Ever wonder how to effectively use social media for your business? Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff, of Forrester Research, provide real-world information and data on how to make it social media work for your business in their book, groundswell: winning in a world transformed by social technologies (Amazon affiliate link). The book is packed with data and experience from twenty-five cases, spanning different types of industries, companies and organizations.
If you’re not sure exactly why social media is important to business, Li and Bernoff start off explaining why it is – they term the emergence of social media technologies into the mainstream as the “groundswell.” Once you understand exactly what the groundswell is, they explain how it can be tapped to help your organization. The last part of the book focuses on how using the groundswell will change your company and what the future looks like.
One of the strengths of this book is that it doesn’t have a one-size-fits all social media strategy that works for all organizations and companies. Instead, it examines the use of social media on a behavorial level – different types of people interact with social media in different ways. Some types will login to a social site every day but never actually interact. Others post regularly. Understanding what types of people you have in your particular target audience is key for crafting a social media strategy that will actually work. The book runs through the different types of people and their typical interactions with social media and how to use this information to craft a winning strategy.
While this book is a year old, the underlying information is still extremely valuable to anyone looking to tie social media in with business measurements, such as ROI. There’s also a website which provides updated information via a blog and some tools for understanding the possible makeup of your target audience, based on industry and age groups. I highly recommend this book to anyone considering using social media for their business – it will give you a good idea of what needs to be done to be successful and the twenty-five cases provide good real-world examples of possible ways to use social media for your business.
If you’ve read this book, I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies (Amazon affiliate link)