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Groundswell Strategy

Defining Social Technolographics Profile

How to exploit Social Media as fully as possible poses a major challenge to many companies. To deal with such situation, market invented a new way to study the users of social media—the Social Technolographics Profiles. Different from the traditional market segmentation, this time researchers divide participants in the groundswell into subsets of consumers based on technology behaviors.

Understanding the Different Roles in Groundswell

The interests of groundswell participants may not be identical. An important task for companies, therefore, is to classify users according to their involvement in the groundswell. As illustrated in the diagram, participants can be categorized into six groups: Creators, Critics, Collectors, Joiners, Spectators, and Inactives.


Each role represents the activities and explains the involvement level of people in the groundswell. The different activities and applications also reveal the many impulses that drive people to participate: from keeping or making friends to personal branding. As companies understand how social technologies are being adopted by any group of people, they can build an appropriate social strategy to advance their business agenda.

Putting Social Technolographics Profile in Practice

Based on the data on the Alexa website, browsers of are mostly high educated individuals between 25 to 34 years old. And according to Forrester Research, in general participation of this age group has a broader focus on Joiners and Spectators, 75% and 76% respectively in Canada. The US has roughly similar numbers. As a result, the company website should include social networks as its major feature. It also makes sense for KPMG to carry blogs, forums, and online videos–reactive forms of groundswell content on its website.  In fact, KPMG is doing a great job in this area. KMPG has been using Twitter feeds and Facebook page, LinkedIn and YouTube video to build connection with its partners, clients, and employees. In order to bring up the clicker rate of the younger group, the company also maintains a presence in Wikipedia so as to attract more attention to the business and the industry.




The YouTube video below provides an overview on how KPMG utilizes Social media to improve its business functions.


Li, C. & Bernoff, J. (2011). Groundswell: Winning in a world transformed by social technologies. Boston, Massachusetts: Harvard Business Review press
KPMG. (2012, August 1). KPMG social media guideline: Think global think social [Video]. Retrieved from


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On The Run: Social Media

What is Social Media

Social Media refers to “websites or applications that enable users to create and share content or to particiapte in social networking”. Social Media is termed as Web 2.0 application. Unlike the era of Web 1.0, in the Web 2.0 platform, the idea of content publishing comes from all users instead of a few individuals. In addition, communication can be made through a variety of channels and medium under social media. These methods include audio, video, text, forums, discussion boards, SMS, chatting, as well as blogging etc. As a result. Social Media can be seen as a depository of real time information because of its ability to collect and process information in massive scale.



Social Media in Business

Given the popularity and the great potential, people have brought Social Media into the business world. Many companies nowadays have integrated Social Media as part of their strategic plans; they use social media to increase their presence in the external environment as well as to strengthen their business functions internally.

Externally, companies see the opportunity of using social networking sites like Facebook or Twitter to raise brand awareness and build customer loyalty. They also use Blog or Discussion Forum to collect market opinions from audience through reviews and comments.

For Internal usage, these social media tools provide employees an informal way to dissimilate ideas and faciliate collaboration between departments. The tools also serve as medium to evaluate and improve employees’ performance. For example, IBM integrates Second Life into its leadership training program. Toyota also uses virtual games to engage not only customers but also employees to help design new products and services.

This video below outlines the potential of Social Media in Business:


However, the application social media cannot guarantee a market success for business, companies need to use their imagination and make efforts to explore market opportunity. As the guidelines, below are the top ten considerations for companies adopting Social Media

  1. Choose carefully
  2. Pick your application, or make your own
  3. Ensure activity alignment
  4. Media plan integration
  5. Access for all
  6. Be active
  7. Be interesting
  8. Be humble
  9. Be unprofessional
  10. Be honest



Li, C. & Bernoff, J. (2011). Groundswell: Winning in a world transformed by social technologies. Boston, Massachusetts: Harvard Business Review press
Lawson, J. (2012, January 29). The social media revolution 2012: Why social business matters. [Video]. Retrieved from