Strategies for Tapping the Groundswell

In chapter 4, Li & Bernoff describe a four-step planning process that helps business executives get the jumpstart they need to form a groundswell mindset to assemble a plan. Many businesses know and have intentions of being actively involved in the groundswell, but lack the direction to move forth with this. This process is known as POST, an acronym that stands for people, objectives, strategy, and technology (Li &Bernoff, 2011).

social media

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People – Utilizing social technographics, this can provide information from a majority of a target market and the behaviors they pursue. It is critical to assess how your customers will be engaging with you, and using a technographic is a useful way to find this. Otherwise, you are left to guess what your audience might like. Unfortunately I do not have the prior blog post highlighting technographics, but here is an example of a social technographic:


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Objectives – Clearly defining goals can be categorized into five main objectives: listening, talking, energizing, supporting, and embracing.

  • Listening: create a better understanding of your consumer base.
  • Talking: spread messages about your company.
  • Energizing: utilizing word of mouth, use your consumers to your advantage by having them spread the good word about your brand.
  • Supporting: Help your customers support each other.
  • Embracing: Using the help of your customers, take into consideration their input to help design your products.

In relation to my own career path, the objective of listening would be in my best interest. In order to create a successful revenue-generating platform, listening to your consumers would allow you to create content that aligns to what your audience wants. Using these customer insights can allow marketing and development to utilize actual thoughts and ideas from an external stakeholder.

Strategy – Taking into consideration all stakeholders involved, this stage in the process determines how you want your plan to roll out. Some questions that can be asked in this stage involve “How do you want relationships with your customers to change?” “Do you want customers to help carry messages to others in your market?” (Li & Bernoff, 2011). Answering these questions are vital in the decision making process and can help determine a criteria for success. Regardless of what you are pursuing, the same suggestions can apply:

  • Start small – Do not rush yourself or your brand. Create a rough draft of where you want to be and how will you build upon your potential success.
  • Weigh the consequences – Before the plan is complete, potential issues need to be addressed such as how it will change your traditional methods an how it will change your cost structure.
  • Find the right leader – Find the most suitable candidate and whoever ends up in charge needs to report back to the CEO on how the organization is transforming.
  • Select the appropriate technology & agency partners – align yourself with partners who understand your goals and objectives and ensure they have short and long term plans.

Technology – The final step is deciding which application would best suit your needs based on people, objectives and strategies. This can only be done after everything is completed so you can build an engaging blog, wiki, mobile application, or social network profile.

Relating the information found in this chapter to the Human Resource industry and my future career path in this realm, the ideology of listening to target markets and relaying back this information to other departments (marketing, management) can create the building blocks needed to run a successful organization. Once goals and strategies are mutually agreed upon, choosing a technology application that best suits the organizations mission to align with its consumers is the final step to allow this process to unfold.


Li, C., Bernoff, J. (2011). Groundswell: Winning in a world transformed by social technology. Boston, MA: Harvard Business Review Press






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