Saturday, March 12, 2011

The Japan Crises and How Social Media Can Help

As most everyone knows, hopefully; a tsunami measuring 8.9 hit Japan on March 11, 2011. Social Media now makes it easy to follow minute to minute updates across all Social Media mediums. Mashable. com has posted this article with a collection of all the places to find updates regarding the tragedy.

I am glad someone will be doing this. I leave today for Chicago on an Alternative Spring Break trip and will not have any access to twitter, facebook, cell phone, email or news. This will be an easy way to come back and catch up on what is happening in Japan.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

How the Groundswell Can Support Itself

Groundswell support is unlike any other support. We have all been frustrated trying to get through the automated lady talking to us and giving us number options to press to lead us to the next set of options. It becomes a vicious cycle. And let us be honest, how many times has the automated lady heard you correctly and actually been helpful versus a headache?

The Groundswell support allows for consumers to help consumers. Often times, they are looking to be helped or just faced the same problem and figured out how to solve it. To be honest, peer to peer help can be much quicker then waiting for the automated voice to pick and give you number options. This method also allows for you to communicate back with the person who helped you at a later dater or even ask a few follow up questions. This kind of support creates trust and bonds, via the web.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

5 Objectives to Pursue

Not sure how to get involved in the groundswell? Well, Josh Bernhoff has put together a list of 5 objectives to help you best utilize groundswell.
  1. Listening: It seems silly, but listening is the most common way people communicate. Humans spend between 50-55% of their time listening, so why would companies not listen? This objective would be great when trying to develop a new product or to find out how consumers feel about a newly launched product. Consumers love being able to voice their opinion, especially when it will actually be heard. 
  2. Talking: Perhaps this seems to be the easiest one. However, you need to make sure you are talking correctly. In the this sense, Bernhoff means talking with your consumers, like caring on a conversation. Lets say a consumer wrote on the Facebook wall of a corporation asking when something would most likely go on sale. Well, they didn’t ask to not get an answer. They asked thinking they would get a response. So, connect with consumers through conversation and creating relationships. Just don’t ramble.
  3. Energizing: Find the customers that spread positive news about your company and reward them and make them excited to continue spreading good cheer!
  4. Supporting: Allow for customers to support other customers. This will give them a sense of connectedness.
  5. Embracing: Embrace the fact that the customers want to help you and want for you to hear them. Allow customers to be a part of the process and make decisions, like what the new packaging will look like. The more they are incorporated, the more loyal they are to the company.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

R.I.P. Delicious

Although I am not a fan of bookmarking sites, partly because I just have not really started to use them, it is interesting to see such social media progress be taken away.

After reading this article for class, R.I.P. Delicious, I felt as though social media took a few steps back. About 5 years ago, Yahoo acquired Delicious. Just recently, around December to be more accurate, Yahoo announced they would be closing down the site. Some people rejoiced, some people did not care, and as for others; they were left confused.

Why would Yahoo decide to close Delicious? With little reason given, it did not seem to hurt or hinder their business in any form or fashion. It has now just left upset Delicious users scrambling to move all of there bookmarks over to a different site. Which site are you switching to?

Monday, January 31, 2011

What is the Groundswell?

Well, to define it according to Josh Bernhoff, Groundswell is “a social trend in which people use technologies to get the things they need from each other, rather than from traditional institutions like corporations”.

Take the example of A company who allows readers and bloggers alike to “digg” a news article, a video, or a blog and then generates the top stories at the top of the homepage. On May 1, 2007, a user blogged an encryption code, those who “digg” really dug this and created a frenzy on However, was the one to be punished. To make a semi-long story short, digg viewers heard the news and asked that digg take down the blogs. Instead, thousands of blogs talked about the encryption code and movie companies were now out of luck. The groundswell effect had taken place and corporations were no longer in charge, people on the Internet now controlled the message.

Groundswell also includes social media sites like Twitter and Facebook. So, why should those in the Public Relations field be worried?

Because of the Groundswell effect, corporations are taking a chance of not being in charge of their own message. However, those who accept it, end up thriving. Groundswell is giving corporations a way to really listen to their consumers. So, if used properly, it can be beneficial to everyone.