As 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 the analyst perceives this and then work to turn it around.
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Twitter’s Visibility Multiplied through Widgets on other Social Media
Reading an analyst’s tweets is not just limited to Twitter.com or a Twitter desktop client (e.g., TweetDeck or Seesmic) as many people now have widgets on their blogs, websites, LinkedIn and Facebook that display their tweets. As a consequence, the number of people who could be exposed to an analyst’s unfiltered opinion could be much greater than simply those that are formally “followers” of the analyst.
- Determine which of your most relevant analysts are using Twitter or other social media
- Set up a monitoring program that utilizes tools like RSS and Tweetdeck for efficiency
- Get in the habit of checking daily – it only takes a few minutes – for recent analyst comments
Bottom Line: AR teams can harvest valuable insights into what their analysts are researching by tracking the analysts’ blog posts, tweets, and other forms of social media. Investing a modest amount of effort in setting up a monitoring program can reap big benefits by giving AR early warning about critical opportunities.
Question: AR – Do you have a social media monitoring program in place? If yes, what actionable insights have you gathered from the analysts’ social media usage? If not, why not?
Do you think it would be too much work to monitor analyst commentary on social media? Maybe it would be less than you assume.
SageCircle’s Analyst Social Media Traffic Analysis service can eliminate the work of establishing whether your top analysts are tweeting and blogging. Starting at $195, the service is a bargain. Click here for more information.