Posts Tagged ‘ Communities ’

7 Rules of Groundswell

Groundswell is person-to-person activity. These are real people with lives of their own. You must be ready to connect with people and build relationships with them. Having empathy for people and the situations they face will help you learn about them. So make friends with people and get involved.

You must be a good listener. Social media is not typical marketing. No longer are we just talking to people. We must also listen to them, and more importantly learn from them. Doing so will unlock ideas you might never have thought of.

It takes patients. You can’t be expected that tomorrow you will be fully immersed in social media. It takes time to build relationships, communities, blogs, and trust. Taking the first step and getting involved is a move in the right direction.

Be opportunistic. When a great social media opportunity comes your way, be sure to take it. Being the first one to create a unique social media campaign will set you apart from competitors. You might only get one chance.

Be Flexible. Social media is ever changing and understanding that you never quite know it all will prove useful. You never know when or how someone might attack your company. So having a flexible social media strategy is essential.

Collaborate with others. Work with others to create the best possible social media presence. There are many people in your company that will have different talents and ideas. Having many people support your social media efforts will make for a better experience for your customers.

Be humble. Your company will never be as powerful as people connecting together on social media are. Remember this, as your trying to become a part of groundswell. Being humble will go a long way.


Energizing Groundswell

Figure out if you want to energize the groundswell

The best social media presence is with customers who are enthusiastic about your products. Groundswell isn’t for everyone as not everyone wants to talk about your products or services.  If you have a fair share of dissatisfied customers, energizing them will only makes things worse. In this case listening and improving products would be a better route to take.

Check social technographic profile of your customers

There needs to be a presence in groundswell to make it effective. Anything that has young people or the technologically savvy, will likely be involved with groundswell.  This is very important to rememeber as if you create a community without your best customers or they are in the wrong technographic profile they won’t be participating.

Ask yourself  “what is my customers problem?”

Customers aren’t always going to be talking about your products. In reviews, yes, they will be talking about your products directly. It is in communities though where your products are brought up. Creating a community where your products are talked about may be the best way to accommodate a conversation for your products.

Pick a strategy that fits your customers social technographic profile and problems

Similar to the last question, it is important to select where to engage your customers. Reviews are usually better for direct sellers and retailers. Where as if you’re selling a product with a broad range of sellers, a community could be better. What always must be considered when creating a community is the upkeep of it. The cost of designing, moderation, and marketing can easily cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Don’t start unless you can stick around for a long haul

It is very important when choosing any form of energizing your customers that you’re in it for the long-haul. Once you commit to groundswell it is important not to abandon your customers. This will only lead customers to tell others how great you were before you stopped listening to them.

How Companies Can Make Groundswell Work For Them

There are many ways of talking to groundswell. Corporations must choose the best ways to effectively communicate their intended message to their customers. There are four key ways companies can talk with groundswell and their customers. This is through viral videos, social networks, blogs, and communities. They all have their advantages and disadvantages. What is important is that it gives value to the company and the customer.

Viral videos are a great way to promote awareness, Blendtec has done this and so can many other companies. The fantastic part about viral videos is they are low cost and high visibility. They don’t usually cost much to make, yet they can reach an audience quite easily.

When I went to Mexico last year, I found it very hard after arriving to figure out where to go. The airport was very distracting with many different people trying to tell me where to go. I think in their vacation destinations they should have “how to” or “what to do” when you arrive videos. This would give WestJet credibility and it would serve their customers better. WestJet could also watermark all the videos so the people knew who made the video.

I think there is great potential for WestJet to do this with their vacation destinations. Some benefits of YouTube to WestJet could be customer reviews of the WestJet flight or vacation packages from people who used their airline. This would be beneficial as other travellers could hear about the experience of traveling with WestJet directly from the customer. Social media marketing has shown us that customers are more likely to believe other customers when reviews are posted. This could also give WestJet an avenue to find out where they are going wrong and what they can improve on. They could also use it for hotel reviews, or “a typical day at _____”. I believe this would also be very useful for not just WestJet customer, but also all travellers. The beauty of this would be WestJet would get much credit for doing this and taking the initiative.

Communities are everywhere online. I am part of the online community PreludePower. This community specifically focuses on preludes and was very helpful in dealing with common problems in my 1991 Prelude when I had it. The community was set for enthusiasts to share their experiences, problems, and solutions. This is similar to what GM has done with their Fastlane blog. Communities that are company driven must give value to the users of them. Simply creating a community for a product will not guarantee success. If a community is setup for talking with groundswell, it must have long-term sustainability built into the plan. Building up a community will only hurt accountability and reputation.