Groundswell – thoughts – who does what?

Over the past few weeks I’ve been reading Groundswell by Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff from Forrester Research (although Charlene has since announced she’s moving on).

I’m going to have several posts about thoughts on the book, but this is a kick-off.  I see this book as a great resource for those that work inside large companies to make the case for participating in social media.

One of the questions I often receive about social media is, “Where do you find the time?” I talked about this a bit before and included Clay Shirkys great video highlighting his thoughts.

Groundswell has another thought. Spread across multiple groups. There is a need for continuity and planning across groups but all activities don’t have to fall on one person’s shoulders.

They break down “Five Objectives Companies Can Pursue in the Groundswell” on page eight.  They then highlight existing groups within most organizations that can participate and share the benefit. Here are the objectives, along with the internal groups that can benefit and participate, followed by my perspective:

  1. Listening – Research – seems like a no-brainer, but it’s not for most companies.  Seems that a lot of companies prefer paid for research and focus groups.
  2. Talking – Marketing – Makes sense, but please, please HEAR and LISTEN as well as talk
  3. Energizing – Sales – touchy ground, or at least it was.  Remember the uproar in, I believe, 1996 when Hotwired.com started ads on their site? People said it was the end of the Web. It’s OK to sell using social media. However, the two way nature, ease of broadcast publishing by individuals, and ability for a Groundswell both positive and negative to grow quickly, makes RESPECT for your audience a huge factor.
  4. Supporting – Support – Listen. Find customers having positive and negative experiences with their product.  Helping them when they didn’t contact you directly could build a solid customer relationship.
  5. Embracing – Development – A lot of development happens within a bubble of like-minded people.  If customers are using your product in new and innovative ways, embrace them. Make them feel valued. And who knows, you just might make a better product.

More thoughts to come.  The next post may address the quote from page 70 that says, “There is no such thing as a social network for businesses or businesses commenting on a blog.  Businesses don’t interact, people do.”  This to me is a bit like a literal interpretation of the bible.

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One thought on “Groundswell – thoughts – who does what?

  1. Great post! I’ve heard so much about this book…You’ve convinced me to go buy it!
    Hope all is well.

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