Social media as a channel for analyst conversations

icon-social-media-blue.jpgFreeform Dynamics analyst Dale Vile (Twitter handle) has an interesting post, The importance of the back channel, on the Open Reasoning blog. In the post, Dale discusses the value social media can play in moving public conversations into private channels. Money quote:

“Consider, for example, that while it is obvious when a blog post or a tweet on Twitter sparks an open conversation in public, it is not so obvious when it prompts a private exchange via email, instant messaging, the telephone, or some other mechanism. Indeed, it is quite common in my experience for two related threads to be running in parallel, one in public and one in the private back channel. More commonly, however, the back channel exchanges are spin-off conversations that have their roots in the public discussion, but take it down a different route.”

However, social media is a channel in and of itself for some analysts. Jeremiah Owyang (blog, Twitter handle) from Forrester in a post on Edelman AR pro Jonny Bentwood’ Technobabble 2.0 blog explains:

“I’ll be very clear on this as an analyst. If you want to influence me, be in a conversation and dialog with me, in person, online, and wherever I go.”

Jeremiah is heavy into conversations via comments to his blog and Twitter tweets.

AMR Research disruptive technology analyst Jonathan Yarmis (Twitter handle) puts another spin on social media as a channel to analysts by pointing out how the notion of frequency is much different:

jyarmis @JonnyBentwood @carterlusher vendors who interact with me on twitter get me multiple times/DAY, everyone else multiple times/month or year 12:47 PM July 11, 2008

Of course, social media can be used for everyday tasks in place of IM, email or the phone as demonstrated by a quote from an AR pro:

“(analyst name) is in town this week for the (industry event) and we had a nice dinner/beers at a local brewpub on Sunday evening.  Great guy.  We set it up through Twitter :)”

SageCircle Technique:

  • Set up a free Twitter account (send SageCircle your Twitter handle for the AR Twitter Directory)
  • Start tracking analyst blogs and Twitter (not hard or a lot of work if you use our suggestions)
  • Experiment with engaging the analysts via Twitter, blog comments and so on
  • Talk with your top tier analysts about their use of social media

On the last bullet, you need to do this periodically as more and more analysts are playing with social media.

Bottom Line: For analyst relations professionals, social offers a rich set of opportunities for engaging the analysts in ways both an extension of traditional forms of communication and in unique ways as well. In no way will social media replace other forms of communications, but will supplement them.

Question: AR teams – Besides the perception that you do not have time to experiment with social media, what other factors are hurdles?

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