analyst lists need to reviewed for ranking and tiering on a regular basis you should review these other influencer lists. The landscape is very dynamic, especially as it matures.

  4. [...] Analyst Opinion Monitoring – This item is the most important because analyst commentary in social media can negatively or positively impact ongoing sales deals. For more information please read Social media inputs need to be added to analyst opinion monitoring programs. [...]

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