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:

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

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

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

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