Forrester 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 major news event and the non-blogging analysts get a byline mention because of that. This can be confusing to AR teams trying to determine who at Forrester is really a blogger. For that reason it is important to do a traffic analysis to determine who really is blogging.
The amount of activity on the Forrester blogs is quite varied. While some blogs average one or two posts per week, others can go a month without seeing any activity. For instance, the Information and Knowledge Management Professionals blog has not seen a real post – a promotion for the podcast by a non-analyst does not count – since July 28. While it is not necessary to blog every day, having a regular post is considered best practice for building visibility and readership.
Of course, Forrester also lost its two most prominent bloggers and twits, R “Ray” Wang (personal-branded blog, Twitter handle) and Jeremiah Owyang (personal-branded blog, Twitter handle). It will be interesting to see if their replacements will be avid social media users and whether Forrester will be evaluating candidates’ current social media usage when making the hiring decisions.
- Analyst relations (AR) should engage research associates on social media because they work on relevant research projects. This will also help build relationships with future influencers
- Teams should keep a finger on the pulse of changing Forrester and other analyst usage of social media
Bottom Line: Just because a number of Forrester analysts have popped up on social media does not mean every AR team needs to jump onto the social media bandwagon right now. It still comes down to whether your relevant analysts are using social media as a means of communicating opinion and as a research tool. However, what these data strongly point to is the importance of having a formal monitoring program that will help the AR team keep its finger on the pulse of change in the adoption of social media by relevant parts of the analyst ecosystem. That way AR will not be taken by surprise when a relevant analyst starts expressing opinions on social media platforms.
Question: AR – have you been surprised by an analyst use of social media?
I’m really on the fence about this one. Most of my analysts at Forrester are in the Information and Knowledge Management group, and I really don’t mind if they don’t blog. I feel like I’m getting more bang for my buck with inquiries and reading the published research and they aren’t giving it away. Maybe I’m just being selfish though?
Carter – In answer to your question “have you been surprised by an analyst use of social media?” I can’t believe some of the stuff that some analysts and independent consultants Tweet. A little more discretion wouldn’t hurt. However, it is telling and sometimes useful.
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