Finally got my hands on and read The Groundswell by Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff.
At a first glance it seemed the book does not contain anything new for me, but sinking deeper I realized that there are a lot of fresh ideas for everybody. We all have heard of such social web tools as blogs, forums, wikis, and on-line communities but there are so many ways how to use them. Some ways are smart and beneficial for the user and for the community, some ways are better to be avoided.
The authors provide an insight in the opportunities given to the businesses by those social technologies. Some most important things which are emphasized throughout the book are:
- Decide what are your goals and who is your target audience before employing any particular social technology tool (and remember, it’s not about you, it’s about people you want to communicate to; it’s not about your company or product, it’s about solving your customers’ problems).
- Choose your tool wisely depending on what you want it to do.
- Always be open and honest, it will ensure the bond with your audience and also your credibility.
- And most importantly be willing and ready to listen (people on-line will have what to say about you, and it wont necessarily be good things) and to act accordingly (not ignoring, not shouting back but talking to and solving the problem).
In addition to well written ‘theory’ Charlene and Josh provided a lot of interesting and educational case studies in every chapter, helping the reader grasp the idea better. And sometimes the unusual approaches to problem solving using social technologies can be very inspiring and lead to new development of tools and make their usage even more efficient.
I recommend this book to anybody who is in marketing, communications, customer relations, PR or in general has to maintain a relationship with people inside and outside the company.