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

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

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

Analysts can go around AR using social media

icon-social-media-blue.jpgWhen Analyst Relations Get Social is a short and interesting post by Forrester analyst Jeremiah Owyang (bio, Twitter handle) on the fact that analyst relations professionals should not consider themselves gatekeepers, but facilitators. On this, we at SageCircle completely agree. Frankly, the best AR programs have always had the facilitator attitude.

For those AR programs that still want to be gatekeepers, social media is making it harder and harder to maintain control of every interaction with the analysts. As Jeremiah points out:

 “…For example, I can easily tweet out “anyone in the sharepoint team have have a moment for some questions” and I’d suspect they’d quickly respond in seconds, whether or not the AR person was involved. …”

SageCircle Technique

  • AR programs that currently look at themselves as gatekeepers should reevaluate this position
  • AR needs to embrace social media then experiment and Continue reading

Analyze social media traffic of analysts to determine your workload

icon-social-media-blue.jpgA common issue that AR managers bring up when discussing why they currently don’t follow analysts on blogs and Twitter is that it would be too much work. Hmm, maybe it could be a lot of work, but really the reality is that it does not take much time per day tracking posts and tweets. Why? 

  • There are not many analysts in any particular market who use social media
  • Tools are available (e.g., RSS readers and Twitter Search) that make it easy and fast to track posts and tweets

Something that AR should do is work from facts and not assumptions so we recommend that AR managers conduct an analysis of their top analysts’ use of social media. This analysis should cover at least the previous three weeks to smooth out changes in usage due to travel, special events like analyst summits, holidays, and so on. Data to be gathered includes the number of blog posts for both firm and personal blogs and the overall number of tweets  

The analysis concentrates on the average number of social media publications per day. In the tests and beta client engagements of our new SageToolTM Analyst Social Media Traffic Analysis (see graphic) we found that most analyst lists only had a small percentage of analysts that actively used social media and that the volume of traffic was modest. Of course there are Continue reading

Announcing “Launching a Social Media Strategy: A SageCircle Workshop”

icon-social-media-blue.jpgSocial media is rapidly transitioning from being a playground for individuals to an important tool for business.  Some tools like blogging have been around for awhile, while others like Twitter are still emerging.  Regardless of the current start of the art, many hundreds of savvy analysts and AR professionals are using these and other tools to improve relationships, generate intelligence, and enhance conversations. 

There are many questions for AR about social media

Unfortunately questions for AR abound: Should AR teams blog and tweet?  Does AR have to track bloggers and Twitterers who are not traditional analysts?  How can you pick up responsibility for blogging and Twittering when resources are already stretched thin?  When and how do you incorporate analyst blogs and Tweets into analyst opinion monitoring programs.  And most important: How to get started?

To help AR professionals and teams take a strategic approach to dealing with the rapidly changing social media usage by members of the analyst ecosystem, SageCircle is announcing a new public half-day workshop focused on how to incorporate social media into AR’s daily routine and toolbox.

Key Issues to be addressed in this workshop include:

  • What are the roles of social media in the analyst ecosystem?
  • How should social media be incorporated into AR’s strategic and tactical plan?
  • What are the policy implications of adopting blogging and Twitter?
  • How do social media get incorporated into AR measurement and reporting programs?

Get Up to Speed Quickly

In this SageCircle AR Workshop, we provide AR professionals with Continue reading

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