Strategies for tapping into the Groundswell

This week’s blog is about the strategies that businesses can use to efficiently use groundswell.
Many have successfully tapped into social media through proper implementation and strategies, but there still some who struggle to effectively use the groundswell. This may be due to improper use of social media or putting the wrong people in the project. Li and Bernoff (2011) identified a name called “groundswell approach-avoidance syndrome”, that describe people who want to use groundswell but are afraid to move forward because of the uncertainties.

To build a good strategy, a four-step planning process called POST method can help guide people to successfully tap into the groundswell.


POST Method:
People – the question asks for this is “What are your customers ready for?” (Li & Bernoff, 2011). This is where the Social Technographic Profile can be useful. It is important to know what your potential customers would want or preferences to create an offering that would appeal to them. Forrester is a tool that can provide information on how the people get into groundswell, discussions online, and things that can help the businesses create value.

Objectives – “What are your goals?”. According to Li & Bernoff, there are five primary objectives that organizations successfully pursue in the groundswell (2011). The five primary objectives include listening, talking, energizing, supporting, and embracing. These objectives help the business to communicate more with the customers or clients to further strengthen the relationship.

Strategy – How do you want relationships with your customers to change? Do you want them to carry messages to others in your market? Do you want them to be more engaged within your company? (Li & Bernoff, 2011). Answering these questions will help guide people to create strategies appropriate for the desired goals.

Technology – “What application should you build?”. After all the steps above, this is where you are going to decide what technologies will you be using to get out the message you want. The social network, blogs, and wikis are some of the technologies that businesses can use.

For the past week, we talked about how we can communicate to customers using groundswell. However, how about doing business to business relationship. Groundswell can also be useful in selling with other business. Businesses are composing of people that run the organization and have the ability to use the groundswell to communicate. In business to business setting, the process is pretty much the same in POST method as it also deals with people.

Groundswell is a big world full of opportunities and learning. It is difficult to tap into the groundswell as it takes a lot of effort, time, and money. That is why businesses have to make the right decisions as companies will be heavily invested to the groundswell. Once you’re into the groundswell, there is no going back.



Li, C. & Bernoff, J. (2011). Groundswell: winning in a world transformed by social technologies. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Publishing


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