The groundswell inside your company.



Unlike the rest, this blog will focus more on using groundswell to connect the company internally. This final blog will detail how internal groundswell benefits the management-employee relationship inside your company. In this blog, I will also give strategies to nurture internal groundswell.

Furthermore, Internal groundswell can help a company achieve several groundswell objectives. By listening to your employees, you would be able to hear some problems that you weren’t aware of before. By talking you can make sure that employees ar all up to date with the company’s program or strategy. Energizing would improve employee morale, and boost positive thinking which would lead to higher customer/employee satisfaction. Supporting would be much easier because the employees are not limited in their networks of support. By using groundswell, they can have a vast networks of people they can ask for assistance.

Finally, here are the three strategies for nurturing the internal groundswell (Li & Bernoff, 2011):

  1. Promote a listening culture from the top down: Internal social applications demand a high level of trust because employees have more at stake when they participate. Employees need to know that management will listen to their openly contributed opinions, rather than punishing people (p. 245).
  2. Ease and encourage participation with incentives: Having the right culture in place and an engaged management team is a good start, but it’s not enough. Incentves are like the control rods in a nuclear reactor – they dampen the participation and keep the idea generation from heating up (p. 247)
  3. Find and empower the rebels in your organization: rather than think about the things that can go wrong, think about the opportunity cost, namely the lost opportunity of creating a groundswell of enthusiastic employees. Managers should stem the inherent corporate impulse to put in place processes, controls, and guidelines for everything. (p. 248).


Li, C., Bernoff, J. (2011). Groundswell: Winning in a world transformed by social technologies. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Publishing


Energizing the Groundswell.



So far I have talked about listening, talking, and supporting  the groundswell. Today, I will be talking about how to use the groundswell to energize your target market – that is, word of mouth. According to Li and Bernoff (2011), “Energizing the groundswell means tapping into the power of word of mouth by connecting with, and turning on, your most committed customers…” (p. 131).

Word of mouth is a powerful amplifier of brand marketing for three reasons.

  1. It is believable because testimonials from customers are more credible than media sources.
  2. It is self-reinforcing because many people are talking about it.
  3. It is self-spreading. If a product is worth using, its word of mouth generates more word of mouth in a cascade that is literally exponential.

In order to build good reputation and brand recognition, it is very important for a company to energize their target market, and ensure that the consumers are helping the company spread the word. To energize the target market, a company can implement a few techniques.

  1. Tap into customer’s enthusiasm with ratings and reviews
  2. Create a community to energize your customers
  3. Participate in and energize online communities of your brand

It is very important carefully approach the energizing strategy  because it is much riskier than the talking and listening strategies that I discussed in my previous blogs. The reason for this is because you are now directly dealing with people who are going to talk about your brand. Dealing directly with costumers creates unique challenges for businesses. In most cases, there could be very little to no control on where conversations are going. Furthermore, Li and Bernoff (2011) recommended five steps for applying energizing techniques.

  1. Figure out if you want to energize the groundswell. Energizing might not be for everyone. It only works for companies who have enthusiastic customers.If your product is a commodity and does not provide  a strong brand, or emotional connection then it might do more damage than good.
  2. Check the Social Technographics Profile of your customers. It is good to know how your audience is interacting with the groundswell before implementing a strategy. If your audience is not active as Creators, Critics or Joiners, then there is a good chance that your technique would be wasted.
  3. Ask yourself, “what is my customer’s problem?”. It is very important to know and identify what your customer’s problem is and how you can help resolve it.
  4. Pick a strategy that fits your customers’ Social Technographics Profile and problems. You must determine which techniques to use based on the online habits of your customers.
  5. Don’t start unless you can stick around for the long haul. Commitment is very important here. It is almost like a marriage. You must keep the relationship going or you might suffer the backlash.

Follow this simple steps and you will be on your way in using groundswell to energize your target market.



Li, C., Bernoff, J. (2011). Groundswell: Winning in a world transformed by social technologies. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Publishing

Tapping the Groundswell with Twitter.



According to Li & Bernoff (2011), “tweeters” are three times as likely to be Creators, more than twice as likely to be Critics, and half as likely to be Joiners compared with typical online consumers, as we can see from the Social Technographic Profile below:





In this chapter, Li and Bernoff talked about the benefits of using Twitter, and how it can be used to serve the five objectives of groundswell. Big companies such as McDonalds, Dunkin Donuts, Starbucks, etc.., uses Twitter to connect with its customers for advertisements purpose, and to ultimately improve its brand.

If you need a refresher on the five objectives of groundswell, you can visit my POST strategy blog. By applying those five objectives, you would be able to use Twitter in order for your organization to be successful in using groundswell.

Twitter is now at the center of a whole ecosystem of interaction, and here are a few elements of that ecosystem:

  1. Followers –  You can follow anyone you want unless that person blocks you
  2. (#)Hashtags and searches – “Hashtags are simply terms designed to mark a tweet as referring to a topic, and are indiated with a # (the pound or hash sign), such as #superbowl or #FF for Follow Friday (p. 198). This makes it very easy for companies to see who and what is being said by their company by simply searching their companies hashtags
  3. Mentions and retweets – Mentions and retweets allow the best ideas to spread virally, which, given Twitter’s immediacy, often happens amazingly quickly
  4. Links – Pretty self-explanatory. Linking is very easy to do because it just copy & paste, and it is usually has a description accompanying what the link is all about to make it easier for audience to see if the link interests them
  5. Lists – This ability allows you to create lists of people you follow, and these lists can be shared. For example, you can now easily see the tweets from Robert Scoble’s list of the most influential people in technology
  6. Apps & Tools –  Twitter is available on many platforms including desktop, android and apple devices. Since Twitter feeds are open, people can find a huge collection of tools to tap into it for both individual “twitterers” and companies (p. 198).


Li, C., Bernoff, J. (2011). Groundswell: Winning in a world transformed by social technologies. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Publishing