Synopsis[ edit ] The groundswell is characterized by several tactics that guide companies into using social technologies strategically and effectively. Listening: Businesses should listen to their customers to understand what the market is looking for in their products. In order to do this, a company needs to find out if their customers are using social technologies and how they are using them. One common method is participation in social networks. Supporting: Businesses can harness the support of their own employees by creating internal social applications for them to connect with the brand, also known as enterprise social software.

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Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies By Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff Harvard Business School Press, See more reviews Written by two analysts at Forrester Research, Groundswell offers descriptions of social media, examples of effective application, and a step-by-step approach to the development and implementation of a successful social media strategy. If you question this shift in power, just go online to Wikipedia, Facebook, MySpace, YouTube, and LinkedIn to see how many people are active in this groundswell.

The authors provide a four-step planning process, the POST method, as the foundation for groundswell thinking. POST asks the following questions, which are critical to developing an effective social media plan.

People: What are your customers ready for? Objectives: What are your goals? Strategy: How do you want relationships with your customers to change? Technology: What applications should you build? Groundswell guides you step by step through the POST process, providing examples, case studies, and tools to analyze your business and determine what best fits your needs, as well as those of your customers.

In Chapter 11, the book also discusses how you can use these tools inside your company to listen to, talk with, energize, support, and ultimately embrace your employees.

As with all strategy deployment, the authors stress the importance of top-level involvement and long-term commitment. Furthermore, this strategy is best implemented in stages by starting small and building on successes.

The authors warn that you will make mistakes along the way. The key lesson is to be honest and to learn to embrace the groundswell because it is happening with or without you. By joining the groundswell, you have the potential to transform your business, enhance your knowledge, and build stronger relationships with both customers and employees.

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Groundswell by Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff


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