In Why social media scares the analyst firms and vendor AR teams, we pointed out that social media was here to stay and that analysts and AR can’t hope for it fade away as a fad. In fact, AR teams that have yet to start experimenting with social media (e.g., blogs, social networks, microblogging, et cetera) might be surprised to find that some of their analysts are much more into these forms of communications than expected.
For example, I launched my company AR blog and promoted the blog heavily to the analysts. What was interesting was the feedback I was getting from older, long-time analysts that found the blog useful. So my assumption that only younger, junior analysts would read it went out the window.
SageCircle Technique: My suggestion to AR teams is that you pick up the phone and conduct an inquiry-based research project asking a reasonable subset of your analysts about their current and planned usage of social media. This easy project will help you prioritize how to approach social media. Sample questions include:
Are you currently using social media, either personally or professionally? Which ones?
Which ones are you thinking about playing with?
What about your colleagues, are they using social media?
How would you like us to use social media to keep you informed about our company?
What would you prefer us not to do when it comes to social media and the analysts?
Can I friend you on Facebook, link on LinkedIn, follow you on Twitter and so on? If yes, what are your IDs?
BTW, using inquiry to ask analysts about their personal usage of social media is great way to strengthen your relationships. The analysts appreciate vendors taking the time to inquire about their preferences and asking their advice.
Bottom Line: Social media has the potential to be a valuable AR tool. Now is the time to pilot using tools so that you can gain the business value that goes to early adopters rather than wait when everybody else is doing it.
Question: Vendor AR teams – Have you started experimenting with social media? Analysts – How do you want vendors to use social media to enhance their outreach to you?
Shameless Marketing Pitch – SageCircle can help AR teams develop a pilot program to experiment with social media. Call 650-274-8309 or e-mail info (at) sagecircle dot com for more information or check out SageCircle’s two-hour and five-hour advisory paks or Annual Advisory Service. The advisory paks are easy to setup and pay for via credit card.
Since 2000, SageCircle has helped analyst relations teams to focus on business value by encouraging innovative thinking that leverages insights and drives revenue.