Talking With the Groundswell – Chapter 6
“Once people are aware of your product, a new dynamic kicks in, people learning from each other”.
To start off with this blog, I chose to include this quote because it struck my attention in the first couple pages. I think this quote is totally applicable to life & business today because its true, people are shifting away from marketing and advertising and capturing information and opinions from their personal interactions. Thinking about my personal life….I completely reside with reviews, what people say about products, and most importantly, feedback I get from friends or acquaintances about their experience with something. I rarely go purchase something because I see an add that strikes me or a video clip that I find intriguing. “This generation puts a lot of stock in the opinion and advice and direction of their peers” which was said by Ernst & Young’s director of campus recruiting.
Here are four ways that can help companies or people talk with the groundswell:
- Post a viral video
- engage in social networks and user generated content sites
- Join the blogosphere
- Create a community
These are all great points that my company in the construction industry could follow to make a difference when deciding how to further connect with customers. As mentioned in my previous blog posts, I always said that people who are older and have conducted business WITHOUT technology for all these years would react to an online groundswell proposal. Here are some points stating whether or not companies should consider using social networking to talk with perspective customers.
- Use the social technographics profile to verify that your customers are in social networks (are majority involved?..if so..this makes sense for you)
- Move forward if people love your brand (can you attract followers?)
- See whats out there already
- Create a presence that encourages interaction
We now move onto blogging and how to talk to customers through this groundswell approach. Before we get into this, here is a video I found that talks about the benefits of blogging. Take a look! Pros of Blogs.
Chapter 6 discusses HP success in blogging. They had a wide and complex product lines and were able to discuss product details and communicate with their customers in an efficient and informative way as well as generate traffic & buzz about their business. They now have over 80 blogs that customers can access if they need to know about storage, mobility or business concepts. The most important part – TRUST. Personal statements from management and CEO’s directly to the customer creates a partnership and establishes trust within the relationship. In turn, customers will most likely stay loyal to your brand and continue to recommend it to others.
As mentioned before, my company who specializes in underground trenching does not do ANY of this, whats so ever. I work with people from different generations, who are labour-working construction people, and they have never even thought that perhaps blogging could create a world of opportunity for the company. Even if its just blogging between clients/potential clients/stakeholders and having that additional means of communication….it definitely couldn’t hurt if done properly. Here are ten suggestions that the groundswell suggests when considering blogging:
- Start by listening
- determine a goal for the blog
- estimate the ROI
- develop a plan
- develop an editorial process
- design the blog and its connection to your site
- develop a marketing plan so people can find the blog
- remember, blogging is more than writing
- most importantly…be honest
I think its important for every company to truly asks themselves how videos, blogs, communities and social networks would help their business prosper. I really believe that theres nothing to lose by expanding your communication lines and establishing closer relationships with the people you work with. In my industry, I think the most beneficial one would be creating more social networking. This could help us answer questions, post information, insert links to our website or job posting, and give us a way to “be more out there”. Its important to create awareness, and who knows the business opportunities that will come out of this. If people see something online, it might create word of mouth buzz, and hopefully evolve into something more.
Remember….not every part of “talking” and advertising is right for everyone, it takes knowing your customers & industry, being educated about your company, and being able to create something that your customers will want to be involved in. If done the right way, it could have a tremendous impact on your company long-term.
Charlene Li, Josh Bernoff,. (2011). Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies. (expanded and revised edition.). Harvard Business School Press.