Forrester or Gartner launch a client-only social network – Looking ahead to 2010

Ticon-crystal-ball.jpghis post is one in a series where SageCircle pulls out the crystal ball and looks ahead to what happens in the analyst ecosystem in 2010. See below for links to all posts in this series.

As 2009 comes to a close there are only a few examples of analyst-created communities built on social networks. One example is the IDC Insights Community, which was launched in March 2009 and is built on a white-label social network platform. This is an open community that anybody, including competitors to IDC, can register to join. This is an interesting experiment by IDC as it potentially enhances IDC’s ability to increase its visibility with enterprise clients.

While 2010 will see more analyst-operated open communities built on free tools like LinkedIn Groups or purchased social networking platforms, the most interesting and controversial communities will be the “gated communities” that Forrester and/or Gartner might launch. These closed communities would only be available to clients of the firms.

Social media purists will no doubt howl that a closed social network violates the spirit of communities and that the firms are dumb for not using the communities a marketing tool to build awareness to non-clients. Perhaps these objections are valid, but there are valid reasons why closed, managed communities will actually be welcomed by enterprise end users.  Not everybody is comfortable with the rough-and-tumble attitude of some open communities. In some cases a Continue reading

AR teams will get in trouble with executives for being surprised by analysts’ social media commentary – Looking ahead to 2010

icon-crystal-ball.jpgThis post is one in a series where SageCircle pulls out the crystal ball and looks ahead to what happens in the analyst ecosystem in 2010. See below for links to all posts in this series.

The vast majority of analyst relations (AR) teams are not regularly monitoring their most relevant analysts’ social media usage. However, this lack of attention could prove to be politically dangerous in 2010.

Many AR professionals have been confronted by executives at their companies with negative press quotes by the analysts. Often the executives demand to know why the analyst made the negative comment and what AR is going to do about it. Up through the early Internet age, while troublesome because it caused a fire drill, it was reasonable for AR not to be aware of a particular quote because a comprehensive press clipping service would have been too expensive. However, as the Internet and search tools matured, it has because harder for AR to justify ignorance about press quotes. This provides the added danger of damaging AR’s credibility for not being on top of the situation.

As more analysts adopt social media, sometimes chaotically, AR now has to anticipate being confronted by an executive wanting to know about some analyst’s negative blog post, tweet, or comment made in a social network. Just as with press quotes today, AR cannot feign ignorance about the negative comments made in social media. This is because it is perceived to be free and “easy” to monitor social media. Thus, an AR team that is not aware of an analyst social media comment brought to its attention by an executive will be in grave danger of having its credibility questioned. This could give rise to a new group tasked with social media influencer relations that would take over working with key Continue reading

2009 the year that was in the analyst ecosystem

2009 was interesting to say the least when it came to the analyst ecosystem and the analyst relations (AR) community. Now is good time to step back and do a quick review of what happened in 2009 to prepare for looking ahead to 2010. Luckily for us, we have a lot of content to draw upon as SageCircle has become the definitive source of analyst ecosystem news and commentary. In 2009 we published over 250 blog posts with over 1,000 comments. Many of the blog posts started with information from the community, both analysts and AR, with almost all the comments coming from the community. 

People are still very interested in the analysts – SageCircle’s blog gets about 25,000 unique visitors per month, which is pretty good for such a narrowly-focused blog. However, we always get a huge spike in readership whenever there is news about the analyst firms (e.g., layoffs and M&A). News related posts are also the ones that typically get the most comments, links, and tweets. 

The recession has been brutal, but not fatal for firms – Early 2009 was very tough for analyst firms with layoffs by at least 13 firms, cancelation of events, and plummeting consulting revenues. However, unlike the last recession, there have not been any prominent firms that went out of business. We checked the SageCircle newsletters from the previous tech recession (roughly 2001-03) and every month we were reporting on the shuttering of some analyst firm. That has not been the case this time around. In addition, the second half of 2009 has seen reports of firms starting to see improved revenues and event attendance starting to recover.

Social media’s adoption by the analyst ecosystem has been expanding, but lumpy – The number of analysts and AR professionals on Twitter has more than doubled in the last year – but that does not mean that Continue reading

An experiment – Sites or blogs that discuss SAP pricing and contracts

icon-social-media-blue.jpgIn our ongoing discussions about the role of the IT and telecommunications industry analysts one question always come up is “Why would anybody pay for analyst research when there is so much free information available on the web and blogs?” We have addressed this issue from a variety of points – many times in blog posts – with one of the answers being that the advisory analysts provide personalized information that can save an enterprise money, in some cases many times the cost of the analyst contract.

Periodically to test this theory, SageCircle searches the web and blogs for information about a particular vendor’s pricing, discounts, terms and conditions, and so on. Even though we are crackerjack web researchers we can never find detailed information of this nature. This time around we are enlisting the community to see if you can provide us with links to relevant sources.

We are looking for websites, blogs, social networks, Twitterers, and such that provide information and advice on SAP contracts and pricing. SAP was selected for this experiment because it is a huge global software vendor with complex contract negotiations. SAP is also a popular topic of conversation between enterprise IT managers and advisory analysts like Gartner, Ovum, Forrester, AMR, and so on. What we are looking for are sites or blogs that provide fact-based detail on, implications of, and advice on how to deal with the following points:

  • SAP pricing
  • SAP discounts
  • SAP maintenance fees
  • SAP upgrade fees
  • SAP contract terms and Continue reading

Twitter Lists – A dual-edged sword for analyst relations

icon-social-media-blue.jpgTwitter has rolled out a new feature called “Lists” that permits any user to publish a list of Twitter handles. If someone else clicks on that list (e.g., simple example) they can easily see all the tweets from everybody on that list. Also by clicking on the “View List Page” to the right of the list title, you can see all the handles associated with that list. This new feature makes it very easy to follow a list so that you can go to it with a single click. 

It is very easy to create a list, just click on “New List” in the right hand navigation bar of your Twitter.com page; type in a title; select the Privacy status of Public or Private; and start adding handles to your list. Adding handles can be done from a simple search function, your “Following” or “Followers” list (Lists icon to right of the avatar), or from someone’s profile page. Your list will then show up in the right hand navigation bar. Lists can be broad (e.g., Gartner’s single list of all analysts) or targeted (e.g., Forrester’s multiple lists of analysts by client type).

You can find links to the analyst firm Twitter Lists on Carter’s Twitter page www.twitter.com/carterlusher. As of this blog post, seven Lists by analyst firms have been identified. If you have found other analyst firm Lists please sent a link to “info [at] sagecircle [dot] com” and we’ll add them to the list of lists.

However, there are more aspects to Twitter Lists than the ones mentioned above. SageCircle clients can set up an inquiry to get a quick tutorial on Twitter tips and tricks, which includes the use of Lists.

This new Twitter feature can be a useful tool for analyst relations (AR) teams. For instance, there could be a List for all the member of the AR team to make it easy for analysts to find all the relevant AR team members to follow. There could be lists for your company’s thought leaders or the domain experts for a particular product or market. These are all great ways to promote your colleagues or others and increase their followers, especially analysts.

What about an AR team’s analyst lists? Could they be turned into a Twitter List so that it would be easy for AR’s colleagues to find and follow relevant analysts? While simple to do, would you want to publish a list of your analysts for the entire world – including your competitors – to see? We think not and do not recommend that Continue reading

A potpourri of observations and comments about the analyst ecosystem and social media

icon-social-media-blue.jpgThis is the Explanation Mark! blog post.

 Analyst leaves Forrester! – The fact that an analyst leaves a prominent firm (in this case Forrester security analyst Natalie Lambert to vendor Citrix) is not news. People change jobs all the time for a variety of reasons. Even in a recession. What is interesting is how open the news has been with the analyst and Forrester tweeting and blogging (e.g., see this post) about it. In the past, analyst firms were loathe to admit that an analyst had walked out the door, only telling clients and others on an individual basis to keep the word from spreading. Luckily that attitude is no longer possible because social media means that the word will get out sooner than later. So kudos to Forrester for being open about the change.

70 new entries in the Analyst Twitter Directory in the last week! – We did two updates to the Analyst Twitter Directory with the result being that the number of analysts in the directory went over 900. You might want to check out the AR Twitter Directory as it has 48 new entries.

Which analysts actually tweet? Pshaw! It doesn’t matter! – After SageCircle tweeted about the Analyst Twitter Directory getting near 900, there was this reply by HCL AR wizard and former Gartnerian @robert_desouza “the correct stat would be how many actually tweet of the 899.” Then HP AR guru @gerryvz tweeted “Yes it would be an interesting project to stack-rank Twanalysts by frequency, insight qual & market influence.” To both twits we say “Pshaw!” That is because ranking all the analysts in the directory by volume or insight is not relevant. What is relevant for AR teams is whether Continue reading

Can I use a newsletter to promote my AR blog? (AR Practitioner Question)

Question: The following question was asked during a Blogging for AR webinar “Can I use a newsletter to promote my AR blog?”

The answer is “yes.” A newsletter is one of many tools AR should be using to increase the visibility and traffic to its blog. A regular newsletter (e.g., sent the last Wednesday of every month) could highlight some or all posts on a blog with a simple one sentence tease with the link to the post. Do not include the full post as you would want the analyst to get in the habit of visiting your blog. In addition to promoting the blog, this regular – and short – newsletter could include news about events, links to especially important financial statements or other web posted information, and even links to press releases, if they were highly relevant to analysts.

SageCircle Technique:

Other techniques for promoting an AR blog include:

  • Include a link to the blog in your email signature block
  • Include a link to the blog in any Continue reading

Incorporating Social Media Metrics into Your Measurement Program – A SageCircle Webinar

icon-social-media-blue.jpgSome of today’s new challenges for AR teams are how to determine if there is value to monitoring analyst opinions on blogs, Twitter, and social networks like LinkedIn; how to do the monitoring; and how to use the information gathered to create meaningful metrics. To help analyst relations teams be proactive with the emerging measurement requirements for social media, SageCircle is announcing a new public webinar focused on providing the tools and insights needed to efficiently collect, analyze and report social media metrics. 

This webinar is designed to teach you how to measure analyst social media traffic, the various methods for automating your social media monitoring for effective data gathering, and ways to measure both the mentions and the tonality.  We will discuss how to incorporate social media into your balanced scorecard and provide concise reporting to executives.

Key Issues to be addressed in this webinar include:

  • How do social media metrics fit into the overall AR measurement and reporting program?
  • What are the social media metrics needed for both performance and operational measurements?
  • What are the best practices for collecting social media metrics?
  • What are the approaches for reporting on social media activities and outcomes, either as standalone reports or as part of a broader reporting structure?

In this SageCircle Webinar, our strategists will provide a succinct analysis of Continue reading

Just because they are not tweeting does not mean they are not lurking

icon-social-media-blue.jpgA common refrain that SageCircle strategists hear runs along the lines of “Yeah, there are a lot of analysts in your Analyst Twitter Directory but a lot of them never tweet. So they don’t count.” 

It is not uncommon for SageCircle strategists to receive an email from an analyst or analyst relations (AR) professional starting with “I saw your tweet…” When we check the Twitter page of the sender it’s not unusual to find someone who rarely or never tweets.

Tying the two stories together provides a lesson that just because an analyst has a Twitter handle and is not tweeting does not mean they are inactive. They could be what Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff described in Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies as “lurkers” or “spectators.” Those analysts who you think don’t count could be reading your and your colleague’s tweets, learning and forming opinions.

SageCircle Technique:

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 Continue reading

Forrester adds 20 analysts to Analyst Twitter directory and dozens of contributors to the role-based team blogs

icon-social-media-blue.jpgForrester gives us yet more data that social media is being adopted by the major firms. Twenty additional Forrester analysts were added to Analyst Twitter Directory since the August 14th update. The 58 additions to the Forrester Blog Directory are equally interesting but not as time compressed as we had not updated the directory in some time. Here are some observations.

Research associates are using social media to raise their profiles. Research associates are those folks that do a lot of the grunt work when it comes to analyst research projects. They might get an occasional byline mention, but do not have an entry on the official analyst bio page. We have noticed that some savvy research associates are using blogs and Twitter to start building their personal brands. For instance, the Sourcing & Vendor Management role blog had been dormant all year with zero posts until early July when three new contributors revived the blog. When we started adding the contributors to the Forrester Blog Directory we noticed that none were analysts, rather they were all research associates. In addition, there are some research associates who are also tweeting. We include research associates in the directories because some will be promoted into full analyst status some day.

Not all analysts named as contributing to Forrester blogs are really blogging. We noticed several cases where two or more analysts are on the byline of a particular blog post, but that is the only time that they appear in all the blogs. The blog posts in question were obvious official responses to a Continue reading

Should AR respond to an analyst blog post or dismiss it? The answer is “Yes.”

icon-social-media-blue.jpgNext question? Seriously, this is not an either/or decision but one based on the circumstances of a particular blog post and governed by the communications policy and decision process that the analyst relations (AR) team has put into place.

There are many factors that will go into a decision framework to determine whether and how to respond to an analyst blog. These include visibility of the blog and individual post, relevance of the analyst, relevance of the topic, intensity of the opinion expressed, perceived motivation of the analyst, and so on.

Likewise, there are options for how AR responds to an analyst blog post. In some situations, AR can and should ignore responding to a post. In others, AR should pick up the phone and call the analyst or send an email. In yet other cases, AR should leave a comment on the blog post to correct factual errors. On other occasions, AR will find it useful to engage in a comment-based, asynchronous “conversation” to not just correct errors but to discuss differences of opinion when it comes to the analysis in the post. If the vendor or AR team has an appropriate blog, it can also be a platform for responding to an analyst’s blog post.

The one thing that AR cannot do is ignore analyst blogging and tweeting. AR needs to monitor all forms of Continue reading

Is social media today the grain of sand that will become tomorrow’s pearl in the analyst ecosystem?

icon-social-media-blue.jpgWhile getting significant buzz, the use of social media in the analyst ecosystem is still at a nascent stage. Some analysts and AR professionals are making interesting use of blogs, Twitter, and so on, but for the most part social media is just being played with a little or being ignored all together. Those members of the ecosystem who are not seriously looking at social media might wake up one day to find that social media has become a force and they are seriously and dangerously behind the curve. 

A natural pearl occurs when an irritant, such as a grain of sand, gets inside an oyster’s shell which the oyster cannot expel. The oyster then starts to secrete a mixture of aragonite and conchiolin in minute layers around the irritant to coat it and reduce the irritation. Over time, many many layers of coating transform the grain of sand into a beautiful pearl. This is an apt metaphor for social media because definitely some members of the community, analysts and AR teams, consider social media an irritant and have yet see the slow transformation that is happening around it.

Major changes in a market or form of communications are often not via a big bang, but by the accretion of little changes that reach a critical mass. The individuals or companies who benefit the most from these changes are Continue reading

Analysts chattering on Twitter – the genie is out of the bottle

icon-social-media-blue.jpgThere is an interesting blog post by Redmonk analyst James Governor on Industry analyst relations and Twitter: The Dark Side and a related one by Marketing Strategies for IT Vendors analyst Merv Adrian AR: Tiering Analysts Is Good, But Don’t Play Childish Games. These posts bring up several issues (e.g., tiering analyst lists, confidentiality, and transparency), but the one we want to address in this post is the issue of analysts tweeting about planned vendor briefings and how some AR professionals would prefer analysts not to do so. 

Both Merv (“But this “pssst…don’t tell anyone we’re talking” thing is something else entirely. It smacks of gamesmanship…”) and James (“The first rule of vendor briefings is… don’t talk about vendor briefings. That is just crazy.”) do not like the idea of being asked not to tweet about an upcoming vendor briefing. To a certain extent they have a point. Being asked not to tweet runs counter to the whole ethos of social media and sharing information. However, some analysts are using their tweeting as a marketing tool by in essence saying “See how important I am? I am getting briefed by Acme Software! Don’t you want to brief me too?”

While we see the analysts’ perspective, these and other analysts with the same opinion are not looking at from the vendor’s point-of-view. Knowing that a vendor is briefing an analyst provides AR at a competitor with valuable competitive intelligence. In fact, harvesting useful intelligence about what a competitor is doing with the analysts is one of the reasons SageCircle teaches vendors why AR teams need to be on Twitter and other forms of social media. However, there is an underlying tension with wanting information about your competitor, but not having information about your activities publicly disseminated.

So in this brave new world there are implications for both AR and analysts.

Analyst relations – Get over it. The Twitter genie is out of the bottle and there is no way to stuff that critter back. AR needs to adapt to the changed environment by deciding how to deal with Continue reading

A potpourri of observations on social media and the analyst ecosystem

icon-social-media-blue.jpgTime to take a minute to check in with what’s up with the analyst ecosystem and social media.

Atwitter about Twitter – Twitter continues to be a hot topic in general with some negative backlash developing (e.g., Morgan Stanley’s report that teens do not care for Twitter and Nielsen’s research that millions are “Twitter quitters”). So what? It does not matter how many millions of users don’t use Twitter after signing up or how many millions follow some actor or talk show host. What matters for AR teams is whether their most relevant analysts are using Twitter and how it is being used.

Forrester and Gartner Blog Traffic: Nothing to sneeze about – We caused a bit of a buzz when we compared the traffic hits on Jeremiah Owyang’s personal blog to Gartner’s and Forrester’s corporate websites in Don’t underestimate the visibility a blog can provide an analyst because Jeremiah’s blog had twice the traffic of the two corporate websites combined. Looking at the firms’ own blog networks shows good traffic to them as the graphic illustrates (click here or graphic to enlarge). Forrester’s team blogs have averaged 65,000 unique visitors per month over the last year. The Gartner Blog Network has grown steadily since its September 2008 launch to 29,000 unique visitors in July.

Forrester Gartner blog networks traffic - small 

Social media metrics, useful but not “special” – As we were working on Continue reading

Don’t discount the business value of analysts’ 350,000+ phone-based inquiries with end-user clients

icon-social-media-blue.jpgIn all the buzz about 21st century social media like Twitter and blogs there is this 19th century warhorse that is the analyst firms’ secret weapon – the telephone.

 Yes, the lowly telephone.

A common conversation SageCircle has with vendor executives is their opinion that analyst research is commoditized because so much information is available for free on the Web and in blogs, thus analyst influence must be dropping. It quickly turns out that the executive is almost always referring to the analysts’ published research. Our point in this post is that written research has always been commoditized and thus the written word is not what sells analyst services. What clients really buy is spoken advice – personalized and delivered real time – that cannot be commoditized, digitized, and distributed around the Internet.

Many members of the vendor community do not have a visceral feel for the client value delivered by these ad hoc phone-based inquiries between analysts and end users because they have never participated in one. Often vendor executives approve spending for analyst contracts because they think it is all part of a pay-to-play payola scheme. Because of this attitude they never bother to actually use the inquiry services they buy. 

However, the typical end user client of an advisory firm does not have this negative bias about analyst firms. For the enterprise IT manager, the advisory analyst is a trusted, objective advisor. In many cases, the analyst can actually save the client many times the analyst contract cost by providing timely insights – via a short phone inquiry – about a vendor contract the IT manager is Continue reading

Don’t underestimate the visibility a blog can provide an analyst

An interesting exercise is to compare the relative web traffic between the largest advisory analyst firm (Gartner), the largest IT market research firm (IDC) and a very visible analyst who has his own blog. Using the site comparison feature of Compete here is the graphic showing Forrester analyst extraordinaire and social media poster boy Jeremiah Owyang’s (bio, Twitter handle, blog) personal blog Web Strategy by Jeremiah, Gartner.com and IDC.com:

Traffic comparison Gartner.com IDC.com and Jeremiah Owyang blog 

Click here or on the graphic to enlarge. The top blue line is Jeremiah’s blog, the green middle line is Gartner.com and the bottom orange line is IDC.com. There is not a single month in the past year where Web Strategy by Jeremiah did not receive more unique visitors (an average of 136,000 per month) than Gartner.com and IDC.com combined.

Not an apples-to-apples comparison… and that is the point 

Of course, comparing two very different types of websites, a blog vs. corporate sites, is not an apples-to-apples assessment. Rather this illustrates how a savvy analyst can leverage a personally branded blog to obtain unique access to a broader audience than he could even on the regular research website of a $1.2bn but very traditional analyst firm. This is because the analyst blog is easily Continue reading

Where do social media metrics fit into an AR measurement program? [Practitioner Question]

AR Metrics & MeasurementQuestion: Are social media like blogs and Twitter something we should be measuring or is it too early yet? Where does social media fit in a measurement scheme?

icon-social-media-blue.jpg If your analysts are using social media, then including those sorts of metrics in a measurement program is really not optional. In this case we are putting social media on par with published research, press quotes, and activity counts as something worthy of measuring. While a 140-character tweet does not have the impact of a Gartner Magic Quadrant, it can provide useful information that should be added to the data mix.

Social media has elements of both operational metrics and performance metrics. Some example uses include:

  • Operational
    • Unfiltered opinions feed into plans and briefings
    • Activity insights feed into interaction calendars
    • Tweets and blog comments by AR to an analyst fulfill top-of-mind touches requirements
  • Performance
    • Tonality tracks analyst opinion movement
    • Mentions of company, products, and competitors with opinion can track changes in perception

Social media metrics complement other sources of data. For example, social media can complement Spoken Word Audits because social media-based conversations between analysts and end users are often personal, unfiltered, and Continue reading

Use an AR team handle to divide the Twitter workload

icon-social-media-blue.jpgWhen AR professionals consider using Twitter to interact with analysts they often shy away from the activity based on their perception of adding yet another task to an already heavy workload. There is even the perception that following an analyst using a personal Twitter handle (e.g., @daveeckert or @carterlusher) sets the expectation that the AR professional should be interacting with the analyst and not just observing their tweets. While this is not an unreasonable concern, our experience is the effective use of Twitter rarely has a large workload impact (see Analyze social media traffic of analysts to determine your workload). 

One way for AR programs with two or more staff members to get around the perceived workload issue is to set up an AR team handle (e.g., www.twitter.com/vendor_AR) and then switch support duties periodically (e.g., on Mondays). Then only one team member at a time is monitoring analysts’ Twitter traffic and posting appropriate tweets about the vendor. This approach also has the advantage of building the AR team’s brand with the analysts.

SageCircle Technique:

  • Set up an AR team handle on Twitter – select a name which reflects it as a team-branded handle.
  • Create a schedule of Continue reading

Ouch! Analysts expressing strong opinions on Twitter

icon-social-media-blue.jpgAs the analyst community becomes more comfortable with Twitter and other forms of social media they are expressing more opinions, and expressing them more strongly. For example, here is a tweet from a Forrester analyst about a vendor he covers (the names have been changed):

Analyst-name RT @person: <vendor name> biggest challenge is awareness. <analyst> – Nope. <vendor name> has plenty of awareness. They need new strategy.

Obviously an analyst opining that a vendor “…needs new strategy…” is pretty strong. If a prospect of that vendor reads that tweet then he or she might have a seed of doubt about that vendor planted in their brain. This seed could sprout into a weed of skepticism about the vendor’s viability and put the vendor at a disadvantage in the sales cycle. In addition, competitors’ sales teams could make sure the prospect sees this tweet as way to reinforce any seeds of FUD they are already are trying to sow.

On the positive side, this sort of unfiltered opinion might be one that the analyst has not directly expressed to the vendor. Knowing that the analyst has such a negative opinion gives the vendor the ability to investigate why Continue reading

LinkedIn: Another Area for AR Attention

icon-social-media-blue.jpgPlease don’t shoot the messenger, but it is becoming increasingly clear that LinkedIn might be something some AR teams also have to start monitoring. Why? Industry analysts are using LinkedIn not just as a contact management system, but more and more as a research, community-building, and marketing tool. Examples:

  • Building forums using LinkedIn Groups
  • Gathering structured data using LinkedIn Polls
  • Collecting unstructured opinions using LinkedIn Answers
  • Issuing research project launch announcements using Network Updates
  • Letting reporters know they are available for quotes using Network Updates
  • Requesting information contributions using Network Updates

Logo - LinkedInWe think that this trend is sufficiently important that we have added which relevant LinkedIn Groups analysts moderate or belong to into SageCircle’s Analyst Social Media Traffic Analysis database (which already had URL for LinkedIn profiles). This will make it easier for clients to evaluate whether this is an issue they should be concerned about.

BTW, this service can eliminate the work of establishing whether your top analysts are tweeting, blogging and using LinkedIn for research. Starting at $195, it is a bargain. Click here for more information. Annual Advisory clients can request a traffic analysis at no charge.

The following technique suggestions assume that you have a profile on LinkedIn and know how to use at least its basic features. SageCircle Advisory clients can set up an inquiry to have a short walk-through of LinkedIn if they want to get up-to-speed quickly.

SageCircle Technique:

Gartner analyst restarts his use of Twitter

photo - Gartner Anthony BradleyGartnerian Anthony Bradley (bio, blog, Twitter) in his blog announced OK, OK, I Hear Ya, I’m Tweeting Again.

“I used Twitter ages ago and never really got into it (didn’t see the value). But now that Twitter has gained more participants and I’m being asked more and more for my Twitter name, I’m going to give it another shot.”

icon-social-media-blue.jpgThis is not an uncommon occurrence. Someone signs up for Twitter, plays around with it for awhile and drops it when they don’t see immediate value. Then something gets them back on Twitter and they have an “ah ha!” moment. Moral of the story is that analyst relations (AR) cannot assume that an analyst’s position on Twitter and other social media, no matter how vehemently stated, is permanent. Of course, an analyst that was a heavy user of social media could stop using it as well.

SageCircle Technique:

  • Check SageCircle’s Analyst Twitter Directory periodically for your top analysts
  • Ask your analysts who are not using Twitter if they have changed their minds. This can be done during briefings, inquiries or Continue reading

LinkedIn forum moderated by AMR analyst

Photo - Phil FershtAMR analyst and outsourcing expert extraordinaire Phil Fersht (Twitter, bio, blog) is an effective user of social media as a research and publishing tool. It turns out that Phil is also using LinkedIn as well having created the The BPO and Offshoring Best Practices Forum to build the BPO community. Here is Phil’s invitation from his Horses for Sources blog:

“Yes, there is such a thing as a free lunch… Horses For Sources’ official LinkedIn Group, the aptly-named “The BPO and Offshoring Best Practices Forum” now has 5,700 members. This is a forum for leading sourcing practitioners to share their experiences, views, opinions, best practices and lessons learned in the worlds of IT outsourcing, Business Process Outsourcing, Shared Services and Offshoring. You also get a free subscription to the Horses Digest. And it’s FREE FREE FREE. Am I the most charitable person you know?”

This is yet another example of how savvy analysts are Continue reading

Why Twitter is Useful for Analysts

icon-social-media-blue.jpgNot a week goes by where an analyst does not ask SageCircle – typically in response to a query from us if they have a Twitter handle – what is the value of Twitter for an analyst? This is a great question because analysts, like AR, should make intelligent decisions about the use of a new communications tool. While some analysts are heavy users of Twitter, it does not mean they are necessarily effective users. Here is a subset of Twitter uses (in alphabetical order) that analysts typically find constructive. 

  1. Announcing activities (e.g., briefings by vendors) to elicit a response
  2. Building brands, personal as well as for the firm
  3. Developing ideas
  4. Discussing research agendas with clients and non-clients
  5. Exchanging observations with other Continue reading

June’s AR Coffee Talk is on AR’s social media monitoring

icon-coffee-talks.jpgSome of today’s new challenges for AR teams are how to determine if there is value to monitoring analyst opinions on blogs and Twitter, how to do the monitoring and how to use the information gathered. In this Coffee Talk, SageCircle strategists and AR professionals will discuss these issues and potential approaches to measuring and reporting on the analysts’ social media-based commentary.

June 10 at Noon US Pacific            Free – Click here to register

June 23 at 8:30 am US Pacific       Free – Click here to register

AR Coffee Talks

Networking and chatting with peers is a great way to expand your Continue reading

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