Content Discovery Smackdown: Hootsuite vs. Buffer vs. KloutContent Marketing Minds: Ingredients of the Tastiest Content [Nutrition Label]From the Corn Field to the Digital Era: Content Marketing Starts with TrustContent Marketing: Is 2014 Really Shaping Up to Be the Year of Video?
Your Customers Aren’t Listening! How to Create Consumer Dialogue that Converts4 Tools for Nonprofit Social Listening and Reputation ManagementThe Promising Role of Social Listening in Treating Health IssuesThe Importance of Social Listening for Brands
- Public Relations
Facebook Testing a Way for Users to Buy Products on the Platform7 Website Tips to Attract More Shoppers to Your PagesHow eCommerce, Augmented and Virtual Reality Will Redefine the Retail ExperienceSearch Query Analysis to Increase eCommerce Website Conversions
- Content Marketing
Technology & Data
Social Startups: Bizible Connects All the Dots from Marketing Contributions to RevenueCreating the Perfect Profile for Your Social Media Marketing EffortUsing GPS and Localization for Social AnalyticsAnalytics and Prospect Intel: Discovering Your Ideal Prospect
- Big Data
- Tech & Innovation
3 Security Risks You’re Taking Every Day While Using Social MediaShould the President Have the Power to "Pull the Plug" on the Internet?How Safe is Your WordPress Website From Hackers and Other Malicious Attacks?
- Software & Tools
- Small Business
- Social Organization
Celebrating the Grand Re-Launch of Social Media Today! SBH Podcast Episode 8Why Should You Care If Your Employees Are Thought Leaders?Beyond Engagement: The Art of Managing Social-Media Risk in Employee Advocacy
Why All-in-One Social Media Management Systems Don't Cut It for Social Customer ServiceWhat You Should Know About Customer, Digital, and Contextual ExperienceSurging into Q3: How to Make It Better Than Q2Is How You Serve Your Customers Costing You Business?
Join us September 15th in Atlanta for The Employee Advocacy Summit and learn how to unleash the power of your employees.
Post your event here and we'll share it with our community. If one of our members is featured, we'll promote as well on their profile.
- Marketplace & Webinars
The SMT Marketplace
Your resource for exclusive content and insights from Social Media Today, and opportunities to reach our community of professionals.
The Social Business Book Club brings you books, discussions, and insights from today's to business thought leaders.
Join interactive talks and and panel discussions with leading thinkers and practitioners on social media and networked business, or browse the catalogue of recorded sessions - all completely free.
Reach Social Media Today's community of marketing and communications professionals in an editor-approved context with a native advertising package.
The Groundswell Rises Again
Posted on June 2nd 2011
Forrester Research releases an update today to Groundswell, which continues to serve many marketers as a how-to guide for thinking through social business. Groundswell is now available in paperback and contains two new chapters: "tapping the groundswell with twitter" and "attaining social maturity."
I was an analyst at Forrester when the book was originally published; since then, I've been thinking about social business from a different point of view. A few years have passed and we've all seen the "social" industry evolve, so to find out more about the updates, I asked Groundswell co-author, mentor, and former colleague Josh Bernoff some questions about the updates.
Q: Business books run the risk of becoming outdated before they get from concept to print. Yet Groundswell has retained its relevance after three years in print. Why?
Charlene and I worried a lot about the longevity of the book when we were writing it. As a result, we concentrated on the themes a lot more – like focusing on objectives, and starting with relationships – and not so much on the specific technology details which change so quickly. (This is how any good marketer ought to think, anyway.) This is one reason Groundswell is still relevant three years later while a book on, say, MySpace, seems very dated. The other reason is we concentrated on stories about consumers and businesspeople, and stories don’t become obsolete the way technology advice does.
Q: What is the best story you've heard of Groundswell's impact on a company or business professional?
I am still hearing, years later, about people who had this “aha!” moment on reading the book and finally got some traction with their management to start developing social applications. I knew we had a hit on our hands when I ran my first workshop with a major financial services company and saw how, with a little encouragement and a framework, they did so well at coming up with imaginative applications. But my favorite is still probably AFLAC, because the CIO Gerald Shields brought us in, we ran a workshop, and they came up with ideas like a independent sales rep community and a community for payroll administrators. What I loved about that engagement was, they brought us in again several months later and pitched me with their ideas – and I’d seen how well they had developed them.
I have to give honorable mention to the work with did with Wal-Mart, because I got to see the most senior executives from the world’s biggest company (including a table full of lawyers) grapple with the ideas.
The paperback edition of Groundswell is available today, with two new chapters on Twitter strategy and "social maturity." How did you select these two topics for greater exploration?
It was easy. These were the two types of questions we got most frequently. Twitter was brand new when Groundswell came out, so we didn’t talk about it much beyond predicting that it would be successful (got that right!). And the question of how companies develop as they approach social became a lot more visible as we got further into the corporate embrace of social applications. This happened just as my colleague Sean Corcoran wrote a great report on the topic, so I adapted that for the Social Maturity chapter.
The new chapter on "tapping the groundswell with twitter" provides a straightforward outline on how to use the service and great advice in line with Twitter's own recommendations for business. The opportunity is obvious when you see the statistics: Twitter users are highly active and influential.
Among the best practice examples Bernoff provides, three stand out to me based on challenges I see my clients facing today:
- AT&T: using Twitter in a regulated industry as a very large (266,590 employees) organization
- McDonalds: solving for corporate vs. local engagement
- TurboTax: dealing with highly time-intensive issues. (Dachis Group helped establish this program; for more details, read this case study.)
My questions for Josh regarding new new Twitter chapter:
You mention ways that Twitter can be used for Groundswell objectives - listening, talking, energizing, supporting, and embracing. All of these are useful to companies, but they don't make Twitter any money. How does use of Twitter's advertising options (promoted tweets, accounts, and trends) fit in to the framework, if at all?
I find it interesting that a successful Twitter ad has to be inherently shareable, so Twitter advertising strategy ends up as an extension of Twitter marketing strategy in general. It’s part of the intersection between advertising and social, which works best when the advertising is something people want to share (like the Evian Babies video).
In 140 characters or less, can you explain the value of tapping the Groundswell with Twitter? (and perhaps why Twitter wasn't Facebook or FourSquare instead?)
People use Twitter for everything, because it’s so lightweight. They want to talk to you. Listen! Respond! (It’s easier than Facebook.)
Tomorrow, I'll focus on the new social maturity framework and what's after Groundswell.