[IIAR London Forum] LinkedIn the number one social media site for analysts

LinkedIn is emerging as the new, more ‘serious’ forum for corporate social networking. It is useful, functional and widely recognised as a business tool. Some sites, such as twitter and facebook, can too often blur personal and professional with potentially damaging or simply embarrassing consequences. LinkedIn, however, is more focused on work contacts, history and trips overseas. The mobile app has further aided LinkedIn’s popularity making it a useful tool for analysts on the go.

This and more was discussed at the latest IIAR Forum by a guest panel of analysts in front of a packed crowd of AR professionals.

Interestingly, the conversation revealed analysts were very unique in their use of social media. Some liked the fact that twitter made no demands of them, unlike email, and was a nice way to start the day. Others felt it provided a useful distraction and was entertainment for the morning commute. Where they all agreed was in believing twitter to be a massive procrastination tool. That was not to say it was of no benefit, see below, but more that it could be an unnecessary distraction and take an analysts’ attention away from more pressing matters. As Dean Bubley surmised, “[twitter’s] real-time aspect is seductive but irrelevant” with no, or very little, commercial value.

How do analysts use twitter?

For the full round-up please go to the IIAR members area on huddle. If you are not an IIAR member please contact henrietta(at)analystrelations(dot)org

Top tips and takeaways – Analysts:

  • Set a strategy that defines precisely how much free content you must give away to get exposure and sell your research
  • Be sure an effective balance of time is spent on twitter versus research and analysis
  • Use twitter for communication and marketing among AR pros, journalists and product people and build relations with those you can’t easily meet in person
  • Where possible, commentary at, or soon after vendor events / trade shows helps  AR to justify time spent at events to their execs
  • Analysts should ensure they have a social media presence, not necessary on all channels but on at least one or two, visibility is key and after all, it’s there to market you and your brand
  • Don’t expect too much from social media – first and foremost it’s a marketing channel and a way of being heard in the marketplace
  • If you’re stopping doing anything else, to do social media then it’s a mistake

We are very grateful to Bell Pottinger for hosting this event and of course to our panellists:

Richard Edwards, Ovum

Dale Vile, Freeform Dynamics

Dean Bubley, Disruptive Analysis

Moderator: Robert De Souza, IPsoft

IIAR members can find a live recording of the discussion available for download on huddle.

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6 Responses to [IIAR London Forum] LinkedIn the number one social media site for analysts

  1. Dom Pannell (@buzzmethod) Thursday 6th October 2011 at 16:40 #

    LinkedIn and Twitter are, in my view, indispensable tools these days. I’m waiting to see how Google+ fairs. Facebook is mainly for my chums.

  2. Karl Roche (@ragtag) Thursday 6th October 2011 at 21:51 #

    Seriously? “If you stopping doing anything else to do social media it’s a mistake.”

    Not sure I see the logic there. That is effectively saying don’t use social media or admitting that you had nothing to do in the first place.

    Social media is not a marketing channel as much as the telephone is a marketing channel. It’s a tool which has a variety of uses, from calling to wish your mum happy birthday to getting the word out about a sale.

    For a large number of people it’s initiated, developed and maintained business and personal relationships.

    It’s certainly not a magic bullet but used well and with some sense can bring a demonstrable benefit to users.

    • Dale Vile Sunday 9th October 2011 at 09:30 #

      Hi Karl

      Re: “If you are stopping doing anything else to do social media it’s a mistake.”

      I think that is a quote from me – a throwaway comment I made at the end of the IIAR event – and perhaps you are taking it a bit too literally.

      IT vendors and service providers communicate with analysts through a variety of mechanisms, from email and telephone at one end, to face-to-face briefings and conferences at the other. Against the background of cost pressure on AR programmes, a few analysts I spoke with while preparing for the IIAR event expressed concern about traditional communication mechanisms potentially being replaced by social media alternatives – Facebook/Linkedin discussions, spokesperson blogs, Twitter events, and so on.

      The point is that while there is nothing wrong with using social media like this, indeed some vendors already do some of this stuff, social mechanisms should be exploited in addition to rather than instead of traditional ways of interacting.

      That’s not to say that you can’t spread your time and attention a little differently to embrace social – e.g. if a particular analyst that’s important to you is clearly running their professional life on social media, then by all means use the same media to interact with them – just don’t assume that such a switch will work for the analyst community as a whole, because it won’t. Pointing us to an exec’s blog as a substitute for a proper conversation with them represents a significant degradation of interaction.

      It is also important to remember that social media is not just one thing. Some analysts use Facebook professionally, others use it purely for personal reasons and might see an approach through FB as intrusive. Other analysts, believe it or not (me included at the moment), do not use Facebook at all. So, not only is activity fragmented across Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, Google+, blogs, etc, but each medium/network is used in different ways by different people.

      With this in mind, the old principle of working out the preferred (or most effective) communication mechanism for each individual remains the same. This in turn brings us back to that other fundamental principle of remembering the importance of the ‘R’ in ‘AR’.

      Hope that helps.

      Cheers
      Dale

      Dale Vile, CEO, Freeform Dynamics

  3. Dale Vile Sunday 9th October 2011 at 11:28 #

    Have posted some further thoughts and a chart from the research I handed out at the IIAR event on http://www.openreasoning.com here.

  4. Dean Bubley Friday 20th January 2012 at 10:06 #

    Just as an afterthought about this, AR folk may be interested to know about a different approach to analysts using Twitter.

    I’ve now set up a premium paid Tweet stream (@DApremium) alongside my “free to air” one (@DisruptiveDean). This gets around what I saw as a major downside of the platform – that it’s all give and no take. Working out a way to monetise it has made me considerably more positive about the service as a whole.

    I discuss my thoughts on Twitter, its limitations, and why I’m moving to a “freemium” model for my Tweets here: http://disruptivewireless.blogspot.com/2011/12/new-disruptive-analysis-premium-twitter.html

    Dean Bubley

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