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

Cross-link your social media identify by adding your Twitter handle to LinkedIn profile

icon-social-media-blue.jpgIt’s important to raise the visibility of your Twitter handle to increase your followers, which could then give you insights about who you should follow. One of the simplest ways to raise your Twitter visibility is to place links to your handle in your LinkedIn profile. This is rarely done, but quite easy to do. 

SageCircle Technique:

  • On www.LinkedIn.com click on Profile then Edit My Profile then Additional Information to edit your websites
  • Select which of the three website slots to use
  • From the first drop down menu select “Other”
  • In the description box, type in 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
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