If you want to be a part of the groundswell there are three things that you MUST do. Li and Bernoff devote a chapter to each in their book Groundswell by Li & Bernoff. These three things are tapping, listening and talking with the groundswell.
Tapping the Groundswell – You have to get involved! The groundswell is like a resource and it must be tapped. You have to actively peruse what you want. You must plan to use the technologies and use them in such a way as to further your objective. Figure out what you (or your company) needs and then choose the best way to meet those needs/objectives. Select the technologies that will benefit you (or your company) and then utilize the technology. Before you know it you will start getting caught up in the groundswell.
Listening to the Groundswell – People are constantly talking. Blogs are being posted and tweets are being tweeted. You and your company have got to know what the public is saying about you. Customers talk about the good, the bad and everything in between. You need to know what they are saying. How can you fix a problem if you don’t know it exists?
Talking with the Groundswell – Social networking sites go both ways. Yes, customers can post comments but it doesn’t end there. It is your job to talk back. Comment on a blog or re-tweet a tweet. The world of SNS is a community in itself. Take up residency and take part in conversations. Start a blog or get a Facebook page or open a Twitter account. You’re not marketing yourself, you’re merely interacting with your customers.