AR teams will get in trouble with executives for being surprised by analysts’ social media commentary – Looking ahead to 2010

icon-crystal-ball.jpgThis post is one in a series where SageCircle pulls out the crystal ball and looks ahead to what happens in the analyst ecosystem in 2010. See below for links to all posts in this series.

The vast majority of analyst relations (AR) teams are not regularly monitoring their most relevant analysts’ social media usage. However, this lack of attention could prove to be politically dangerous in 2010.

Many AR professionals have been confronted by executives at their companies with negative press quotes by the analysts. Often the executives demand to know why the analyst made the negative comment and what AR is going to do about it. Up through the early Internet age, while troublesome because it caused a fire drill, it was reasonable for AR not to be aware of a particular quote because a comprehensive press clipping service would have been too expensive. However, as the Internet and search tools matured, it has because harder for AR to justify ignorance about press quotes. This provides the added danger of damaging AR’s credibility for not being on top of the situation.

As more analysts adopt social media, sometimes chaotically, AR now has to anticipate being confronted by an executive wanting to know about some analyst’s negative blog post, tweet, or comment made in a social network. Just as with press quotes today, AR cannot feign ignorance about the negative comments made in social media. This is because it is perceived to be free and “easy” to monitor social media. Thus, an AR team that is not aware of an analyst social media comment brought to its attention by an executive will be in grave danger of having its credibility questioned. This could give rise to a new group tasked with social media influencer relations that would take over working with key Continue reading

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SageCircle AR Podcast for November 17, 2009

SageCircle AR Podcast ArtworkThe AR podcast is a review of the latest news and trends in the analyst ecosystem along with tips and tricks for analyst relations professionals and analyst research consumers. SageCircle strategists Dave Eckert and Carter Lusher co-host this bi-weekly program. You can find all the SageCircle podcasts on our podcast page.

Visit the podcast page to download the MP3 file or listen to the episodes on your computer.  Click here to subscribe to the podcast within iTunes

SCP 13: Table of contents. Numbers in parentheses refer to minutes:seconds when the article starts within the podcast.

[00:00]  Opening

[01:02]  News (ZL Technology/Gartner lawsuit; analyst firm hiring; Twitter Directories; HENRY Corporation expands)

[07:54]  Fact Checking Magic Quadrant Leaders Inflation Accusation

[15:53]  Does it matter how much Continue reading

Twitter Lists – A dual-edged sword for analyst relations

icon-social-media-blue.jpgTwitter has rolled out a new feature called “Lists” that permits any user to publish a list of Twitter handles. If someone else clicks on that list (e.g., simple example) they can easily see all the tweets from everybody on that list. Also by clicking on the “View List Page” to the right of the list title, you can see all the handles associated with that list. This new feature makes it very easy to follow a list so that you can go to it with a single click. 

It is very easy to create a list, just click on “New List” in the right hand navigation bar of your Twitter.com page; type in a title; select the Privacy status of Public or Private; and start adding handles to your list. Adding handles can be done from a simple search function, your “Following” or “Followers” list (Lists icon to right of the avatar), or from someone’s profile page. Your list will then show up in the right hand navigation bar. Lists can be broad (e.g., Gartner’s single list of all analysts) or targeted (e.g., Forrester’s multiple lists of analysts by client type).

You can find links to the analyst firm Twitter Lists on Carter’s Twitter page www.twitter.com/carterlusher. As of this blog post, seven Lists by analyst firms have been identified. If you have found other analyst firm Lists please sent a link to “info [at] sagecircle [dot] com” and we’ll add them to the list of lists.

However, there are more aspects to Twitter Lists than the ones mentioned above. SageCircle clients can set up an inquiry to get a quick tutorial on Twitter tips and tricks, which includes the use of Lists.

This new Twitter feature can be a useful tool for analyst relations (AR) teams. For instance, there could be a List for all the member of the AR team to make it easy for analysts to find all the relevant AR team members to follow. There could be lists for your company’s thought leaders or the domain experts for a particular product or market. These are all great ways to promote your colleagues or others and increase their followers, especially analysts.

What about an AR team’s analyst lists? Could they be turned into a Twitter List so that it would be easy for AR’s colleagues to find and follow relevant analysts? While simple to do, would you want to publish a list of your analysts for the entire world – including your competitors – to see? We think not and do not recommend that Continue reading

Incorporating Social Media Metrics into Your Measurement Program – A SageCircle Webinar

icon-social-media-blue.jpgSome of today’s new challenges for AR teams are how to determine if there is value to monitoring analyst opinions on blogs, Twitter, and social networks like LinkedIn; how to do the monitoring; and how to use the information gathered to create meaningful metrics. To help analyst relations teams be proactive with the emerging measurement requirements for social media, SageCircle is announcing a new public webinar focused on providing the tools and insights needed to efficiently collect, analyze and report social media metrics. 

This webinar is designed to teach you how to measure analyst social media traffic, the various methods for automating your social media monitoring for effective data gathering, and ways to measure both the mentions and the tonality.  We will discuss how to incorporate social media into your balanced scorecard and provide concise reporting to executives.

Key Issues to be addressed in this webinar include:

  • How do social media metrics fit into the overall AR measurement and reporting program?
  • What are the social media metrics needed for both performance and operational measurements?
  • What are the best practices for collecting social media metrics?
  • What are the approaches for reporting on social media activities and outcomes, either as standalone reports or as part of a broader reporting structure?

In this SageCircle Webinar, our strategists will provide a succinct analysis of Continue reading

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:

Superstars Owyang and Wang joining Altimeter Group is not just about social media

Logo - Altimeter GroupOn August 27, 2009, the Altimeter Group announced (click here for press release) that it was expanding with Deborah Schultz and former Forrester analysts R “Ray” Wang and Jeremiah Owyang.  They join Charlene Li, former Forrester social media analyst and co-author of Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies . Here are some salient points about the announcement that we picked up from Altimeter’s briefing for SageCircle: 

  • This is a true firm, not a loose collection of individuals operating under a marketing umbrella
  • They are Silicon Valley-based partners which will permit creation of a coherent team and methodology
  • Their coverage emphasis will be on “emerging technologies” not social media
  • The focus will be on thought leadership and practical applications
  • Their business model will incorporate many traditional analyst firm elements (e.g., vendor selection, training, consulting, and speeches) with the addition of a hands-on lab and a community platform
  • Regularly published, client-only research is not part of the model

Because of the partners association with social media – as analysts, corporate practitioners, and personal usage – the coverage of this announcement will likely give too much play on that aspect. While an important part of Altimeter’s marketing and initial research coverage, SageCircle thinks that focusing on social media misses other more interesting implications of this announcement:

  1. Altimeter has the potential to be a contender (see Boutique Analyst Firms: Pretenders and Contenders) with serious visibility and influence
  2. Altimeter has the potential to grow a serious technology buyer client base, maybe over 50%, unlike most single practitioners and analyst boutiques that rely on vendors for revenues
  3. A technology buyer client base when combined with its vendor selection services should increase Altimeter’s relevance to vendor analyst relations (AR) and other influencer programs
  4. Altimeter has the potential to systematically cover Continue reading

Forrester adds 20 analysts to Analyst Twitter directory and dozens of contributors to the role-based team blogs

icon-social-media-blue.jpgForrester 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 Continue reading