Using the groundswell inside your company.

Welcome back! And to those of you reading this for the first time, welcome to my blog!


This week’s reading is actually the last in regards to the book in my course, as well as the last week before I have completed my degree! At times it honestly felt like it was taking forever (depending on the term) and other times it seemed to fly by. But anyways, back to the original purpose of this blog which was on “the groundswell inside your company” or in other words how you can use everything mentioned in my previous blogs internally to interact the same way with your internal community (i.e. employees, management). This consists of utilizing the five previously mentioned objectives inside your company which can lead to some of the following:


Listening – “With employees, listening can turn rapidly into problem solving” (Li & Bernoff, 2011, p. 237). By using the groundswell to listen internally, it will allow management to hear what the current topics, trends, issues, as well as anything else that may not be communicated.


Talking – “Corporate can post policy changes where everyone can read them” (Li & Bernoff, 2011, p. 237”. Thus allowing for a wider reach within the organization.


Energizing – It will let your most enthusiastic employees to spread their energy through the groundswell, allowing for other employees to interact with these, creating momentum to push the organization further.


Supporting – “Employees can find the support they need from around the company, not just from within their store or district” (Li & Bernoff, 2011, p. 238).


Embracing – The benefits of having a community can “be a way to surface both ideas and great talent” (Li & Bernoff, 2011, p. 238).


Implementing these objectives into the internal workings of your company focuses more on relationships than the technology. So you need to ‘nurture’ the groundswell if you want to garner the power of your employees. Li & Bernoff (2011), further mentions ways that organizations can use culture to allow the for internal groundswell success:


  1. Promote a listening culture from the top down – To use social applications, a high degree of trust must be involved since employees have a significant amount at stake when it comes to providing their honest opinions. This is why management must take an active role in using the social networks. The more management contributes their executive time and sponsorship, the more likely the employees will be to get involved as well.


  1. Ease and encourage participation with incentives – Participation within the internal groundswell is critical to success. Therefore, as a manager, you must entice your employees to participate. In fact, one way is to ensure that the use of the social network is easy. This will secure the use of it by employees, and allow them to understand how to use it, and persuade them to incorporate it into their everyday work tasks.


  1. As we have discussed countless times in my blogs, groundswell thinking is not easy. This is why you should empower those in your organization who are ready and fighting for change. They already have an affinity for implementing change and creating new ideas, so all you have to do is provide guidance. This means you should direct their energy in a productive way by helping them to try new things, guide their thinking, teach them from their mistakes, and when they begin to succeed, show them what they did to make it happen and how to duplicate it.


This will allow your organization to reap the benefits, and harness the groundswell thinking internally in your company. So remember, you can’t force them to adopt groundswell thinking, but you can show them the positive aspects of it and how it will grow and transform your company.


To summarize, by using the groundswell inside your company, it will allow you to hear what your employees are talking about (i.e. issues, trends, ideas etc.) and communicate (talk) to your employees about the different topics as well as any changes or updates. It will also allow you to energize your employees through this interaction along with allowing your ‘star’ employees to shine. Which will finally lead to a supportive community where problems and ideas can be heard, solved, and implemented.


This ends my series of blogs for the Social Media Marketing – MARK4474 course at NAIT, but that does not mean the end of my blogging!


Until next blog!




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


Tapping the groundswell with Twitter


Hello again readers!


In the book this week was on the topic of Twitter and how you can tap into the groundswell if you decided to use it. Over the past few years, the use of social technology has exploded into a whole new way of keeping connected with others. Thus, the trend to follow was with organizations adopting it as a new channel to connect with its market. Of the many out there, Twitter has become one of the largest, allowing for its users to post short public messages directed at whatever content they wish, while allowing for the message to be shared by whoever may see it. Described as being an “ecosystem of interactions”, it consists of the following elements (some of which are color coordinated to the image above):


  • Followers – “A follower is another Twitter account that has followed you to receive your Tweets in their Home timeline.” (Twitter, 2017)


  • Hashtags and searches – “A hashtag is any word or phrase immediately preceded by the # symbol. When you click or tap on a hashtag, you’ll see other Tweets containing the same keyword or topic.” (Twitter, 2017)


  • Mentions and retweets – “Mentioning other accounts in your Tweet by including the @ sign followed directly by their username is called a “mention.” Also refers to Tweets in which your @username was included. A Tweet that you forward to your followers is known as a Retweet. Often used to pass along news or other valuable discoveries on Twitter, Retweets always retain original attribution.” (Twitter, 2017)


  • LinksLinks are web addresses in which users can add to tweets to increase the value and power of the message. “You can share an article or anything else on the web along with a note recommending it… These links, videos and photos make twitter far richer than just text updates”. (Li & Bernoff, 2011, p. 199)


  • Lists – “From your own account, you can create a group list of other Twitter accounts by topic or interest (e.g., a list of friends, coworkers, celebrities, athletes). Twitter lists also contain a timeline of Tweets from the specific accounts that were added to the list, offering you a way to follow individual accounts as a group on Twitter.” (Twitter, 2017)


  • Apps and tools – There are many apps that associate with Twitter as a result of it content being open to the public. This allowed for the creation of many apps and tools in which allows for twitter content to be analyzed in different ways. One of the examples mentioned by Li and Bernoff (2011) is TweetDeck, a free application for collecting your mentions and searches into columns in a full screen interface to make responding to them easier.


Prior to entering the world of Twitter, Li and Bernoff (2011) once again says you should ask yourself the question “what do you want to use it for?”. By participating in Twitter and it’s elements, organizations can use it to help achieve the objectives in their strategy, of which have been described in my previous blogs. With this, the chapter closes with some advice to consider when your business decides to use of Twitter:


  • Lock up your handle – If someone else obtains and tweets from your handle (i.e. business name) before you are able to get it, you will most likely be misrepresented and your consumers being subject to imposter information. Luckily to help prevent this Twitter has a “verified account” feature that brands and individuals can use to ensure the handles belong to a real company/person.


  • Listen first – “Know what people are tweeting about you before you start posting” (Li & Bernoff, 2011 p. 2010)


  • Be ready to support people – “Consumers will expect your Twitter handle to support them… You need a procedure to identify tweeters who need help and hand them off to your customer service or technical support group” (Li & Bernoff, 2011, p. 210)


  • Follow others – To be able to “direct message” people, you must be a follower of that handle. It is also “…a best practice for providing support where people need to share personal information with you” (Li & Bernoff, 2011, p. 210).


  • Be ready for a crisis – People will look to your account when something goes wrong. A plan is needed that allows your Twitter handle to act as an information channel for the public when crisis arise, regardless of what your initial objective was for your Twitter account. (Li & Bernoff, 2011)


  • Respond, retweet, and link – Respond to people tweeting you; retweet or mention posts that your followers will find interesting; link interesting material on your site as Twitter handles that lack this participation only frustrate your customers. (Li & Bernoff, 2011)


  • Staff it – Twitter needs to be in somebody’s job description, whether it’s the “…marketers, PR people, or support people, their job description should allow time in their day for tweeting” (Li & Bernoff, 2011, p. 2011).


  • Check legal and regulatory – Since all Tweets are of public speech, are searchable, and can be linked/shared, such statements that are inappropriate to publish are also deemed inappropriate for Twitter. (Li & Bernoff, 2011)


  • Having gathered a following, don’t waste it – If your building interest in an account, make sure to create a plan for what to do once you’re finished using it. (Li & Bernoff, 2011)


With this information, I would hope I have given you some insight into the online world of Twitter, as well as some guiding points to help make your handle successful.


Until next blog,


  • Jordan



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


Twitter. (2017). Twitter glossary. Retrieved from

Talking with the groundswell.

Hello again readers,

This week’s reading of the groundswell was on the topic of “talking with the groundswell”. Some of the main points I was able to understand from this chapter was that talking differs from your traditional marketing, aka ‘shouting’ which has been losing its effectiveness as time goes on. The authors briefly explain this marketing funnel theory (shown below) which assumes that consumers will pass though each phase before becoming buyers.


(Li & Bernoff, 2011, p. 101)


Opposed to this ‘shouting’, the authors then narrows down four ways to ‘talk’ with the groundswell:


  1. Post a viral video – “Put a video online and let people share it” (Li & Bernoff, 2011, p. 103). A prime example of this is when Old Spice decided to post the “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” to YouTube in 2010 which has garnered over 53 million views as a result.
  1. Engage in social networks and user-generated content sites – “Creat[ing] a personality within social networking sites… is one of the simplest ways to expand your brands reach” (Li & Bernoff, 2011, p. 103). However, you must first determine if using social networking is appropriate for your company. Once this has been determined, you can move forward if people love your brand to see what is out there already, and to create your own presence to encourage interaction. For example, Wendy’s Twitter has been known to have hilarious responses to many people, and has warranted significant likes and retweets for it. By utilizing a down-to-earth, and personal voice to “keep it real” on Twitter, the brand is engaging the appropriate target market to garner attention.



  1. Join the blogosphere – “Empower your executives or staff to write blogs. Integral to this strategy is listening to and responding to other blogs in the blogosphere” (Li & Bernoff, 2011, p. 103). Just as I am using my blog to provide information to you about the groundswell, brands can implement blogging in similar ways. To ensure successful blogging, Li & Bernoff (2011), offer ten suggestions on how to start blogging: (1) Start by listening; (2) Determine a goal for the blog; (3) Estimate the ROI; (4) Develop a plan; (5) Rehearse; (6) Develop an editorial process; (7) Design the blog and its connection to your site; (8) Develop a marketing plan so people can find the blog; (9) Remember, blogging is more than writing; and (10) Final advice: be honest.


  1. Create a community – “[C]ommunities are a powerful way to engage with your customers and deliver value to them. They’re also effective at delivering marketing strategies, as long as you listen, not just shout” (Li & Bernoff, 2011, p. 103). So, is your market a community, or could it be one? Using the social technographics profile, you can determine the community readiness, then ask yourself whether your customers really are a community. If they are, do they already communities that have formed? Once you have figured that out, you can ask yourself questions such as: “What are we going to get out of this? How will talking with this community benefit us?” (Li & Bernoff, 2011, p. 123). Lastly, do not continue unless you can support the community for the long term. They may be cheap to create, but require significant support to maintain it. Just like real communities, they need care and feeding – whether it be with new content, redesigns, etc.


By utilizing these four techniques, you are well on your way to becoming an expert in talking with your consumers within the groundswell. These techniques incorporate word of mouth extensively, and is such a powerful marketing tool in the groundswell that can stimulate conversation, inevitably increasing your company’s sales if used correctly.


As the authors say at the end of chapter, “If we can leave you with one thought about talking with the groundswell it’s this: the conversation will evolve continuously. Even as the technologies change, the basic conversational nature of those technologies will remain central. If you learn to talk, listen, and respond, you’ll master the middle of the funnel” (Li & Bernoff, 2011, p. 126).


Until next week,


Jordan Fewer



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

Connecting with the Groundswell to transform your company

Hello again everyone!

Closing this week, along with some rain outside, involved reading about the topic of ‘how connecting with the groundswell transforms your company’. The main point to take home from this chapter is that when an organization begins to engage and embrace ‘groundswell thinking’ along with a social strategy, it tends to create a change within the organization (Li & Bernoff, 2011). As well, it begins to transform the organization’s marketing approach and the way it works with customers, placing the customer in the center of the organization.

To assist with this concept, Li & Bernoff (2011) go into great detail about how two companies, Dell and Unilever, transformed as a result of this kind of thinking. To make groundswell thinking happen, three important elements contribute to a successful transformation:

  • Taking it step by step – A mental shift takes time and practices to allow for the organization to adjust. Changing too many things all at once may lead to change fatigue within the organization.
  • You need a plan and vision – A solid foundation is needed for progression in any organization, thus a vision of where the organization wants to go, and how it will get there must be clear, concise, and reasonable.
  • Executive support – For groundswell thinking to become ingrain into an organization, support for from upper management is vital and necessary to aid in the growth of new ideas.

In addition to the elements mentioned above, the following aspects were presented as being vital to successful transformation within an organization:

  1. Start small – Changes takes time. You only have so much power so pick your battles and aim for having a series of smaller successes that have impact.
  2. Educate your executives – Some may be ignorant, believing it has no purpose. Change this thinking with showing them research. If possible, get them active in the groundswell.
  3. Get the right people to run your strategy – A passion for building customer relationships is vital to successful utilization of the groundswell and the social strategy so you will want people running your strategy that openly engage with the customers.
  4. Get your agency and technology partners in sync – Get them to invest the time and resources to learn the groundswell, if not change agencies.
  5. Plan for the next step and for long term – as with any plan, there must be a vision, you will want to know where the groundswell and your strategy/plan is going to take the company.

(Li & Bernoff, 2011)

Putting these concepts in perspective, many large organizations seem to be embracing and utilizing the benefits of the groundswell more each day. For example, WestJet, and from my previous blogs, the Royal Bank of Canada, use many forms of social media (i.e. RBC’s Twitter, WestJet Twitter) daily to keep closely connected and listen to what the public is saying, maintain a connection with customers, share a variety of information, while even providing an alternative account specifically for question via @AskRBC or hashtags like #OwnersCare.

2017-06-18 (5)

Cheers until next week,

Jordan Fewer

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