Q&A from SageCircle’s “Introduction to Twitter for AR” webinar – Firm handles, retweet, protocols and more

icon-social-media-blue.jpgAt the four sessions of the “Introduction to Twitter for AR” webinar held in August, there were some interesting questions that came up. Here are answers to some of the questions.

Shameless Marketing – If you missed the webinar, you can schedule a SageCircle “AR Briefing” on Twitter for you and your colleagues. Click here for a brochure or contact us at 650-274-8309 for more information.

Q: What about firms that follow you? Do you recommend letting them follow you? (e.g., Gartner)

A: Firm handles (e.g., @forrester, @Gartner_inc and @the451group) are typically used to promote the firm. For example, @the451group is used to announce research note publications and @Gartner_inc is used by the Gartner PR team as a press release wire. @forrester is often used at Forrester events to facilitate info to attendees and accept questions during sessions. There is little or no downside to letting them follow you. On the other hand, you should carefully consider whether you should follow them. Because they are marketing tools, they could add clutter to your timeline without necessarily giving you useful information.

Q: Why retweet? To pass along a tweet to others?

A: Retweets are used for a couple of purposes. One is to give your reply some context by including […]

Do you really want PR to own social media for your company?

icon-social-media-blue.jpgInteresting post by Jason Falls on his Social Media Explorer blog: Social Media Is The Responsibility Of Public Relations.

Oh, really?

SageCircle believes that PR and AR – and other outbound communications functions – have different goals and techniques and each needs to address their tactics to their unique audiences.  This means that AR needs to voice its opinion and support its own needs regarding company policies.

While there is plenty to debate on this issue (e.g., Where does Social Media live in the organization?), the purpose of this post is to encourage analyst relations (AR) teams be active participants in internal discussions about the role of social media in their companies.

SageCircle Technique

  • Educate yourself about social media
  • Determine what role social media will play in AR activities in the near and […]

Answering “10 Questions Analyst Relations Have on Social Media” Part 2

icon-social-media-blue.jpgRecently Jeremiah Owyang, a Forrester analyst that covers social media, spoke to a group of AR and PR professionals at a large vendor in the Silicon Valley about the use of social media. Of course, Jeremiah being Jeremiah, he posted about the meeting in 10 Questions Analyst Relations Have About Social Media. The post is interesting in that Jeremiah did not try to answer the questions he recorded, so SageCircle is going to provide our take on the answers.

The following questions were answered in part 1:

  1. Is social media a medium to influence the influencers?
  2. Are influencers impacted by social media usage of clients, vendors, and media?
  3. Now that many are creating their own messages is message control realistic?
  4. Can AR and PR benefit from listening to social media?
  5. Can AR and PR benefit from using social media to talk?
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    Now to questions 6 – 10
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  6. How do AR folks, who are traditionally accustomed to deep, often in-person relationships benefit from this? Relationships today are built on more than in-person meetings. This is especially true as both analysts and AR staff become more geographically dispersed. Social media can provide intelligence, insights and actionable information about the analysts that provides the basis for […]

Answering “10 Questions Analyst Relations Have on Social Media” Part 1

icon-social-media-blue.jpgRecently Jeremiah Owyang (bio, Twitter handle), a Forrester analyst that covers social media, spoke to a group of AR and PR professionals at a large vendor in the Silicon Valley about the use of social media. Of course, Jeremiah being Jeremiah, he blogged about the meeting in 10 Questions Analyst Relations Have About Social Media. The post is interesting in that Jeremiah did not try to answer the questions he recorded, so SageCircle is going to provide our take on the answers. 

Some of the questions are addressed to “influencers,” not necessarily only analysts. For our answers we are going to focus on the industry analysts, thought SageCircle does think a lot about the broader influencer landscape (e.g., see Fog of Influence).

  1. Is social media a medium to influence the influencers? Yes, but “influencing” is too narrow an approach. Social media can be great tools for engaging analysts, educating them on important issues, building personal relationships, getting feedback from analysts, and so on. AR teams need to think less that social media is something “special” and more that it is just part of the overall communications toolbox to be used where appropriate depending on the specific task and analyst.
  2. Are influencers impacted by social media usage of clients, vendors, and media? This depends on the analyst. Some are ignoring the whole social media phenomena because they think it is a passing fad, not relevant to their clients, or does not fit into […]

How closely does AR, PR and Sales have to coordinate?

Here is an interesting comment (click to enlarge) that might portend a problem for technology vendors in the near future:

This reminds me of the discussions in the mid-90’s around the then nascent market category of customer relattionship management (CRM). One of the perceived benefits of CRM was that it would provide companies a single view of the customer that would make life easier for the customer and provide business value to the company. But there was also huge disagreements over who would “own” the customer: customer service, marketing or sales.

Today, people are starting to play multiple roles as customers, influencers, collaborators and […]

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 […]

Thinking about Gartner’s Hype Cycle

As AR professionals focus (obsess) on the Gartner Magic Quadrant and Forrester Wave as primary targets for influencing, an important signature research deliverable is often overlooked – Gartner’s Hype Cycle (click graphic to see a larger version). This point is driven home by the fact that is takes a fair amount of work to find a vendor reprint of any Hype Cycle, whereas you can easily find MQ and Wave reprints starting on the first Google search results page. This vendor attitude is unfortunate because Gartner says that the Hype Cycle is the most read/download type of research, even more than the Magic Quadrant. However, because the Hype Cycle does not directly compare products and rarely even mentions vendors in passing, it is easy for vendors not to give Hype Cycles a high priority.

The Hype Cycle might take on additional visibility in October 2008 if Gartner and the Harvard Business School Press (HBSP) promote the new book, Mastering the Hype Cycle: How to Choose the Right Innovation at the Right Time by Jackie Fenn and Mark Raskino, as effectively as […]

Why analyst relations matter – Analysts do not have time to do all-inclusive research

(After an interesting Twitter-based conversation with Illuminata’s Gordon Haff and former IDC analyst Ida-Rose Sylvester over the use of the word comprehensive, we have decided to use the word all-inclusive instead. )

One aspect of the analyst industry that is not widely known by technology buyers (aka end users, usually IT managers) and vendors is that industry analysts do not have the resources (e.g., time and travel budget) to conduct and publish comprehensive all-inclusive research about a market.  Advisory analysts gather most of their data from client inquiry and vendor briefings.  The major firms do not conduct product evaluations, lab tests against specifications, or quality of service investigations.

 This point was highlighted by Forrester analyst Jeremiah Owyang in Starting the Forrester Wave: White Label Social Networks and Community Platforms about some research he is working on:

 “…I made a call for the vendor product catalog in this market, (and via email and twitter) that document is a detailed index of over 40 vendors in the space, (aprox 50% of the market) and will be available to Forrester clients…”

 “…Due to the rigorous methodology … The Wave will only include several vendors.”

There are two key points here, one is that the vendor catalog is only a subset of the market and, two, the Wave will be a further subset of the vendor catalog the analyst assembled.

For vendors in this market these points should send a shiver down their spines. If they […]