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Groundswell, Expanded and Revised Edition: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies [Paperback]

Charlene Li , Josh Bernoff
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

May 24 2011
Corporate executives struggle to harness the power of social technologies. Twitter, Facebook, blogs, YouTube are where customers discuss products and companies, write their own news, and find their own deals but how do you integrate these activities into your broader marketing efforts? It's an unstoppable groundswell that affects every industry -- yet it's still utterly foreign to most companies running things now.

When consumers you've never met are rating your company's products in public forums with which you have no experience or influence, your company is vulnerable. In Groundswell, Josh Bernoff and Charlene Li explain how to turn this threat into an opportunity.

In this updated and expanded edition of Groundswell, featuring an all new introduction and chapters on Twitter and social media integration, you'll learn to:

· Evaluate new social technologies as they emerge

· Determine how different groups of consumers are participating in social technology arenas

· Apply a four-step process for formulating your future strategy

· Build social technologies into your business

Groundswell is required reading for executives seeking to protect and strengthen their company's public image.

Frequently Bought Together

Groundswell, Expanded and Revised Edition: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies + Likeable Social Media: How to Delight Your Customers, Create an Irresistible Brand, and Be Generally Amazing on Facebook (& Other Social Networks)
Price For Both: CDN$ 31.91

Product Details

Product Description


“If you haven’t read the book, I would highly recommend you buy a personal copy and read it to get a comprehensive understanding of how our world is being transformed by social technologies and how you can take advantage of it.” - Business 2 Community

About the Author

Charlene Li is an independent thought leader and founder of the Altimeter Group. Josh Bernoff is a vice president at Forrester Research and one of their most senior and most frequently quoted research analysts. He created the Technographics segmentation, a classification of consumers according to how they approach technology.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most helpful customer reviews
By SBuckle
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Groundswell is defined as the social media momentum that has swept over us of recent. With almost a billion people using Facebook alone, social technologies have allowed people to connect in ways never before. This has had dramatic effects on the way businesses operate.

It goes without saying that it is fundamental you go where your customers are, meaning it's important to participate in social media, since that is where people are but also because there is an expectation to be there. There shouldn't be debate if you should participating, but how you should participate. This can be nightmarish for departments like IR, HR and IT since control is threatened. And from a brand standpoint, this loss of control also effects marketing communications since the groundswell now has a big say in what brands mean.

Given that participation is a must for most companies, just how you participate is important. Li and Bernoff rely on Forrester's Social Technographics Profile to map out how segments of people use social media (Creators, Listeners, Joiners, Critics, etc). Companies should understand what their customers do online and cater to that. If you're target tends to be into creating content like blogs, YouTube videos, it's vital to be in that space by not only creating your content for their consumption, but also to listen and respond to the content they create. And once you're there, it's essential to be authentic, because, unlike traditional advertising, the people have a voice and can call bullcrap with ease.

The longer a company waits to get involved; the longer they wait to use social media to energize its customers, the harder it will be to enter with credibility. The people are there already talking about you, wanting to interact, so do what it takes to go to them and listen and create with them.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.4 out of 5 stars  50 reviews
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars All hype; buy a real book on social media, not this one March 7 2013
By Yosem Companys - Published on
First, the positive: The authors list many of the social media technologies available at the time of publication and provide decent statistics on social media usage. The problem is you could get the same statistics and more for free by reading a Pew report.

There's plenty not to like in this book:

First, the authors appear to have groundswell tourette syndrome. Just as Rudy Giuliani can't get through a sentence without mentioning 9/11, the authors can barely go through a chapter without mentioning the word "groundswell." It's as though the authors took a bunch of verbs, added them to the word groundswell, and voila, a book was born.

All the chapter titles treat the groundswell as some sort of mysterious, independent force that companies must harness through mystical Jiu jitsu. (And yes, I am quoting, they compare themselves to sensei and say they are teaching you social media Jiu jitsu.)

Second, the authors mention Digg and General Motors as two key examples of how companies can harness the groundswell. They say Kevin Rose of Digg clearly "gets it" about the Net. Yes, Rose got it so much that he ultimately had to sell the company for $500,000. Another key example in the book comes from GM, a company that almost died until the government stepped in to bail it out.

If you like hype, you will love this book. You will learn that "the groundswell comes from the collision of three forces: people, economics, and technology." That's shocking because nothing else in society results from the confluence of people, economics, and technology. And the authors note that you'll learn little about managing the groundswell from learning about the technology because the groundswell is a force to be mastered, as I said, much like Jiu jitsu. Other interesting tidbits are "this new class of software is so different that O'Reilly has dubbed it Web 2.0." Yeah, because calling something by a hyped-up moniker shows how revolutionary it is. As for Wikipedia, the authors say that "the masses determine what's on it." They make no mention of the gatekeepers who control editorial content. Also, the authors tell you that "the groundswell has changed the balance of power," and to harness it, you must learn great strategies like these: Learn about blogging by reading blogs and starting one! Learn about social networking by opening an account! The authors note that Amazon reviews or Twitter followers are another great example of the groundswell, but they don't tell you that companies often manipulate reviews or buy followers.

None of this is meant as a "dig" at Digg or at the authors. It's just that the world is more complicated than they lay it out to be. Rather than hype, the reader would benefit from some real evidence-based insights on social media. Sadly, you won't find that here. Take it from me, as a member of the groundswell, don't buy this book and keep looking.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book for numerous reasons Feb. 5 2013
By M. Law - Published on
Groundswell is a hit for a number of reasons:
(1) It's current: Although published in 2011, the book is very up-to-date. This is good and bad, as very quickly it will become outdated.

(2) It's helpful: Instead of just listing advice for readers, like the groundswell itself, the book tries to relate to the reader. It gives plenty of case studies and real-life stories, and readers find themselves connecting with the authors.

(3) It's readable: It is written in such a readable fashion that anyone, tech-savvy or not, can enjoy it. While giving details of the groundswell concept, it also gives a basic overview of social media; none of the concepts are complicated or overbearing.

(4) It's about relationships: The book, while seemingly data driven and technology-focused, is really about relationships. "Never forget that the groundswell is about person-to-person activity" (280). Groundswell is about wielding our social media revolution to build and sustain relationships. Doing this requires patience, commitment and the right attitude.

Overall, it is an easy read, but it will train your mind to think differently about social media.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Timeless book on social media June 3 2011
By Sharad Gupta - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Groundswell is an excellent read for anyone involved in the social media strategy and implementation. The book lays out a consumer segmentation model (social technographics ladder) that can be used to segment and understand the consumers of the social media. A company needs to understand the existing and evolving social technographics profile of consumers to choose appropriate social media and engagement strategies (listening, talking, energizing, helping, embracing). The book also proposes a four-step process for developing a social media marketing strategy - People, Objectives, Strategy, and Technology (called POST). The book has many case studies and insightful analysis of the power of social media. Although the social media technologies will continue to evolve rapidly, one must understand the bigger picture and the business use cases (in areas of customer research, marketing, sales, customer support, and new product development) in order to leverage the immense power of social media.
4.0 out of 5 stars Focus on the relationship first, then match the technology. Oct. 12 2009
By Vincent Fry - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Groundswell is relevant in part, because it reminds readers to focus on the relationship first and then match the technology. It is a great place to start if you want to wrap your arms around social networking. The coolest part for me about this book is that it gave me an opportunity to use a bunch of the new media techniques I have recently adopted.

Instead of writing notes on paper or underlining in a hard copy book and then transferring to a computer, I read it on the Kindle and highlighted numerous passages with the highlight tool. The Kindle backs up your highlights to the Amazon cloud which is convenient for saving and cataloging ideas. Then, I used Evernote to save and catalog my highlights and notes from Amazon. At the same time, I wrote this review while reading the book which allowed me to more accurately reflect my feelings. Most importantly, I did all of this conveniently without the benefit of my own computer since my wireless card failed during my reading and I had to borrow another computer
5.0 out of 5 stars What it Means to Participate in the Market Conversation Sept. 16 2009
By Christine Fife - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book is a must read for marketing and business professionals. The point that Groundswell makes, that other books that discuss social media are missing, is that PEOPLE and relationships between people and companies are the key, not the technology. This book will help marketers understand what needs to be done to participate in the market conversation that is going on about them, their industry and the consumer needs and wants their products fulfill.
The authors have done a great job of providing specifics on how to participate in the market conversation by covering how to figure out what to do, why to do it, where to do it, how to pinpoint the right audience, etc. Companies considering, and not yet considering, getting involved in the market conversation through social media outlets and other online activities can greatly benefit from reading this book.
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