Jan 24, 2009

Groundswell Blook Report:Chapter Five-Listening to the groundswell

Groundswell is broken down into three parts. Part two (chapters 4-9) focus on tapping the groundswell. The authors provide advice and a strategic framework on how to do this.

Chapter 5: Listening to the groundswell FriendFeed Room: Chapter Five reference links and case studies from the book. Join the room and start a conversation.

Feature Presentation: The Conversation-An Introduction to Social Media, Tactica Interactive Communications
Slides 1-16: Social media defined, some Canadian Demographics (these folks are from wintery Winnipeg)
Slides 17-28: Ten keys to Social Media Success
Slides 29-60: Social Media Tools and Do's and Don'ts for each (great content)
Slides 61-76: Social Media Myths
Slides 77-78: Three take away messages (not sure I agree with this them, do you?)
Slides 79-81: Useful resources and credits

Feature Video: Groundswell Business Objectives-Listening, Josh Beroff
More Groundswell videos here.

:14 What is listening in the Groundswell and how do you do this?
2:30 What Cancer Treatment Centers learned from patient community. Not something they expected to hear...family doctors matter when it comes to referrals.

What I learned:
1) This may sound repetitive, but know where there are potential and existing groundswells for your industry and company.
Don't rush into things until you've got a handle on where and how people are talking about your industry and your company. Determine what the Social Technographics Profile is for your product, company and industry (This is covered in Chapter Three of the book and here).

2) Listening is a new and maybe better way to conduct market research
This could be controversial! For those companies spending money on traditional market research (focus groups, qualitative and quantitative surveys and interviews, polls etc.) social media may be a viable alternative. For those small to medium sized businesses that conduct little to no research (there are many), social media can be a cost effective (no, not free) way to listen and learn from your market.

3) Listening is about insight and learning
Listening is not about collecting data! It is about gaining an in-depth understanding and knowledge about your market, your customers and whoever else chooses to use and talk (or not talk) about your brand. People may not be directly talking about you or your brand, but it is probable they are talking about things that are relevant to your market.

4) Listening is the first step to change
The group that champions listening and social media in your organization should be listened to and supported by the leaders (at the very least) within it. Take them seriously! This team of listeners will bring insight, ideas and recommendations that will likely influence strategic direction and decisions. If the leadership team is not prepared to listen and take this seriously then don't bother starting. Tell them to put their heads in the sand and pretend that everything will go away.

5) Monitoring and Communities are the two primary ways to listen
The social media demographics for your industry, geography and the age of your buyers will help determine where and how you should listen. Monitoring is one option where you use tools and/or services to collect and rank conversations that matter. Communities of special interest can help you understand and converse with key people with similar interests, problems and needs. This can be useful where there is some void or barrier for people to connect.

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