Guest post: How analyst relations can evaluate social media

Where can you start to track AR through social media? The best way to start involves four elements which reflect the development of the relationship between the AR department and the analysts:

  • 1.    Awareness measures initial exposure and engagement. How many analyst friends and followers do you have? What’s the volume of hits and clicks coming to your brand from media targeted at analysts? What’s the search engine ranking? How often are you being mentioned by contacts, relative to others? How many positive mentions are you getting? According to Brendan Monahan, ranking #1 on Google isn’t as easy as it used to be, but it is definitely still possible.
  • 2.    Conversation tracks analysts’ active engagement in discussion about your market with you and your clients, starting with comments and reposts. How many analysts are in conversation with you? Lots of people might mention or retweet you once, but how many people are coming back to discuss with you again and again?
  • 3.    Influence spots changes in what analysts do: It’s about the impact of the AR programme. Did analysts who are following your social media activities start to mention your firm more frequently or more favourably than offline contacts? Are they meeting or contacting you more often? Do analyst attitude surveys show that ‘social analysts’ are more likely to recommend you than others?
  • 4.    Leverage is how to make the most of analysts’ social media coverage. Are you recirculating positive comments by analysts internally and externally? Are you telling other analysts, colleagues and clients about the positive comments from analysts? Are you facilitating connections between clients or journalists and those positive analysts? What other ways do you develop for using the third-party credibility of analysts’ comments in social media to boost your brand?

These indicators are mostly quantitative, which means that it’s relatively easy to track and evaluate. Using applications like Google Analytics, Radian6 or Nielsen BuzzMetrics, you can easily measure the baseline and then track changes in traffic and relate them to specific campaigns. When it comes down to measuring change, the evaluation should be extended by a qualitative analysis tracking changes in the way analysts comment on certain topics, products or companies. The big advantage of AR here is that usually there already exists a real world contact to the analysts and the dialogue will continue in the offline world, providing much deeper insights into the opinions of the analysts that what can be extracted from the figures gathered via the mentioned online tools.

Thanks to Torsten Sewing for sharing these comments!

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