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4 Ways to Start a Conversation in the Groundswell

In the past, companies spent extensively on advertising and public relations to advance their brand images, but these methods no longer work in today’s customer-oriented marketplace. Companies now get consumers marched down the path from awareness to purchase and loyalty, called the marketing funnel, by talking with the groundswell.

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Like many companies, KPMG employ different means to initiate a conversation in the groundswell. These methods include:

Post a viral video: KPMG has updated many corporate videos on YouTube regarding the culture, strategy, services, and events for visitors to watch and make comment.  The company also allows these videos to be shared among Facebook, blogs, twitters, and other social networking sites.  In order to drive traffic to the corporate site, KPMG has added the YouTube button on the webpage for easy access to these videos.

Engage in social networks and user-generated content sites: KPMG not only uses LinkedIn to access and recruit talent individuals, the company also creates a Facebook page to introduce the work life in KPMG, both the Summer intern and full-time staff, and twitter to answer questions from job seekers, college students and new graduate.

Join the blogshpere: In the United Kingdom, KPMG has engaged its senior partners and industry experts to blogging. By connecting the business leaders to the clients, it helps the company build a trust relationship with their clients. It also enables these leaders and the company to gain valuable insights in different topics by reading and responding comments.

Create a community: KPMG has launched online community for its affiliation in Africa. The accounting firm wants to educate the population on complex topics like infrastructure, regulation, healthcare and education, technology, etc., with goals to encourage participation and stimulate discussion among visitors.

As we can see, all four ways begin by addressing the awareness problem, they then move forward to tackle with problems regarding word-of-mouth, improving communication on complex issues or topics, and creating a network with the targeted audience.


Li, C. & Bernoff, J. (2011). Groundswell: Winning in a world transformed by social technologies. Boston, Massachusetts: Harvard Business Review press