It’s in the AR plan – social media should not be considered “special,” but just a regular activity

icon-social-media-blue.jpgWe have written on a number of occasions that social media is not some big special deal, but rather just another tool in the analyst and analyst relations (AR) tool box. For that reason, there should not be some special plan for social plan with all sorts of meetings and review sessions set up. Rather social media should just be incorporated into daily activities and your AR Strategic and Tactical Plan.

You do have an AR plan, don’t you?

Your strategic AR plan, the one with the charter and objectives, lists of all interactions types to be used for each purpose, service levels by analyst tier, calendar and priorities? Ok, unfair question. Many AR teams are so under the gun that a well-done AR plan is often considered a luxury. The main point is that social media (e.g., blogs, Twitter, communities, LinkedIn and so on) should not be considered something big and special – which means they won’t be embraced until the “plan is ready” – but merely just additional forms of interactions to add to the mix.

Obviously, the various types of social media are still new to many individuals and AR teams. As a consequence, there is a learning curve to climb and a process you will need to go through to adopt these new forms of interactions. However, social media are not “special,” just like e-mail is not special. Oh, those folks that have been around for awhile will no doubt remember when there was heated debate whether e-mail was an appropriate form of interaction with analysts.

SageCircle Technique:

  • Educate yourself about social media, including setting up accounts and playing with various types
  • Review which of your analysts are currently using different types of social media (e.g., look for your analysts in the Analyst Twitter Directory)
  • Talk with your tier 1 and (optionally) tier 2 analysts about their personal and professional usage of social media, now and in the future – This is a great excuse for a client inquiry
  • Determine how social media will fit into your portfolio of interaction types, for what purposes and at what level of service
  • Develop policies for how social media will be used including how and who will respond to analyst blogs
  • Incorporate social media into your analyst opinion monitoring program
  • Add social media into your interactions calendar

Bottom Line: Social media can be powerful interaction tools when incorporated into your overall mix of interactions. At some point, social media will be considered an everyday tool, so get ahead of the curve and be an early adopter in order to reap the benefits associated with being an innovator.

Question: How are you using social media? If you are not using any forms of social media today, do you have plans to pilot social media?

seminar.jpgAre you thinking about experimenting with social media? Do you need figuring out how to incorporate social media into your daily activities and AR plan? If so, check out SageCircle’s “Launching an AR Social Media Strategy” half-day workshop – Social media is rapidly transitioning from being a playground for individuals to an important tool for business. In the “Launching an AR Social Media Strategy” half-day workshop, we provide AR professionals with information, tools and insights to make sense of the fast evolving social media scene.   The goal is to help you get up-to-speed on the implications of social media for AR so that you can make the important decision whether and how to add social media to your mix of interactions. This half-day session includes a workbook, exercises, tools, and templates.

Click here for more information, agenda and to register. The next session is going to be held in Cupertino, CA on October 9, 2009 from 1 pm to 5 pm PT.

Call 503-636-1500 or e-mail “info (at) sagecircle (dot) com” for more information about this information packed event.

2 Responses

  1. I’ve always positioned social media interaction techniques as something that AUGMENTS but never REPLACES the tried and true AR toolbox.

    It’s a new and powerful arrow in the AR quiver, but NEVER a new quiver in and of itself. Of course, social media itself makes some AR managers quiver…..

  2. While most analysts won’t realize the benefits of these tools.

    There’s a few things that is different about these socials tools beyond just another communication medium:

    1) Analysts can talk directly with stakeholders in a company bypassing AR professionals

    2) They can use these to conduct research and find qualitative case studies or quantitative hot spots.

    3) These tools can increase the influence of an analyst as they can become their own media platforms beyond just research reports or inquiry.

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