Energizing the Groundswell

What exactly is energizing?

Energizing can mean plenty different things, in different contexts of course. But what does energizing mean in regards to the groundswell? In chapter 7 of the Groundswell (2011) by Charline Li and Josh Bernoff, have dedicated a whole chapter on how energizing effects the Groundswell. In the chapter, it explains that Energizing is a powerful technique that to boost your business (Li & Bernoff, 2011).

This chapter goes in depth the groundswell can energize the sales potential of your best customers. This chapter also includes some marketing concepts including reviews and ratings. As well as how word of mouth, which includes talking with the groundswell to stimulate conversation.  This can be used for businesses to create sales and for a starting up business. Word of mouth is considered very powerful because of 3 factors:

  1. Its believable. Having testimonials from previous customers is much more reliable than any social media ad.
  2. Its self-reinforcing. Meaning that you hear it not from one person but 5, 10, 20 people, and thats when it gets you thinking.
  3. Its self-spreading. If the product is worth the talk, people will use word of mouth to keep it spreading around.

(Li & Bernoff, 2011)

Energizing is powerful and much more risky than just listening and talking. Instead if you really want a way to energize your customers you must prepare new ways of thinking . Li and Bernoff suggest five steps to energize your customers:

  1. Figure out if you want to energize the groundswell.
  2. Check the social technographics profile of your customers.
  3. Ask yourself “what is my customers problem”.
  4. Pick a strategy that fits your customers social tehnographics profile and problems.
  5. Don’t start unless you can stick around for the long haul.

(Li & Bernoff, 2011)

In my opinion, energizing is a great way to keep the concepts and information alive. This can enable someone to have motivation to keep up with trends or to motivate customers to why this product can benefit you or how can it be useful. You should always be prepared to have a strategy that best fits your customers best interests. This will allow you to succeed in the long run and can allow for better customer service which will continue on being positive for your business.

Reference:

Li, C., & Bernoff, J. (2011). Groundswell: Winning in a world transformed by social technologies. (expanded and revised edition). Boston: Harvard Business Review School Press.

Photo credit:

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20141117160736-168033089-energizing-your-marketing-with-cialdini-s-6-principles-of-influence

 

Tapping the Groundswell With Twitter

Twitter is one of the most widely used social media platform of this time. Essentially, Twitter is a type of a social media site where your are able to interact with others and keep up with news, with the people that you “follow”. Communicating via Twitter is called “tweeting” where you are able to share thoughts and news to the public. Another important aspect of Twitter is the “hashtagging”, this has it benefits if you are needing to search for something throughout the site. I, myself have started my own Twitter account recently and started following and interacting with the industries that I am most interested in. My twitter account is @MervatKarout, so follow me on Twitter!!

Chapter 10 of the Groundswell (2011) is called Tapping the Groundswell with Twitter. As this chapter continues to explains the variety of uses for Twitter it also explains Twitter as “now at the centre of a whole ecosystem of interactions” (Li & Bernoff, 2011). This social media platform is now used by everyone that you can possibly think of, that want to get the word spread around, LITERALLY. This includes for personal use, activist groups, businesses, corporations, celebrities and much more.

Twitter now serves plenty of objectives. A business that uses Twitter should listen, talk, energize, support, embrace with Twitter just like what they should do with Groundswell. This is how a business can benefit and grow, by talking to their people, listening to their people, embracing what their people want, energizing and supporting their customers. Twitter is a well-known website and there are linkages and advertising for Twitter on almost 80% of websites. In the Groundswell (2011), a chart of the technographic profile, it shows statistics that people who continuously tweet are highly socially active. Even if they are just reading the tweets!!

Retrieved from:https://i2.wp.com/farm6.staticflickr.com/5263/5788456879_1bb5f0fbcf_z.jpg

Twitter is an excellent source to speak your mind and can motivate you to connect with any employer or industry you choose to work for. On my Twitter account I have followed the Government of Alberta page especially some of the people that are in the upper management. This allows me to get noticed and stay up to date with any news regarding the company, there also post news on job opportunities!! I will personally stay connected with Twitter for more of a business use because of the benefits of interacting with people that I want to be noticed by. I highly recommend that if you are searching for a job or still a student, if you haven’t created one, get on it and start TWEETING!!

Reference:

Li, C., & Bernoff, J. (2011). Groundswell: Winning in a world transformed by social technologies. (expanded and revised edition). Boston: Harvard Business Review School Press.

Photo credit:

Twitter moves away from 140 characters, ditches confusing and restrictive rules

Supporting

Support: To hold or withstand

In most recent study we see that contact centres are supposedly the primary source for  a contact help centre for majority of the companies. In chapter 8 of the Groundswell (2011) by Charline Li and Joseph Bernoff, we will examine the traditional customer support and the Groundswell way of customer support. The chapter will also include how using the Groundswell support can be an advantage and cost-effective instead of using contact centres.

Lets take a closer look into the chapter, I am in retail right now so I can use my job as an example. Typically individuals would want to make a sale and hope to never hear from that customer again, since it is believed that you were successful. However, individuals will always seem to have questions or unsure about what to do with their products. In the chapter Li and Bernoff explain how there is a heavy cost to companies when they receive phone calls in regards to their products or service. Li and Bernoff state that it can cost the company more that $6 and technical support for as much as twice the amount. Therefore, handling phone calls in the call centres can drag the company down and costing them a lot of money.

Saving money for the company is always a good thing. So this can all be avoided by different tactics proposed in the Groundswell. Since there will always be some customer concerns and issues, the Groundswell proposed easier solutions to maintain customers needs without having to break the company. This includes having some support forums, Q&A pages, and Wikis. Having a supported and well monitored forums for example Dell, resulted in a large cost savings from customer sharing and posting their solutions or recommendations.

 

Considering how the groundswell support itself you need to consider three factors:

  1. What problem you will solve?
  2. How you will participate?
  3. Should you create a support community or join an existing one?

(Li & Bernoff, 2011)

Keeping those factors in mind, Li and Bernoff give some advice on getting started with a community. Such as building a community for support:

  1. Start small but plan for larger presence
  2. Reach out to most active customers
  3. Plan to drive traffic to your community
  4. Build a reputation system
  5. Let your customers lead you

(Li & Bernoff, 2011)

One example that I find interesting is this Beauty forum called Makeup talk  . The beauty industry is booming lately, especially with the latest trends for styling hair and makeup. A beauty forum is neat when it comes to asking questions about what makeup will best fit yourself or how to apply a product a certain way. Having feedback from not only the companies of the products but other individuals that have used it or know how to apply, are able to give you their feedback on it. I find this forum very helpful when I have a question about a certain product. For an example if this particular foundation that I am planning on buying will dry out my face. I can have feedback from individuals that have possibly used it and can give me their advice and recommendations on the product.

Reference:

Li, C., & Bernoff, J. (2011). Groundswell: Winning in a world transformed by social technologies. (expanded and revised edition). Boston: Harvard Business Review School Press.

Photo credit:

http://www.bathnes.gov.uk/services/care-and-support-and-you/supporting-people

 

 

 

 

Talking

Last post I wrote about what the POST process is, and including the objectives that companies can successfully use in the Groundswell. The five objectives i briefly spoke about are listening, talking, energizing, supporting, and embracing.

In today’s blog post I will be focusing on the objective talking. In chapter 6 of the Groundswell (2011) by Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff, talks about different techniques in entering the Groundswell as a speaker and not so much of a listener. Talking differs from marketing in the sense that, marketing is where you are basically shouting and showing awareness for the buyers, whereas talking accounts for the same factors but also compensates loyalty and building that relationship with the buyers.

Techniques for talking with the groundswell:

  1. Post a viral video
  2. Engage in social networks and user-generated content sites
  3. Join the blogosphere
  4. Creating a community

All these techniques allow for a talking based environment instead of straight marketing. Posting a viral video allows you to express your thoughts and creating a discussion with the public, and having that video shared can get your message across a lot of people. Engaging in social networks does similar to sharing a video, you are able to share your thoughts and opinions and get your message across people. Also engaging in social networks has the advantage in engaging and keeping up with news that is relevant to your industry of choice. Joining a blogosphere allows you to generate awareness and help respond to customers quicker. In the Groundswell (2011) textbook it explains how HP uses a blog for each product, where you are able to post questions and get immediate responses, updates and creating discussions. This allows if other customers have similar questions and need answers fast they can just read the blog. Creating a community has its benefits as well by engaging in the discussion and having the ability to respond back to customers with value and not with a shout.

In my preferred industry after I graduate from NAIT, I can use these objectives in the industry. Like I repeatedly have said that I want to go into the Government of Alberta and using these objectives may not be a huge advantage to me, since i want to be in a more of the business field. Although the objectives can give me such a great advantage by helping me get the jobs that I want. In my previous post about social networking I can try and keep up with the Government of Alberta on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

References:

Li, C., & Bernoff, J. (2011). Groundswell: Winning in a world transformed by social technologies. (expanded and revised edition). Boston: Harvard Business Review School Press.

Photo credit:

https://www.poetryfoundation.org/resources/learning/articles/detail/69901

 

 

 

 

POST?

In chapter 4 of the Groundswell book (2011) by Charline Li and Josh Bernoff, we start to look into the beginning of the second half of the book, which involves strategies for tapping into the groundswell. We first look into a step-by-step process planning criteria, which is called POST. Than, we will see the different objectives to pursue this process.

POST is a four-step process planning that is recommended in strategy building. The acronym itself stands for people, objectives, strategy, and technology. This process enables you in creating a primary base for your plan. The first step is people, where the technographic profile plays this role, whereas this step requires you to understand your customer and their needs. This includes how your customers will engage in your business. The second step and possibly the most important is objective, this involves having objectives on how to pursue your goals. The third step is strategy, which requires you to prepare to pursue your goal, such as having the ability to plan for desired changes in the future (Li & Bernoff, 2011). Lastly, technology is the step where we see how you would involve what applications to build with your plan. This may include any social networking sites and blogs.

We mentioned above that the most highly recommended step is the objectives. Objectives play a valuable role in the process due to the clarity that will be breakdown your strategy cleaner. This includes 5 primary objectives that are found by companies to be successful in the Groundswell book (Li & Bernoff, 2011). The first objective is listening, meaning having the ability to listen and understand your customers and people. Second is talking, using the groundswell to spread messages about your company is an excellent source in marketing. Third is energizing, this includes energizing and supercharging your customers by using the elements in the groundswell. Fourth is the setting, which means having tools to set up customers to support each other. Lastly is the most challenging, which is embracing. Have your customers help your business by embracing what you give them such as your products. (Li & Bernoff, 2011).

In my future career path that I would hope to be apart of the financial sector for the Government of Alberta, preferably an analyst. The POST process can be an option to be used in the financial sector of the Government, especially when we get into the treasury and the business with the bank of Canada. The POST process does deal with business-to-business work so it may be applicable to the Government of Alberta. There is a large network within the government and having a strategy to attain a goal is and will surely be needed. I think that the POST process can assist with that because it allows creating clear objectives to form the framework of your goal and than it will easily lead into a strategy to accomplish the goals and future plans.

Reference:

Li, C., & Bernoff, J. (2011). Groundswell: Winning in a world transformed by social technologies. (expanded and revised edition). Boston: Harvard Business Review School Press.

Photo credit:

http://www.stage2planning.com/blog/bid/56312/Exit-Planning-Is-A-Process-And-Not-A-Destination

 

Connecting With The Groundswell to Transform Your Company.

In previous posts I talked about the recent chapters of the Groundswell book (2011). We have seen how social media can give us plenty of advantages and opportunities, what a technographic profile is, and the importance of listening to customers with the use of social networking. Now, we shift into a different view of the book; which is how to fully connect with the Groundswell to transform your company. Chapter 11 of the book looks into great detail of how organizations can accomplish three important elements to transform to work with their customers. We will be taking a look at how to accomplish these elements and how to stay prepared for the transformation.

First, we will take a look into the three important elements on how companies will work with their customers. The first element is to take small steps that have big impact. The book explains that having marketing goals leads to evidence of a success. This means having more involvement in campaigns and advertising. It is also recommended to use the Groundswell thinking and apply it to any business situations and problem solving. The second element is to have a vision and a plan. This means that you should have a vision of what you propose as a company and then create a long term outlook of your vision and plan out how you would like to see your customers years from now. The third element states that we should build leaders into the plan. This means that include others a voice in the company. Such as having a leader to go all the way to embrace emerging media of the company and give the consumer a voice in the brand (Li & Bernoff, 2011).

Second, is how to keep prepared for the transformation. First, the groundswell talks about starting small  and change within the company will take time. Second is educating your executives, such as starting an internal blog, creating a social network, or collaborating with another department. This will show the benefits and advantages of the company to others. Third is to get the right people to run your strategy, such as picking a person that is most passionate about the company and starting a relationship with your customers. Fourth, is getting your agency and technology partners in tact and have them to take the time to know Groundswell. Lastly, is to plan for the next step and for the future. This will allow you to have an idea to where your company will be heading in the future. In this chapter we had the ability to take a look at the social strategy and how companies can work the customers.

(Li & Bernoff, 2011)

 

References:

Li, C., & Bernoff, J. (2011). Groundswell: Winning in a world transformed by social technologies. (expanded and revised edition). Boston: Harvard Business Review School Press.

Photo credit:

https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/articles/promotion-emotion-b2b.html

 

 

Listening to the Groundswell

Chapter 4 of Groundswell (2011) by Charline Li and Josh Bernoff explain how important it is to listen to others, more importantly listening to your customers. They explain in the chapter that there are people that think that companies do not listen to customer needs but that is definitely untrue because companies pay and go all out of their way to provide to their customers because they use listening as a tactic more so that just surveys. “Listening to groundswell reveals insights” (Li & Bernoff, 2011), explain that also by observing customers of their day-to-day interactions and competition you will be able to get a sense of what the target is. Also consumers in the groundswell leave opinions and comments on a regular basis. This includes blogging or social networking about an experience at a retail store or any service such as car services, restaurants, tailors etc.

Two listening strategies, setting up your own private community and begin brand monitoring. Setting up your on private community includes setting up private discussions or even a website so you are able to directly see what consumers are saying about your products and services. This is an advantage because it is one way to listen to groundswell and you also are allowed to ask your customers whatever you want. The second strategy, brand monitoring, is a strategy that includes hiring a third party company to listen to do the monitoring for you. This includes having them to listen to internet posts, discussion forums, twitter, reviews etc. Surprisingly there are a lot of companies that will do this such as Nielsen’s BuzzMetrics and Cymfony (Li & Bernoff, 2011).

Finding out what others are saying about your company us crucial, hence why listening should not be neglected. There advantage aspects to listening that will benefit you such as finding out what your brand stands for, understand how buzz is shifting, save research money and increase the response, sources that influence the market, managing PR crisis, and new product and marketing ideas. How you should response to this after listening you should be taking active measures. This includes by starting a plan by checking the technographical profile of customers, monitoring brands and vendors. After all this you will be seeing progress within the organization which groundswell states  will help with  a new shift within the community because once you take action on a new piece of information your company will never be the same (Li & Bernoff, 2011).

After that summary, I believe that in every industry and every company should be listening to their consumers. I feel like it is crucial to hear what the public and your own target market is saying about their experience or thoughts about the company. Every company can benefit from this because this will allow them to hear what the customers want and what will make the company better.

Refernce:

Li, C., & Bernoff, J. (2011). Groundswell: Winning in a world transformed by social technologies. (expanded and revised edition). Boston: Harvard Business Review School Press.

Photo credit:

http://acena.com/are-you-listening-to-your-customers/