Must Read: Groundswell (Con’t)

by Marianne Richmond on April 9, 2008

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So, back to Groundswell and the reasons why I said, “must read.”

Groundswell is well researched (Forrester research data from around the world, 65 corporate examples and 25 full case studies), written by two great, knowledgeable writers and fellow particpants, Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff, and is exceptionally readable at the same time.

Readability in a business book is of course a relative measure, but for me it relevance and time=value.

“Has value” means it is relevant to my work in real time (applicable right now, today; not 15 minutes ago) and therefore is a good (another relative measure and highly contextual) use of my time because yes, I have time deficit disorder that seems to never disappear regardless of which Circa or Hipster PDA strategy I deploy.

This translates into usefulness: I can use the information to support a recommendation to a client, add to a presentation, and/or as a catalyst for an idea or concept. Maybe even to write a blog post.

At the moment, I am writing a proposal for a client and using the social technographics ladder to support a recommended target for a program and to demonstrate how users will become involved and participate. Charlene and Josh have made this tool available on line.

I am also using their POST method as a framework for the strategy I am recommending. I find that for whatever reason, marketers seem to think that social media doesn’t need a strategy or a well defined target and is driven by technology. POST which stands for People, Objectives, Strategy, and Technology…in that order, please, really puts this perspective.

I have a client company whose marketing folks have been setting up Facebook pages. So, of course there is no cost other than their time for doing this. It seems to make them feel like social media participants. We are on Facebook, they say. They friend each other and their agencies and consultants. Add several wall posts and away they go. But where are they going?

And then of course there is ROI. Yes, Virginia, there is an ROI for social media. Remember the objectives and strategy? A recruiting blog? How many applications did you get? A private community? What was the value for that new product idea? Start there. Add out of pocket costs (platform, creative, moderation etc).

Speaking of ROI, buy the Groundswell. Buy a copy for your clients. Buy a copy for your prospects. It will provide many returns.

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