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

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:

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

Knowing when an analyst is kicking off a research project – one of the paybacks for monitoring social media

icon-social-media-blue.jpgIntelligence about what an analyst is researching is a huge value of monitoring social media (e.g., Twitter, blogs, or social networking sites like LinkedIn). Here are two examples of analysts announcing projects that showed up in my RSS feed this week: 

Debbie Wilson, Gartner, in her blog post Call for Strategic Sourcing Suite Vendors. “Today I am kicking off the Magic Quadrant for Sourcing Application Suites update process – and calling for vendors that should be considered for inclusion.  (I have not decided on inclusion criteria yet – but definitely plan to cover a wider set of vendors than last year’s report … Anyone I left out?” Debbie also discusses why she is broadening her definition of the market and then lists 37 vendors she has already identified.

Greg Young (Twitter), Gartner, in his post New Magic Quadrant Upcoming: Web Application Firewalls. “The Gartner Senior Research Board gave me approval to research a Magic Quadrant on Web Application Firewalls (WAF). The publishing target is Q4.” Greg then goes on to discuss the evolution of the marketplace that justifies the need for a Magic Quadrant.

There are a number of calls to action for analyst relations (AR) professionals whose markets are covered in these posts.  These include:

  • Set up client inquiries with the analysts to learn more about the research projects
  • Make the decision about whether Continue reading

Example topics to post or tweet about

icon-social-media-blue.jpgne of the perceived hurdles for analyst relations (AR) professionals who want to adopt social media like blogging and Twitter is how to come up with all the content. While initially this might seem daunting, once you get in the habit of watching for relevant content it will pop out at you. Here is a small subset of examples of what you can blog or tweet about.

 SageCircle Technique:

  • Spotlight existing content on your company’s website or blogs
  • Spotlight your company’s participants (links to bios, profiles, etc) who will be at an industry event that analysts will also be attending
  • Spotlight your company’s upcoming analyst events such as tracks, breakouts, etc
  • Recycle content from internal emails, presentations and documents (where appropriate)
  • Participate in tweet-based conversations with your top analysts
  • Mine research, internal or purchased or online, for relevant factoids
  • Point to your company’s staff member quotes and interviews in the press

Related post: What AR should blog about – common questions

SageCircle clients should request the analyst responses to our Fall SageCircle survey of Continue reading

An analyst can go from skeptic about social media to fan overnight

icon-social-media-blue.jpghen it comes to social media usage by analysts, nothing is set in stone. For instance, Carter was having a conversation with an analyst from one of the “Big Three” firms who said:

“I do not have a blog and I refuse to sign up for Twitter.  However, I do read every blog by the vendors that I cover.” 

At the time that quote was said, it provided some interesting insights into this analyst’s attitude toward social media. However, within months, this analyst who was so adamant that he would not use Twitter or have a blog, was tweeting and had TWO blogs: one for his firm and one under his personal brand. Moral of the story is that analyst relations (AR) cannot assume that an analyst’s position on 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 various analyst social media directories periodically for your top analysts
  • Ask your analysts who are not using social media if Continue reading
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