Using social media as a research tool is not the end all, be all even for social computing analysts

icon-social-media-blue.jpgIn another example of his radical transparency – at least for an analyst at a major firm – Jeremiah Owyang posted How crowdsourcing helps some – but not all research activities that discusses how he uses both social media-based and traditional Forrester research methodologies. It is an interesting read.

This post provides insights for analyst relations (AR) professionals into how a leading edge analyst is leveraging social media today as a research tool. These insights could prove useful as other analysts regardless of market coverage start to adopt these techniques.

Related posts:

Because analysts are increasingly using blogs as development platforms, AR has to participate to be part of the conversation

Examples of analysts using blogs for research purposes  

SageCircle Technique:

  • Subscribe to Owyang’s blog and follow him on Twitter even if he does not cover your company’s market
  • Occasional skim Owyang’s blog posts and tweets to see how he is using social media to supplement Forrester’s traditional methodology
  • Talk with your top analysts about how they are adopting social media for communications and research
  • Start pilot projects using social media as an AR tool and method to engage analysts in their research activities

Bottom Line: While rarely used today, social media as a research tool will likely become a standard part of the analyst toolbox. Rather than waiting and thus getting caught in reactive or even firefighting modes, AR should start observing leading edge analysts today to learn about the potential implications of these new research tools so that when more analysts start using social, you will be ready. AR teams that are educated on how to leverage analysts’ use of social media will be in a position to be proactive – even preemptive – and gain a competitive advantage.

Question: Do you know how your top analysts are leveraging social media – if at all – for research?