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Groundswell (Enhanced and Updated) [Kindle Edition with Audio/Video]

Charlene Li , Josh Bernoff , Vook
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Published by Harvard Business Review Press

In the bestselling book Groundswell, Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff defined "the groundswell" as a social structure in which technology puts power into the hands of individuals and communities, not institutions. With thorough research and compelling examples, the book identified the components of this shift and recommended the best ways to build a meaningful company strategy for social media.

In the three years since the book was published, companies have begun to take full advantage of Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and LinkedIn on devices of every shape and size.

This expanded, revised, and enhanced edition addresses the latest developments in social media, and gives you the tools you need to understand and apply that thinking in a successful strategy for your own organization. Perfect for readers who bought the original book and need tools and an update, or those who are new to the groundswell, this enhanced edition includes:

  • Updated data from the authors’ work at Forrester Research on how customers use and perceive new media
  • Two new chapters demystifying Twitter and assessing your organization's level of social maturity and where you need to go next
  • Two powerpoint presentations that you can download, customize, and share with your colleagues
  • Live hyperlinks to the blog posts, tweets, videos, and other media mentioned in the book to show you what companies are getting this right and how – and what happens if you don’t
  • Examples of videos discussed in the book
  • Charlene Li is a social media thought leader, founder of the Altimeter Group, and author of Open Leadership.

    Josh Bernoff is a senior vice president at Forrester Research and coauthor of the recently released Empowered, a book about how to manage in the age of the empowered customer.

Editorial Reviews


...for Groundswell's intended audience - managers struggling to answer questions such as "should my soap company have a presence on Facebook?" or "why isn't anyone reading our company blog?" - the emphasis on data and analytics is not a bug - it's a feature --The Financial Times, May 21, 2008

The Forrester analysts have prepared one of the most comprehensive and useful primers on the sudden surge in social media. --Advertising Age, July 3, 2008

Their response, an introduction to the current state of online social networking and what to do about it, is entertaining, well- written and mercifully free from techy details. --The Financial Times, June 4, 2008


There is no question that this is the book to read if you are in a corporate environment. – 800 CEO Read’s Social Media University’s Reading List, August 2009

Product Details

  • File Size: 70747 KB
  • Print Length: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Vook Inc.; Harvard Business Review Press; Expanded and Revised Edition edition (June 30, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0057Z7H40
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #324,102 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
First, the positive: The authors list many of the social media technologies available at the time of publication and provide decent statistics on social media usage. The problem is you could get the same statistics and more for free by reading a Pew report.

There's plenty not to like in this book:

First, the authors appear to have groundswell tourette syndrome. Just as Rudy Giuliani can't get through a sentence without mentioning 9/11, the authors can barely go through a chapter without mentioning the word "groundswell." It's as though the authors took a bunch of verbs, added them to the word groundswell, and voila, a book was born.

All the chapter titles treat the groundswell as some sort of mysterious, independent force that companies must harness through mystical Jiu jitsu. (And yes, I am quoting, they compare themselves to sensei and say they are teaching you social media Jiu jitsu.)

Second, the authors mention Digg and General Motors as two key examples of how companies can harness the groundswell. They say Kevin Rose of Digg clearly "gets it" about the Net. Yes, Rose got it so much that he ultimately had to sell the company for $500,000. Another key example in the book comes from GM, a company that almost died until the government stepped in to bail it out.

If you like hype, you will love this book. You will learn that "the groundswell comes from the collision of three forces: people, economics, and technology." That's shocking because nothing else in society results from the confluence of people, economics, and technology. And the authors note that you'll learn little about managing the groundswell from learning about the technology because the groundswell is a force to be mastered, as I said, much like Jiu jitsu.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book for numerous reasons February 5, 2013
By M. Law
Groundswell is a hit for a number of reasons:
(1) It's current: Although published in 2011, the book is very up-to-date. This is good and bad, as very quickly it will become outdated.

(2) It's helpful: Instead of just listing advice for readers, like the groundswell itself, the book tries to relate to the reader. It gives plenty of case studies and real-life stories, and readers find themselves connecting with the authors.

(3) It's readable: It is written in such a readable fashion that anyone, tech-savvy or not, can enjoy it. While giving details of the groundswell concept, it also gives a basic overview of social media; none of the concepts are complicated or overbearing.

(4) It's about relationships: The book, while seemingly data driven and technology-focused, is really about relationships. "Never forget that the groundswell is about person-to-person activity" (280). Groundswell is about wielding our social media revolution to build and sustain relationships. Doing this requires patience, commitment and the right attitude.

Overall, it is an easy read, but it will train your mind to think differently about social media.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Timeless book on social media June 3, 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Groundswell is an excellent read for anyone involved in the social media strategy and implementation. The book lays out a consumer segmentation model (social technographics ladder) that can be used to segment and understand the consumers of the social media. A company needs to understand the existing and evolving social technographics profile of consumers to choose appropriate social media and engagement strategies (listening, talking, energizing, helping, embracing). The book also proposes a four-step process for developing a social media marketing strategy - People, Objectives, Strategy, and Technology (called POST). The book has many case studies and insightful analysis of the power of social media. Although the social media technologies will continue to evolve rapidly, one must understand the bigger picture and the business use cases (in areas of customer research, marketing, sales, customer support, and new product development) in order to leverage the immense power of social media.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great book May 8, 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book really defined why social and digital media is so important in today's society. Lots of data and case studies that let you develop "thought-ware" for your own business strategy.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A good starter February 14, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition with Audio/Video|Verified Purchase
I read it while researching digital entrepreneurship and it does a job of explaining the nuts and bolts of digital ventures.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Must Read! December 21, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition with Audio/Video
I had to read this book as a requirement for class and I must say this was a very interesting read to say the least. "Groundswell' by Charlene Li provides us with important and interesting insight into the world of social media in businesses. Sites like Twitter, Facebook etc are all used everyday and this books explains how these sites can be used as PR and promotion. Charlene Li understand how powerful and extremely useful twitter is that he even dedicated a whole CHAPTER on twitter and how to use it wisely. It's needless to say that Social media is taking this millennium by storm, it's not only important to know how to use it but also how to use it to make it work for you!

Great book, I would recommend it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great book December 18, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition with Audio/Video
The book was really well organized and the topics that were discussed was really helpful and insightful especially in relations to the discussion of new media technologies. The authors were engaging from start to finish. The examples that were given in the book were really helpful in visualizing a real world applications of social media marketing. and As some one who has sought to capitalize on my social media use, this book is was really helpful in teaching me new methods and practices. Overall The book was easy to read and understand, clearly engaging and informative.

I would recommend this to anyone who are learning to get ahead of the curve especially in terms of social media marketing and for many CIS students this book should be a recommended class material because of its relevant knowledge on the use of social media marketing especially from a business point of view
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
Great book
Published 16 days ago by cino
2.0 out of 5 stars No real insights here
If you are a marketing researcher with experience, you know almost everything in this book. If you are a marketer without experience, it is worth a read.
Published 3 months ago by Dan C
5.0 out of 5 stars Must read for anyone working with social networks
it mixes real examples with ROI analysis "landing" all the intangible around social networks into a practical step by step book.
Published 9 months ago by filipe diniz
4.0 out of 5 stars Groundswell was well done!
"Groundswell" by Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff is a BusinessWeek Bestseller depicting the need for companies to understand and take advantage of this ever-changing trend called... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Rachel
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Intro to Social Media
This book was required text for a class concerning "Social Media Strategies" and this book has a number of good examples of how social media has been used correctly, and... Read more
Published 14 months ago by HuntleyMC
4.0 out of 5 stars Great as Social Media 101
This is a very important book for Social Media beginners. The case studies it mentions is great in explaining the impact and implications of social media rather than going into... Read more
Published 14 months ago by Mohamed Marwan
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent resource on the rise and importance of Social Media
I ordered this book to share with colleagues that are charged with creating a social media strategy. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Arthur C. Peters
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
Good examples and case studies but I was not able to take advantage of playing the enhanced videos or get the powerpoint slides mentioned in the book.
Published 16 months ago by Pete
5.0 out of 5 stars The book you must read to understand what's happening
This is a great book. If you want to success in your business over the next years, you have to read this book, and understand how the internet and the social networks are changing... Read more
Published 17 months ago by Carlos Garcia Alvarez
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