I really enjoyed reading Groundswell. It is an amazing resource for internal marketing teams that need a little extra help to make their case to upper management that this phenomenon is real and not a flash in the pan.
There was one section that stopped me. I’m not sure if it was merely a result of wording or oversimplification. In chapter four, “Strategies for Tapping the Groundswell,” there’s a subhead entitled “What about business-to-business?” This subhead contains the following line:
“There is no such thing as a social network for business or a business commenting on a blog. Businesses don’t interact. People do.”
I would agree with the above in a perfect social media world. The issue is that most online relationships are transitory. When someone leaves a company, they take their network, their online credibility and connections with them. Where does that leave the company? Companies need a way to leave comments about other companies. Not on individuals or by individuals, BUT by employees acting on behalf of the company.
Why is this striking a nerve with me? We have a client that is in closed beta right now with an online business-to-business network. I would love the opportunity for these smart people to talk with the Groundswell team about businesses and sharing information online and the benefits for them and their customers.