AR and social media: it’s the interaction stupid!

I’m back from the Forrester IT Forum last week, where I was invited to the AR Council (thank you @liz_pellegrini).
There I stumbled on a nice graph (right) published on John Rymer’s blogs and thought it summarises pretty well why AR should care about SocMed.
My research lifecycle
Many of my peers see blogs as an output for free research and Twitter as drinking from a chit-chat firehose. My argument there is that they’re missing the point.

Here’s the reasoning:

  1. Social media is declarative (people say what they want, where they want and choose to participate or not). This means you need to interact with a given audience where they are -on Twitter, Foursquare, LinkedIn or in the good old fashion way, at the pub. And chose the appropriate topic for the appropriate channel.
  2. Social media is a conversation -it’s the place to discuss and interact. I take many briefing requests from analysts on Twitter, post some comments on their blogs (if I’ve got something relevant to say and that complies with my employer’s blogging guidelines), all that to say it’s not a one way street.
  3. DO: use SocMed as a research tool. John is illustrating well how an analyst can test an idea, exchange with other analysts (this point is far tool little documented actually), etc.  But it’s also a great research tool for AR pros to see what analysts are thinking about.
  4. Timing is everything. Research is nothing if not followed up by actions: being better connected with web 2.0 tools allows AR managers to insert the right proofpoint, topic, idea, in a conversation with much better chances of being picked up by analysts because it’s more relevant to their research agenda. The idea is to switch away from being reactive to being more proactive.

Nothing really revolutionary as good AR mangers already do all this by calling regularly their key analysts, but social media is a conversation accelerator, allowing AR pros to follow more analysts and interact with them in a more timely and proactive fashion.

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6 Responses to AR and social media: it’s the interaction stupid!

  1. barbara french Thursday 8th July 2010 at 21:59 #

    Ludovic, Nice share! I’m looking at your last sentence. Do you find that you *primarily* use social media to apply more focus to your top-valued analysts, or to apply more focus to those analysts who typically get less of your attention?

  2. Ludovic Leforestier Friday 9th July 2010 at 09:35 #

    Hi Barbara,

    SocMed tends to expose me to some more original thinking from independent analysts, and there are some great guys there.

    Think of it as as “Serendepity AR” inbound channel. But while it allows those discoveries, I try to stick to my strategy and my AR plan: it’s not about the channel, it’s about what you’re trying to achieve.

  3. Barbara French Friday 9th July 2010 at 16:47 #

    Thanks. I suspect you have a solid bead on when to stay on plan and when to adjust it.

    Sounds as though social media expands your AR-analyst knowledge exchange, so there’s an upside there for the analysts. I also hear this from analysts. And it makes sense.

    It doesn’t sound as though social media exchanges are affecting your nearterm $ expenditures with specific analysts or their 1:1 access to business leaders. That’s similar to what I’ve been hearing from several AR practitioners and analysts.

    Anyone care to comment on the role of social media in deciding AR budget allocations?

    • Ludovic Leforestier Friday 9th July 2010 at 17:02 #

      Barbara,

      Check the SOSM graph on Slideshare on my LinkedIn profile: it’s horses for courses.

      If AR is tasked in supporting sales, then SocMed chatter is often seen as a distraction. If howver the goal is a more longterm opinion shaping, then it makes a lot of sense to include SocMed influencers in the strategy.

      Simple as that IMHO.

  4. Tom Morrissey Saturday 10th July 2010 at 04:07 #

    For me, without question, social media has expanded my focus to Thought Leaders beyond “Tier 1” firms. As an AR practictioner, I primarily monitor rather than engage in the dialog. Social media lets me know who is leading or participating in the discussions vs. relying on the (often belated) publishing model. It has definitely altered my perceptions of influence beyond traditional assumptions…

    • Ludovic Leforestier Saturday 10th July 2010 at 12:56 #

      Hi Tom,

      How does this relates to your primary and secondary objectives and AR plan?