• Recent Posts: Influencer Relations

    Saying farewell to David Bradshaw

    Saying farewell to David Bradshaw

    A funeral and celebration for David Bradshaw (shown left in this 2000 Ovum awayday photo, arm raised, with me and other colleagues) is to take place at West Norwood Crematorium, London SE27 at 2.45pm on Tuesday 23rd August and after at the Amba Hotel above London’s Charing Cross Station, on the Strand. David considered that that Ovum in that incarnation was […]

    David Bradshaw 1953-2016

    David Bradshaw 1953-2016

    David Bradshaw, one of the colleagues I worked with during my time as an analyst at Ovum, died on August 11. He led Cloud research in Europe for IDC, whose statement is below. David played a unique role at Ovum, bridging its telecoms and IT groups in the late 1990s by looking at computer-telecoms integration areas like CRM, which I […]

    AR managers are failing with consulting firms

    AR managers are failing with consulting firms

    Reflecting the paradoxical position of many clients, Kea’s Analyst Attitude Survey also goes to a wide range of consultants who play similar roles to analysts and are often employed by analyst firms. The responses to the current survey show that consultants are generally much less happy with their relationships with AR teams than analysts are. The paradox is that as […]

    Fersht: some IIAR award-winners “just tick the boxes”

    Fersht: some IIAR award-winners “just tick the boxes”

    Some of the firms mentioned by the IIAR’s analyst team awards fall short of excellence. That’s the verdict of several hundred analysts who took our Analyst Attitude Survey, and of the CEO of one of the top analyst firms. Phil Fersht left the comment below on our criticism of the IIAR awards. We thought we’d reprint it together with the […]

    Do the IIAR awards simply reward large firms?

    Do the IIAR awards simply reward large firms?

    The 2016 Institute for Industry Analyst Relations’ awards seem to be rewarding firms for the scale of their analyst relations, rather than their quality. In a blog post on July 6th, the IIAR awarded IBM the status of best analyst relations teams, with Cisco, Dell and HP as runners-up. Together with Microsoft, which outsources much of its analyst relations to […]

Just because they are not tweeting does not mean they are not lurking

icon-social-media-blue.jpgA common refrain that SageCircle strategists hear runs along the lines of “Yeah, there are a lot of analysts in your Analyst Twitter Directory but a lot of them never tweet. So they don’t count.” 

It is not uncommon for SageCircle strategists to receive an email from an analyst or analyst relations (AR) professional starting with “I saw your tweet…” When we check the Twitter page of the sender it’s not unusual to find someone who rarely or never tweets.

Tying the two stories together provides a lesson that just because an analyst has a Twitter handle and is not tweeting does not mean they are inactive. They could be what Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff described in Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies as “lurkers” or “spectators.” Those analysts who you think don’t count could be reading your and your colleague’s tweets, learning and forming opinions.

SageCircle Technique:

Where do social media metrics fit into an AR measurement program? [Practitioner Question]

AR Metrics & MeasurementQuestion: Are social media like blogs and Twitter something we should be measuring or is it too early yet? Where does social media fit in a measurement scheme?

icon-social-media-blue.jpg If your analysts are using social media, then including those sorts of metrics in a measurement program is really not optional. In this case we are putting social media on par with published research, press quotes, and activity counts as something worthy of measuring. While a 140-character tweet does not have the impact of a Gartner Magic Quadrant, it can provide useful information that should be added to the data mix.

Social media has elements of both operational metrics and performance metrics. Some example uses include:

  • Operational
    • Unfiltered opinions feed into plans and briefings
    • Activity insights feed into interaction calendars
    • Tweets and blog comments by AR to an analyst fulfill top-of-mind touches requirements
  • Performance
    • Tonality tracks analyst opinion movement
    • Mentions of company, products, and competitors with opinion can track changes in perception

Social media metrics complement other sources of data. For example, social media can complement Spoken Word Audits because social media-based conversations between analysts and end users are often personal, unfiltered, and Continue reading

Use an AR team handle to divide the Twitter workload

icon-social-media-blue.jpgWhen AR professionals consider using Twitter to interact with analysts they often shy away from the activity based on their perception of adding yet another task to an already heavy workload. There is even the perception that following an analyst using a personal Twitter handle (e.g., @daveeckert or @carterlusher) sets the expectation that the AR professional should be interacting with the analyst and not just observing their tweets. While this is not an unreasonable concern, our experience is the effective use of Twitter rarely has a large workload impact (see Analyze social media traffic of analysts to determine your workload). 

One way for AR programs with two or more staff members to get around the perceived workload issue is to set up an AR team handle (e.g., www.twitter.com/vendor_AR) and then switch support duties periodically (e.g., on Mondays). Then only one team member at a time is monitoring analysts’ Twitter traffic and posting appropriate tweets about the vendor. This approach also has the advantage of building the AR team’s brand with the analysts.

SageCircle Technique:

  • Set up an AR team handle on Twitter – select a name which reflects it as a team-branded handle.
  • Create a schedule of 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

Example topics to post or tweet about

icon-social-media-blue.jpgne of the perceived hurdles for analyst relations (AR) professionals who want to adopt social media like blogging and Twitter is how to come up with all the content. While initially this might seem daunting, once you get in the habit of watching for relevant content it will pop out at you. Here is a small subset of examples of what you can blog or tweet about.

 SageCircle Technique:

  • Spotlight existing content on your company’s website or blogs
  • Spotlight your company’s participants (links to bios, profiles, etc) who will be at an industry event that analysts will also be attending
  • Spotlight your company’s upcoming analyst events such as tracks, breakouts, etc
  • Recycle content from internal emails, presentations and documents (where appropriate)
  • Participate in tweet-based conversations with your top analysts
  • Mine research, internal or purchased or online, for relevant factoids
  • Point to your company’s staff member quotes and interviews in the press

Related post: What AR should blog about – common questions

SageCircle clients should request the analyst responses to our Fall SageCircle survey of Continue reading

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