When I think of the word “groundswell,” I recollect political pundits debating over the latest surge in policy opinions. I can hear the evening news talking heads: “With a groundswell of public support, congressional leaders today…”
But the primary definition of the word is more physical. According to Merriam-Webster, a groundswell is defined as “a broad, deep undulation of the ocean caused by an often distant gale or seismic disturbance.”
As a scholarly, yet down-to-earth primer, Groundswell – Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies is one of the best books I’ve read on social media. It captures the essence of social media, as well as the seismic disturbances that have erupted in marketing communications.
The term “social media” can be a bit confusing to some. This book cuts through the hype and explains the nucleus of the gale-force phenomenon.
Groundswell is full of customer examples. The book illuminates the power and importance of social media by describing real-world examples where social media technologies are used. In doing so, the book escapes the trap of dwelling on abstract theory and instead gives you a practical understanding of the ways social media tactics are being used successfully by actual companies.
Because the authors are well-known Forrester research analysts, I assumed Groundswell would be a little textbook-ish, but I found it easy to read. It has a smooth rhythm with an easy conversational tone.
Although Groundswell has detailed explanations and ROI models for B2C, the examples and suggestions translate easily to the B2B environment. After reading the book, I couldn’t resist following up with the calculators and other tidbits found on the Groundswell blog.
With this book, you can learn how to implement a social media strategy via blog, wiki, or community to begin your own seismic disturbance.