HighTalking: Josh Bernoff Talks Social Media

Bernoffs groundbreaking book.

Bernoff's groundbreaking book.

Josh Bernoff, vice president and a principal analyst at Forrester Research, is co-author of one of my favorite books on social media: Groundswell. If you haven’t read it – you should. It’s one of those books where you’re constantly slapping your forehead and muttering, “Of course!” Josh is one of the most highly regarded technology analysts in the business. When he talks — companies generally pay to listen.

Josh was kind enough to consent to an interview with HighTalk about the latest trends in social media and offer some advice to companies just starting out on the Web. He provided this insight — for free.

Some of Josh’s answers might surprise you.

HighTalk: Should every company be joining the groundswell at this point? Why?

Josh: No. You should develop a social technology (groundswell) strategy if your customers use social technology, and if your company is prepared to open itself up to customers ideas. Not all companies are ready for this.

HighTalk: What is the biggest single mistake companies commit when they finally decide to dive into social media?

Josh: Moving forward with a social technology project without a clear objective in mind or a way to measure success. The key to success in the groundswell is a clear objective before you start.

HighTalk: How do you think the groundswell will alter the way companies advertise and use public relations in the next few years?

Josh: The groundswell isn’t just about advertising and PR, but it will affect them. Advertising is shouting – you shout repeatedly and loudly and hope someone hears. The groundswell allows you to close the loop, to participate in a dialogue and see if your messages are heard and understood and if others will carry them along. As for PR, there are now not just reporters and analysts, but bloggers large and small to influence, which makes PR a lot more complicated. PR professionals also need to monitor the chatter in the groundswell – companies like MotiveQuest and TNS Cymfony can help with that.

HighTalk: If you had to share one golden rule for companies participating in the groundswell — what would that rule be?

Josh: Remember you’re not in charge here – your customers are. They’ll help you with your marketing, but they’ll also say whatever they please.

HighTalk: Have you discovered any interesting new social media tools in the last few months that show promise?

Josh: Facebook is developing a lot of new models that marketers can work with. And embeddable widgets – little bits of code you supply, that people can put in blogs, for example, are going to be a lot more prevalent in the near future.

4 Responses to “HighTalking: Josh Bernoff Talks Social Media”

  1. Hi David:
    Thanks for dropping by.

  2. Good post. Are you interested to join my editorial team?

    Would you like to author a few posts in my blog? I even extend a payout, though little (paypal cash) for every post authored.

    Looking for posts in technology, social media and gadget reviews.


  3. Hi Teraom:
    I’ll take that as a compliment. Thanks for the offer.

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