Please don’t shoot the messenger, but it is becoming increasingly clear that LinkedIn might be something some AR teams also have to start monitoring. Why? Industry analysts are using LinkedIn not just as a contact management system, but more and more as a research, community-building, and marketing tool. Examples:
- Building forums using LinkedIn Groups
- Gathering structured data using LinkedIn Polls
- Collecting unstructured opinions using LinkedIn Answers
- Issuing research project launch announcements using Network Updates
- Letting reporters know they are available for quotes using Network Updates
- Requesting information contributions using Network Updates
We think that this trend is sufficiently important that we have added which relevant LinkedIn Groups analysts moderate or belong to into SageCircle’s Analyst Social Media Traffic Analysis database (which already had URL for LinkedIn profiles). This will make it easier for clients to evaluate whether this is an issue they should be concerned about.
BTW, this service can eliminate the work of establishing whether your top analysts are tweeting, blogging and using LinkedIn for research. Starting at $195, it is a bargain. Click here for more information. Annual Advisory clients can request a traffic analysis at no charge.
The following technique suggestions assume that you have a profile on LinkedIn and know how to use at least its basic features. SageCircle Advisory clients can set up an inquiry to have a short walk-through of LinkedIn if they want to get up-to-speed quickly.
- Search LinkedIn for your most relevant analysts
- Request to link with the analysts
- Check the “Groups and Associations” area toward the bottom of the profile page for relevant groups
- Click on each group to see if the analyst is a member, manager, or owner of the group
- Request to join the group
- Review activity on the group’s discussion boards once you have been approved for membership
Bottom Line: Using LinkedIn as a research tool and way to engage IT buyers is not a broad based trend… yet. So now is the time to start monitoring how your most relevant analysts are using LinkedIn and experimenting with appropriate techniques for interacting with them. That way, if more of your analysts start using LinkedIn you will have the skills needed to handle this usage efficiently and effectively.
Question: AR – How many of your most relevant analysts are on LinkedIn and have Groups they own or manage? Analysts – How do you want vendors to participate in the forums you set up?