Must-read book: Groundswell

About a month ago, a friend of mine recommended that I read a new book called Groundswell. Since the last month has been a bit of a whirlwind, I never got around to ordering it.

It dawned on me Friday night that I should buy the audiobook version from Audible to put on my iPod for something to listen to on my six-hour flight on Saturday from Vancouver to New York. I am presenting a session on Monday at the Forrester's 2008 Financial Services Forum For Marketing and Strategy Professionals on the topic of Designing a Social Computing Strategy to Attract Gen Yers.

The Twilight Zone part of this story is that I had no idea that Groundswell is a book written by two senior Forrester analysts, Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff, and that Josh is also scheduled to present at the Financial Forum on Monday!

Groundswell is just the book that I have been waiting for. It categorically proves the business case for social media and for implementing Web 2.0 strategies into the markting mix. Josh and Charlene provide dozens of real-world examples with hard ROI calculations backed by extensive research and analysis. The findings in this book make it impossible to refute the power of the social web. They have put real meat into this feeling that thing are a changing. And, as Groundswell was just released in May 2008, the information and examples are extremely current and comprehensive.

I have been speaking at a number of conferences lately about social media and the general sense from many folks is that it is a passing fad. To this notion, I quote the book, "The Groundswell trend is not a flash in the pan. This is an important, completely irreversible way for people to relate to companies and to each other. Why is it happening now? The Groundswell comes from the collision of three forces: people, technology and economics."

This is the perfect book to buy and read yourself no matter what your level of social media understanding is. I consider myself pretty tuned into all of this stuff, but I learned a tremendous amount and found my mind racing with new ideas that I want to help credit unions implement.

Who should read Groundswell at your credit union?

  • Leaders within your organization who don't know anything about social media
  • Those who have a general understanding but are still on the fence about getting involved
  • Anyone involved in marketing, communications and technology
  • Those charged with implementing a social marketing strategy
  • Number crunchers who question the ROI of engaging in social media
  • Folks that are already involved in social media but want to take their efforts to the next level

Although the audiobook was easy to listen to, I would recommend buying the actual book as there are so many great, actionable tips and checklists that you will want to highlight. I've already ordered my hardcopy.

Also, check out the Groundswell website complete with a blog, author profiles, videos and a discussion board.


P.S. Wish me luck tomorrow. With 450 attendees, this is the biggest event that I have ever spoken at.

ATM Mysteries

Should your credit union be engaging in the social web for issue management?