Now that you all know about the Groundswell, I am excited to share POST with you! We are learning so many interesting things in my Social Media Marketing class!
As the groundswell increases in popularity, some companies will be aware that they must embrace it in order to reach their target market, however they most likely will not know HOW. Companies may not know what their objectives are, or which strategy or technologies to use.
It is important not to go through the groundswell strategy backwards! There is a four-step planning process called POST that can be used: people, objectives, strategy, and technology
1. People: what are your customers ready for? You need to listen to them to find out! Remember the social tehnographic profile I posted earlier? That is where you can begin to understand what your current customers’ movements are in order to reach them. G Adventures’ customers, for example, are mostly spectators and joiners. They are also mostly females between the ages of 25 and 34 who are working and have some education. This is very important and useful information that can be used to determine a strategy!
Objectives: what are your goals? There are five objectives that companies can pursue in the groundswell: listening, talking, energizing, supporting, and embracing. Listening means monitoring your customers’ conversations with each other, rather than using surveys and focus groups. The goals is to gain insights for marketing and development. Talking means participating in stimulating two-way conversations your customers have with each other, not just outbound communications YOU have with THEM. This can be accomplished through blogs for example! Energizing means making it possible for your enthusiastic customers to help sell each other. Use the groundswell to supercharge the power of their word of mouth! Supporting means enabling your customers to support each other! Embracing means to integrate your customers into your business, including using their help to design your products. This means helping your customers work with each other to come up with ideas! Through all of these objectives you will need to be consistently listening!
Strategy: you need to determine how you want relationships with your customers to change. Do you want them to become more engaged? Do you want them to carry messages to the market? G Adventures, for example, can use the knowledge of the majority of customers being spectators and joiners and create a place for them to interact with one another through various technology applications.
Technology: which applications will you build? You can look at this only AFTER the above three steps have been determined. You will then decide which social media applications to use: Twitter, Facebook, blogs, LinkedIn, wikis, etc. G Adventures uses ALL of these!
Once you have determined your groundswell strategy (POST) be sure to actively listen to your customers continually and use this knowledge and information to reach them and provide them with what they need!