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FutureNow Article
Tuesday, May. 13, 2008

Podcast Interview: Forrester’s Josh Bernoff on How to Profit from the Social Media Groundswell

By Robert Gorell
May 13th, 2008

Groundswell by Josh Bernoff and Charlene LiSocial technologies have changed much more than our marketing strategies; they’ve changed us.

Social technologies have changed how we gather and share information. They’ve changed who we meet, where we meet, and, sometimes, how we meet. They’ve changed how we buy, what we buy, and where we buy. They’ve changed what, how, and how much we know about the people around us. And while social technologies may not have changed what it essentially means to be human, they’ve certainly amplified, at once, our voices, our influence, and our need to be heard.

Right now, a brand — possibly yours — is experiencing a public relations mini-disaster thanks to a comment left on a message board; a university student is recommending a movie to 372 people at once via Facebook; Barack Obama’s social media-driven campaign is beating the odds (and the Clintons).

Welcome to the groundswell.

Josh Bernoff, Vice President & Principal Analyst at Forrester Research joined us recently to discuss the soon-to-be-bestseller he’s co-authored with Forrester’s Charlene Li, Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies. The book is a brief history of social media — fully seasoned with research and anecdotes from the most notable triumphs and failures of the so-called “Web 2.0″ era — that explains how to thrive now that customers and clients own your brand.

Click here for the Groundswell podcast

Of course you’ll buy the book, but here’s a 15-minute interview you can download (by right-clicking) while you wait for your copy to be delivered.

POST (not haste)

As Josh explains the paradigm of Groundswell thinking, don’t forget POST:

People – What are your customers ready for? What do they want? What’s motivating them?

Objectives – What are your goals?

Strategy – How do you want relationships with your customers to change?

Technology – Swap “tactics” for “technology” and the same is true. The people, objectives, and strategy must come before your choice of technology/tactics.

Want to find your customers’ social technographics profile?

. .

Read more about the phenomenology of social tech at the Groundswell blog, or any of these other great blogs.

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Comments (5)

  1. Very informative interview – thanks Josh!

    I loved the point that you can’t start with the technology. I can’t tell you how many times a client has come to me and said “I need to start a blog” or “I need to tap into the Internet, I want to create a discussion forum.”
    You are so right, it starts with people and objectives FIRST. Who are your customers and what do they want? THAT’S the first question. Next you can come up with which technologies can help you achieve those goals. (blogs, forums, etc.)

    I also liked your point that companies are scared to engage, and scared not to engage. Starting small with a single campaign or effort is a great way to let them dip in their toes and overcome fear/objections. Great stuff and absolutely worth the listen.


  2. I agree with the technology issue.

    It is the same with SEO. First the client orders a website. Then they call the SEO expert.

    What a waste of money!

  3. this article is quite good to read and carries value also but i don’t see it would be effective to carry out what is stated on this post…

  4. So true, people are changing the way they source their information and the formats they use ignoring traditional methods in most cases and going for whatever is the quickest. I know for myself almost everything I need to find I will use the internet to do it rather than start out the old and generally longer way.

  5. Who are your customers it starts with methods in most cases and going for whatever is and what do they want? people and objectives FIRST. ignoring traditional

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