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Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies [Kindle Edition]

Charlene Li , Josh Bernoff
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Corporate executives are struggling with a new trend: people using online social technologies (blogs, social networking sites, YouTube, podcasts) to discuss products and companies, write their own news, and find their own deals. This groundswell is global, it s unstoppable, it affects every industry and it s utterly foreign to the powerful companies running things now.

When consumers you ve never met are rating your company s products in public forums with which you have no experience or influence, your company is vulnerable. In Groundswell, Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff of Forrester, Inc. explain how to turn this threat into an opportunity.

Using tools and data straight from Forrester, you ll learn how to:



-Evaluate new social technologies as they emerge

-Determine how different groups of consumers are participating in social technology arenas

-Apply a four-step process for formulating your future strategy

-Build social technologies into your business including monitoring your brand value, talking with the groundswell through marketing and PR campaigns, and energizing your best customers to recruit their peers

Timely and insightful, this book is required reading for executives seeking to protect and strengthen their company s public image.

"Groundswell is jammed with big ideas, useful stories, and quotable stats. This is the new industrial revolution. Are you on board?"

-Seth Godin, author, Meatball Sundae

"This book will rock your world, if social technology hasn't rocked it already. It's a tsunami of unstoppable force. Amazon, Procter & Gamble, Facebook, Google, and Dell are profiting from the crest of the wave. Are you? Li and Bernoff are the apostles of the tsunami. This book will be your bible."

-Scott Cook, Founder and Chairman of the Executive Committee, Intuit

Groundswell provides practical advice on how to stay nimble and flexible in an ever-morphing digital world. Enabling your company to respond to change quickly especially when talking to and supporting your consumers is essential for business success.

-Cathie Black, President, Hearst Magazines

"The first phase of the Internet was about getting everyone connected. In this next phase, which changes the way we work, live, play, and learn, we re starting to realize the value of those connections as well as the new communications and experiences those interactions lead to the human network. Groundswell effectively documents this shift and underscores the opportunities available to all from this major market transition."

-John T. Chambers, Chairman and CEO, Cisco

"Heed the Groundswell! It's critical reading and helped us master the new dynamics of social media."

-Christina Norman, President, MTV

"Groundswell is a comprehensive look at the tidal wave of change engulfing marketers. Nobody should attempt to engage the newly empowered and emboldened consumer without first hearing what Li and Bernoff have to say on the subject."

-Clark Kokich, CEO, Avenue A | Razorfish

"Social technologies and the groundswell impact every business and organization worldwide. Li and Bernoff have written an insightful book that takes a refreshing research-driven approach to helping businesses transform themselves and successfully navigate this new dynamic landscape."

-Steve Rubel, Senior Vice President, Edelman Digital, and columnist for Advertising Age


Editorial Reviews

Review

...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

Review

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: 2785 KB
  • Print Length: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard Business School Press; 1 edition (April 14, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B001B1FDM2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #567,605 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book for numerous reasons February 5, 2013
By M. Law
Format:Paperback
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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3.0 out of 5 stars It's ok. November 7, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I had to read this for college. It was a good book for me though as I am in the web development business and it is important for me to understand some of the social media concepts out there.

This book I have to say, however, feels very watered down for casual readers. I've been in the web business almost 10 years now, and I have to say that this is not the greatest book for someone that already has technical knowledge. It has many bare bone basic concepts about social media sites and feels like a "how to" guide for corporate head-honchos. The author of this text makes up a lot of their own terminology and key-concepts behind social media including the term "groundswell". Many of its concepts revolve around social media technology such as Twitter and Facebook. Social media can go out of fashion as quickly as it gained popularity. I wouldn't recommend a corporate business do everything this book says, although it has some good advice for those who are clueless about implementing their business in social media.

This is an interesting read, but I'm not too crazy about it nor it's concepts. I have to question, how have the authors gained some of the knowledge they have and who are they to really set the standards for social media? It's a decent book and not many others out there are like it, but I think someone can write something better out there. Average book in general. Take what you can from it but don't believe everything it says in my professional opinion. 3/5
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
good
Published 2 days ago by Anahi Solis Chavez
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
This is a must read for all marketing and business professionals in the Web 2.0 world!
Published 13 days ago by Shana A Bakhshi
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Informative
Very informative. Explains Web 2.0 technologies and how business can use them successfully. Good examples. I listened to the book and it kept my attention well.
Published 28 days ago by Cynthia Walker
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
sums up recent social and economic changes brought about by a wired, tech-based world perfectly.
Published 1 month ago by periwinkle
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Great content, but missing some reference on how to measure results of strategies exposed
Published 2 months ago by Daniel Michel
2.0 out of 5 stars Too long
The book is too long in my opinion. The same information could have been conveyed in much less space. The material is good, just be sure you have a lot of extra time to read it.
Published 2 months ago by Nathan Townsend
5.0 out of 5 stars Groundswell a great read for PR/Marketing professionals
Great book and reference for understanding the groundswell phenomena. I highly recommend it to any PR or marketing practitioners out there looking for more insight on how to tap... Read more
Published 2 months ago by JJ
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
It is ok book. Very basic. Needed it for a class
Published 2 months ago by AM
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
Great book
Published 3 months ago by cino
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
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... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Kelley Moss
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