For weeks three and four we were assigned the second section of Li & Bernoff’s Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies. This section, entitle Tapping the Groundswell,” is the lengthiest of the three featured in the book. It provided me with extensive knowledge and perspective to consider as an aspiring PR practitioner.
Allow me to share a bit of newly gained knowledge:
- There is a four-step planning process that is very useful for managers, and its called the POST method. This is the foundation for Groundswell.
- People- your customers determine what your business should be marketing and persuising professionally, use this to determine what your customers are ready for and asses how they will engage in your product or service, based on what they’ve been doing.
- Objectives- these are your goals. You cannot reach a goal without setting specific and measureable perameters for your company. Of these the five most important detailed in the chapter “Strategies for Tapping the Groundswell” are listening, talking, energizing, supporting, and embracing.
- Strategy- decide what changes you wish to be made between your company and its customers/supporters. Ask specific questions to reach your goal; remember to always keep your customers first, they are your gatekeepers.
- Technology- the are applications that are appropriate for your specific goals. They can be blogs, wikis, social networks, etc.
- When dealing with business-business type sales, it is important to remember that businesspeople are people too. They have just a much control over the fate of your company as the average Joe that doesn’t have to wear a suit to work everyday.
- Blogging is a wonderful way to keep in touch with consumers. They are able to read your personal thoughts on specific matters, as well as allow you know how they feel by leaving comments. They can also share information with friends, so creating a blog presence could potentially encourage more interaction from customers.
- Want to know what people are really saying about your product? The book suggests that you Google the name of your company or product name along with the words awesome or sucks, to see what consumers are writing about you and your products.
- Talking through Groundswell is simple!!
- Post a viral video- put a video online, and let others share it
- Engage in social networks ad user-generated content sites- you can reach out to your customers by creating a personality with social networking sites
- Join the blogosphere- encourage your staff to write blogs, allowing people to interact with your writing. This is better than simple issuing press releases and media advisories.
- Creating a community- communities are a way for companies to include their customers
- Energize your company to transform it! Not all your customers are equal, meaning that some have more influence than others. When energizing it is best to start at your base (most enthusiastic customers) and work your way up.
From these readings I see how important using social media is to benefit a company I represent. Social Media is an easy and quick way to make waves about the things a company does and promote new products, as well as break a company down if you’re not careful.