Posts Tagged ‘ Social Media ’

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.

Advertisements

The Future of Groundswell

Where groundswell is heading

Groundswell is growing more than ever, faster than ever. More companies, more people, and mass participation is creating an entirely different world. It is constantly being imbedded into our every day lives with cell phones, computers, cars, and everything else. What allows it to become so successful is it allows people to connect to things they care about. They don’t have to waste time going to things they don’t need, instead, they can be updated by things that are important to them through feeds. This is true value to the customer.

What companies must understand

Groundswell will be a company’s survival; there will be no quick sell on groundswell. If your company is even doing the slightest thing shady, people will know. If you’re selling a printer that has cheaper ink cartridges, but prints less pages per cartridge, people will know. Any type of strategy based on deception will simply not work. Any company that does not engage with groundswell will look outdated and out of touch with their customers.

Customers are the true decision makers

The information social media can provide a business is invaluable. The instantaneous feedback can be used to make crucial decisions. Products will continue to evolve quicker as feedback is received quicker and companies can make better decisions to suit customer needs. Relationships with customers will improve so much that companies will be able to make mistakes, learn from them, and not just survive, but thrive.

People Complaining or Dissatisfied With Your Business, The Difference and What You Should Know

People Dissatisfied

There will always be the dissatisfied customer. Whether it’s a lack of a feature or a fault in manufacturing, it will happen. It’s a fact of business, we are all human, and so we all make mistakes. As people turn to social media, companies should monitor places like Twitter, or use Google alerts to make them aware of when their company is mentioned. This type of monitoring will help them react quickly to emerging problems.

When a problem is found, don’t panic. Read, listen, understand, respond, and learn from the experience. Take the time to really listen and understand the person’s problem. Once this is done, be flexible in an effort to make good on the problem at hand. Be humble about your response and remember this is a person that is valuable to your company. There should be a learning curve in these interactions with your customers, and problems associated with them will diminish.

Instead of a having an angry customer, make them an ambassador to your company. People who have legitimate problems that you help solve will be valuable to your company. This is assuming your company understands groundswell and is transparent throughout the company.

Complainers

Now complainers are a different story. These are people who constantly complain no matter how hard you try to solve their problem. These people could be after a discount or simply never satisfied with your product.

What to do? Well quite simply, usually nothing. The people who constantly complain will quickly become unnoticed as people realize what they are and pay no attention to them. It is the electronic version of crying wolf.

If you’ve built a community with many supporters, the community will usually deal with these types of people. These people usually do far less damage than a person that leaves one complaint and gets no response from you. Misery loves company, in social media, this is the key thing to remember.

POST Process Simplified

Before one can successfully implement groundswell, they must go through a process of deciding how they will use it and on what platform. This is very important because some people might be using different forms of social media to voice their opinion. If a company or person tries to connect with someone using Facebook when most of their customers are blogging, it won’t be effective. There also must be a key set of steps before one decides to take on social media. A simplified process is the POST method, for people, objectives, strategy, and technology. This method will help build a concrete plan for social media decision-making.

People  – Before it is decided what groundswell tool a company will use, a business must first know whom they are targeting. They must understand their customer’s technographic profile. This is a crucial step as it will help a business better understand how their customers will engage in the conversation and through what medians.

Objectives – When we talk about objectives in the POST process we are mainly concerned with a company’s social media goals. Social media can be used for a variety of things, whether that is empowering your customers, listening, sales, embracing, support, or research. However, it is important that a business has an objective before jumping into groundswell.

Strategy – The strategy is closely tied with objectives. How the relationship will change with customers using groundswell is an important part of strategy. Do we want our customers carrying messages and writing reviews about our products? Do we want customers to become more engaged in our company? Are we trying to build a customer-to-customer support system with our products? Are we trying to develop new products and use groundswell as a development tool? These are all questions that strategy must answer to make the most of the social media used.

Technology – Once people, objectives, and strategy have been determined in the POST process the platform for social media can be selected. Using the correct type of social media is very important, as it is how people will interact or not interact with your company. This is selecting whether to use blogs, wikis, Twitter, Facebook, forums or any other type of social media to get people involved in your company.

How Social Media Is Helping In Japan

Japan has been hit with an earthquake, tsunami, a nuclear state of emergency, and a volcano. My heart goes out to them and I wish them all the best. The earthquake and tsunami has knocked out telephone lines while cell phones are spotty at best. This has prompted people to turn to social media. It was estimated that minutes after the earthquake Twitter was reporting over 1200 tweets per minute out of Japan. Twitter, Facebook, and Skype has helped people find loved ones and communicate with one another when there is no other way. Google has also launched their people finder service that is helping people to either find someone or help that person be found. Hopefully all the cynics who think social media is a fad will see the impact and realize social media is not going away. I have been watching the news a lot since this terrible event.  It’s interesting when I was searching on Twitter for pictures or videos and then I would see the exact same pictures on the news. It has also proven to be a great place for the people of Japan to gain information and connect with the government’s relief efforts.

Using Groundswell Internally!

Social media is a great tool for listening to what everyone is saying about your business. Although it can be used as a tool for external communication, it can also be a great tool for communicating within a company as well. Companies often don’t have the means to listen to all employees and ideas are often missed. The use of social media is changing all that. Internal wikis, blogs, and online communities are new ways of communicating with employees at all different levels. It gives employees a say within a company and gives power to them like never before. Giving this power unites the top and bottom of an organization and gives top-level management a new perspective. In order for this to work effectively, management must be on board with the changes and implement at least some of the ideas wanted by employees.

Best Buy has capitalized on this with their Blue Shirt Nation. Bell Canada has used ID-ah! and has also been very successful. These are examples of great employee participation and use of internal groundswell to build a better culture within an organization.