I just finished reading “Groundswell: winning in a world transformed by social technologies” by Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff. This is a must read for any internet marketer or company looking to implement Social Media Strategies. This book is jam packed with social media tactics, useful case studies, and up-to-date statistics.
This book goes into to great detail on how marketing is shifting from shouting your message to anyone and everyone, to truly communicating and connecting with your potential customers. It talks about ways to tap into the groundswell; listening, embracing, connecting with the groundswell, and using the groundswell within your own company.
So you are probably asking, what does the Groundswell mean? Let me give you a brief overview of what the Groundswell is and how it applies to you.
The groundswell is defined as:
“A social trend in which people use technologies to get the things they need from each other, rather than from traditional institutions like corporations.”
With these emerging social technologies, social networking platforms, and communication tools, people are able to connect with each other like never before. The groundswell has changed the balance of power from corporations to the people.
The groundswell is made up of three components:
People – People had always rebelled against the big corporations and institutional powers, but have never had the means of communicating on a worldwide level. The spread of social technologies has changed all that. Now people can voice their opinions and distribute their message through blogs, discussion boards, Q&A, social communities, wiki’s and other social outlets.
Technology – The technology has changed the way people interact with each other. It allows people to connect with each other instantly to anybody in the world. It allows people to collaborate on ideas and share their thoughts.
Economics – Simple online economics, on the internet. Traffic equals money. 14.6 billion dollars was spent online in 2007, just in the US. Advertisers know that consumers are spending their time and attention online. It’s simple, traffic equals revenue.
So how do you start building your own Groundswell strategy?
The book talks about the “POST” method which is the foundation for Groundswell thinking. POST, stands for people, objectives, strategy, and technology.
People: What are your customers ready for? The key is to understand where customers are talking about you or your industry. Is it on a Wiki? Social Community? Discussion Board? Blog?
Objectives: What are your goals? What are you looking to accomplish? Are you looking to get customer feedback? Build brand recognition? Are you trying to promote a product? Research purposes? Are you looking to use it internally for better employee communication?
Strategy: What do you want your customers to do? Become more engaged with your company? Spread the word about your product? Help customers understand your products/services?
Technology: What platform will you use to accomplish these goals? Blog? Wiki? Social Network? etc…
These ideas are the roots of the Groundswell strategy. The book goes into greater detail on each of the points I touched on as well as provides a more descriptive guideline on how to implement and execute your strategy. It also incorporates case studies and success stories on companies that have implemented these strategies.
I highly recommend buying this book if you are looking to start your own social media strategy.