This weeks reading was all about the POST process. POST stands for people, objectives, strategy, and technology. This is the foundation of groundswell thinking; a framework for creating a plan (Li & Bernoff, 2011).
Breakdown of the POST Process
People – The technographics profile will come into play here. It’s important to understand how your customers will engage, based on what they’re already doing (Li & Bernoff, 2011, pg. 67). We need to understand what our customers are doing in order to build the right strategy, otherwise we could be wasting our time and the whole strategy will fail.
Objectives – What goals and objectives do you want to achieve? There are five powerful objectives one could use in order to achieve your desired outcomes which include:
- Listening – Choose this goal if you are seeking customer insights to use in marketing and development (Li & Bernoff, 2011).
- Talking – Choose this goal if you want to achieve a more interactive channel (Li & Bernoff, 2011).
- Energizing – Choose this if your customer base already has a good following, and just want to improve the enthusiasm in your customers (LI & Bernoff, 2011).
- Supporting – This is great for companies with significant support costs and who have customers that support each other (Li & Bernoff, 2011).
- Embracing – The most challenging, however best used if the company has already succeeded with the other goals (Li & Bernoff, 2011).
Strategy – How do you want the relationship with your customers to change? How are you going to achieve your desired goals and objectives? You need to have a proper, well executed plan in place in order to achieve your outcome, and measure the success once the strategy is underway.
Technology – After you have decided on the people, objectives, and strategy, you can now decide what technology you are going to use. This technology would be that described in chapter 2 of The Groundswell, and includes blogs, wikis and social media sites (Li & Bernoff, 2011).
Relating POST to the Hospitality Industry
In my future endeavours, I would like to be a HR manager in the hospitality industry, whether that be in a hotel or restaurant chain, I haven’t fully decided yet. I would like to show an example of the POST process relating to my industry, and to narrow it down I will choose a sports bar chain.
First we need to look at our technographic profile of our customers, which would be male or female, ages 18-25. This would be our target clientele. On the technographics ladder, they would most likely be conversationalists and joiners. They would participate across many social media platforms, including Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, post frequently, engage in conversations, and maintain a profile (Li & Bernoff, 2011).
As this target market is heavily involved in social media, some objectives that would be considered include:
- Engage in conversation with potential and current customers across social media platforms.
- Listen and record what people are saying about the company, by tracking review sites and social media sites.
- A marketing tool, as it is a free or cheap way to reach many customers. Share photos, events and information about the bar to engage potential and current customers.
- As this is a sports bar, sharing information on sports stats and games would be good to incorporate also.
Most of the staff that work at the establishment would be around the same age of the target market (18-24), meaning they also would be heavily involved in social media. So it would be a good idea to get them involved as well on our social media pages and share information and events with their friends and followers.
In the hospitality industry, building relationships with customers is key to success. We will need to use our social media platforms to stay connected with them outside of the workplace. People get annoyed with your social media sites if all they see is a company trying to make sales. Engaging in meaningful conversations and interesting topics will keep customers engaged in the site. For example, we can post stories, sports stats, photos and videos of sports related content, and keep customers up to date on the latest news for local sports teams. This shows people that we are more focused on relationships than trying to get money out of them (even though that is a goal of course).
The types of platforms we will use include social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, as well as review sites like TripAdvisor and Google reviews to monitor what people are saying about us. Our goal is to engage in conversations and update our customers on our business, so these types of platforms should be enough to do that. As long as we are keeping up to date and using them regularly, our groundswell strategy should work.
Li, C. Bernoff, J. (2011). Groundswell: winning in a world transformed by social technologies. Boston, MA: Harvard Business Press.