Hello again my lovely followers,
This week in the world of the groundswell, the chapter revolved around connecting with customers, and how you can communicate with them effectively. The biggest idea of this chapter is that connecting with the groundswell transforms your company. As the authors say,
One of the benefits we’ve seen of engaging with the groundswell is that your organization goes through a mental shift – you become so engaged with your customers that you walk in step with their needs and wants. The key to this transformation is taking an idea that typically starts with a few employees who understand the groundswell and making it an organization-wide movement. (Li & Bernoff, 2011, p. 217)
Creating groundswell thinking occurs through three essential elements: (1) taking it step by step to adjust and allow the mental shift to occur; (2) creating a plan and vision about where you want the organization to go, so there is a natural progression to the next step; and (3) having executive support, because without it, groundswell thinking will be hard to implement.
To ensure you can meet these essential elements, the groundswell proposes five tips to help you benefit from communicating with the groundswell.
- Start small – Pick your battles strategically because you only have so much power. As well, make sure to take small steps because change takes time, and you need to allow smaller successes to pave the way for the true transformation.
- Educate your executives – Using the Social Technographics Profile, which has been mentioned in one of my previous posts, can show your executives how much social media actually matters, and may even help you to persuade them to start using it. This would be an ideal time to start launching internal blogs, social networks, etc., to show them the benefits and gain their support.
- Get the right people to run your strategy – Pick the person who has the most passion about having a relationship with the customers, rather than someone who has the most time on their hands.
- Get your agency and technology patterns in sync – If the agency you are using to connect to your customers does not understand how the groundswell works then you should get them to invest the time and resources to learn it. If they won’t, then consider changing agencies.
- Plan for the next step and for the long term – With any plan, there needs to be a vision, and you need to always plan for the future. Knowing where you want the groundswell to take you will help you in creating a strategy/plan to help transform your company.
(Li & Bernoff, 2011)
This type of strategy is so important in a variety of organizations. For instance, when I grow up (LOL), I hope to work in the public sector; whether it is the local municipal government, or the provincial. With this type of industry, it is crucial to have communication with your consumers. They need to know you are listening for six essential reason, which we learned about in my previous blog, and you need to be able to communicate back effectively.
By communicating effectively with the groundswell, the government would be able to shape the way they do business, and determine the types of strategies they should take to influence others, make changes to the city/province, and deal with their consumers. Like the authors said in the first quote, you would become so engaged with your customers that you would walk in step with their needs and wants (Li & Bernoff, 2011).
As a government official, that is exactly what should be done. Tasks regarding the city should meet what the citizens want, and changes should create benefits. The government needs to shape the way they communicate to fit the citizens that they govern, otherwise, there will always be reluctance to engage, disagreements about certain topics, and certainly, revolts against who they want to govern. As we have always learned growing up, “COMMUNICATION IS KEY!”
Keep that in mind, and you will be on your way to becoming more involved in the groundswell, and more understanding of your consumers, present or future!
Until next week,
Li, C. & Bernoff, J. (2011). Groundswell expanded and revised: Winning in a world transformed by social technologies. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Publishing.