This blog is a response to chapter 4 of the groundswell textbook called “strategies for tapping the groundswell” for my MARK4474 course.
Chapter 4 discussed using the POST method as systematic framework for assembling your plan when it comes to tackling the groundswell. Simply, POST stands for people, objectives, strategy and technology (Li & Bernoff, 2011, p. 67).
I think that using the POST method is a great way for companies to create a good foundation from where they can leap off of. Many companies make the mistake of thinking that they have to do something because someone else is, or they want to do something for the wrong reasons. This can lead to failure, and cause confusion amongst your target audience. It’s always a good plan to put your best foot forward – and the POST method can help companies do that.
Here’s a quick overview of POST, and how I would look at things if I was a social media marketing specialist at AMA.
People. Who are your customers? How do you think they’ll react? What are they currently doing?
- In chapter 3 I looked at the Social Technographics Profile of both males and females aged 35 – 44. A majority of them were joiners and spectators, with some being critics as well. I think that many people in this age group are involved in social media somehow – as many use it to keep in touch with family members. If they saw AMA was actively using the groundswell, they’d want to keep in touch with us as well.
Objectives. Set goals. Are you interested in listening? Talking? Energizing? Supporting? Embracing?
- Because I know that a majority of my target audience are spectators, it seems logical to set AMA’s goal as talking. Talking includes, “using the groundswell to spread messages about your company (Li & Bernoff, 2011, p. 68).” They are also joiners, so I know that they will be on the social media sites AMA will talk on.
Strategy. What are the steps that need to be taken to make your goal a reality?
- My strategy would be to get the different business units involved (travel, insurance, rewards) to make sure that they understand the objectives of the social websites we use, and also ensure that they understand why I may reject certain content suggestions. I would also make sure that everyone on my team is on the same page as well.
- I would then ask for the business units to brief me in on their campaigns, so I can become more involved and do digital marketing and social posts that integrate with their campaigns. By doing this, I am spreading the message about what AMA is doing, and the same message is being promoted across all mediums. Because of this, our campaigns will have a higher reach and frequency.
Technology. What technology are you going to use? Blogs? Social Media? Etc?
- I’d use social networks – the biggest one being Facebook. If people like our page, then I know that they would want to hear more from us. Twitter would be another good one, if the message is brief and works for the medium.
To wrap things up, another mistake a company can make is to ignore the groundswell. A company that doesn’t evolve with the times is not going to succeed. By using the groundswell properly after considering the four components of POST, a company can be successful in achieving their goal and in turn, improve their business.
This short video also sums it up nicely – a business is almost “irrelevant” if they don’t use social media, but even when they do – they have to use it right.
What’s your favorite example of a company using social media right? 🙂
Li, C., & Bernoff, J. (2011). Groundswell. Boston: Harvard Business Review Press.