Key Insights on Using Social Media for Innovation Efforts

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Here you get an overview of the insights I share in my new book, Social Media for Corporate Innovators and Entrepreneurs: Add Power to Your Innovation Efforts

You can click the above link to buy the book on Kindle or you can wait a few more days and download the full book as a PDF-version here on 15inno.com – FOR FREE.

But now, you have a little teaser that I hope you will find worthwhile wether you get the book or not : – )

The table of contents for the book looks like this:

Introduction
Chapter 1: The value of social media to open innovation
Chapter 2: Getting started
Chapter 3: Roles and functions
Chapter 4: Discovery, incubation and acceleration
Chapter 5: Internal use of social media for open innovation
Chapter 6: Building your innovation brand through social media
Chapter 7: Making virtual communities work
Chapter 8: Driving engagement through gamification
Chapter 9: Key social media tools for innovation efforts
Chapter 10: Other voices
Chapter 11: A final word
Appendix A: Social media guidelines
Appendix B: Sample of a Twitter chat
Sample Chapter from Making Open Innovation Work

Here you get the key takeaways from each chapter:

Chapter 1: The value of social media to open innovation

• Social media gives you the power to access people who are unknown to you but who have knowledge that can help your open innovation initiatives.

• Open innovation via social media requires a multi-target approach with many touch-points to your innovation community, your innovation ecosystem, and customers and users.

• Social media is growing at an unprecedented pace and we can expect new platforms to continue emerging. Companies of all sizes need to start working on the intersection of social media and open innovation now in order to reap future benefits.

• Now is the time to become the visionary leader in your company and in your industry when it comes to navigating the intersection of open innovation and social media.

• To get started, ask yourself how many important innovation partners you have within your corporate umbrella, what value could these partners bring to your company if they were able to interact with each other, and how you can make this happen.

Chapter 2: Getting started

• A long-term key to success in using social media for open innovation is to look at and work with many different tools and build a “system” that enables you to capture value out of all these tools at the same time.

• Social media can add value to your open innovation initiatives by providing better access to and interaction with stakeholders, enabling idea generation and the creation of feedback loops on ideas and projects, providing business intelligence, creating a thought leadership position for your company, becoming a partner of choice, and training staff on innovation skills.

• If your company doesn’t already have them, you will need to create social media guidelines.

• Anticipate the potential roadblocks you may face internally in implementing a social media strategy for open innovation and develop a strategy to deal with them.

Chapter 3: Roles and functions

• Your internal team will need to be strong in five functional areas to extract value from the intersection of open innovation and social media: researchers, communicators (writers), networkers, speakers, and digital natives.

• Using social media for open innovation is not a marketing tactic and thus it cannot be treated as such by handing it over to the marketing or corporate communications team.

Chapter 4: Discovery, incubation and acceleration

• Social media has different roles to play in the different stages of innovation (Discovery, Incubation and Acceleration). Learning the phases and the tasks within those phases in which it is most effective will help your organization build a strong social media/open innovation program.

Chapter 5: Internal use of social media for open innovation

• Using social media internally for open innovation is a good way to launch a program that can eventually be taken to an external audience. Platforms such as Yammer can be effective here.

• It’s important to understand from the start that it is difficult to keep people engaged in Yammer and similar internal open innovation platforms and that you need a plan to keep up the engagement.

• A key to success is understanding the three key drivers that will help keep people engaged: awareness, facilitated content and user-generated content.

Chapter 6: Building your innovation brand through social media

• Corporate innovators and entrepreneurs need to build strong brands not only around their offerings, but also around their own capabilities.

• Your first step in taking charge of your innovation brand is to develop the strategic reasons before you start promoting and branding your innovation capabilities.
• It is no longer enough just to qualify by knowledge to become an expert; you also need to know how to communicate and how to build a team and/or personal brand in order to become a thought leader.

• To become a thought leader, remember that passion is a must, persistence pays, you must be able to focus, and you must know how to use social media to build a following. Also, be honest and “share yourself,” and co-create with others.

Chapter 7: Making virtual communities work

• Building a strong community through social media is key to being an innovation winner.

• Companies that struggle to build communities are too focused on their own needs, too focused on ideas to the exclusion of the “soft” values that can come from a community, and have difficulty building on the ideas of others.

• Lack of time, lack of ongoing engagement and a need to change the perception regarding what is acceptable community behavior also hamper community building efforts.

• The real innovation potential of corporate-driven communities comes from enabling partners to connect with each other to allow cross-pollination of ideas and solutions to occur.

• Successful communities have these five characteristics: need, value, communication, persistence and a core team of people who really believe in the need for the community and its potential value.

• Successful communities also have the ability to create subcommunities.

• The facilitator role can be expanded to address IP issues.

Chapter 8: Driving engagement through gamification

• One of the chief challenges of using social media for open innovation is how to keep people engaged over time. Gamification is one answer to that challenge.

• Gamification’s benefits include its ability to overcome hierarchical boundaries and it eliminates cultural biases as well.

• If you use gamification, be sure to design your rewards to encourage collaboration vs. competition.

Chapter 9: Key social media tools for innovation efforts

• No single social media tool is going to enable you to attain all of the goals associated with using social media to support open innovation. Achieving the right mix will require experimentation.

• Review this chapter for information on the main social media platforms, how they can support open innovation and for success tips for each.

• It is vital to keep tabs on new developments in social media since new platforms are constantly coming online that hold potential for open innovation.

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