By: Andrea Blythe
“The groundswell is a social trend in which people use technologies to get the things they need from each other, rather than from traditional institutions, like corporations.”
Corporations typically prefer a one-way communication street, where they speak about their business and the consumer simply listens.
A two-way communication stream has developed involving media, where corporations can no longer monitor exactly what the consumer hears, because now the consumers can share their own opinions about businesses and products, for everyone to hear.
Compared to the way things were before web 2.0 developed, the trend of people connecting with and depending on each other is clearly accelerating.
The groundswell is rapidly evolving, which creates an incredible challenge for corporate strategies. The businesses who choose not to fight the groundswell and embrace ideas similar to the Cluetrain Manifesto, are the ones that thrive.
Yes, the groundswell is filled with threats that may not fit well with corporate public relations or marketing plans; but instead of dreading the possibility of a social media platform criticizing companies in a negative light, businesses should embrace the new ability to fix a problem or complaint with interaction and relationship building.
Once a corporation takes advantage of the opportunities groundswell provides, they realize that they can improve communication with customers by listening to their concerns and directing traffic to an appropriate channel or blog post from within the corporation.
Ultimately, the beneficial results of using groundswell outweigh the bad. Social media blogger Laurie Lei highlights that by embracing the web-driven economy, a company can manage customer service, increase sales, and improve its reputation.
5 Ways YOU can join the groundswell:
1. Start your own blog
2. Add ratings & reviews to your site
3. Market through social networks
4. Begin reading blogs surrounding your company and market
5. Participate in relevant conversations by commenting on blogs or videos
Remember: Concentrate on the relationships, not the technologies. Quality always triumphs over quantity.
For more business strategies on how to utilize the groundswell, watch the author of Groundwell, Josh Bernoff, discuss conceptsfrom his other book: Empowered, below.
(photo courtesy of Ashworth Creative)