8 Pointers for Building Corporate and Personal Strategies for Social Media


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Not so long ago, I hosted an event together with Cheryl Perkins of InnovationEdge. The purpose was to bring together a group of innovation leaders and discuss social media and how to use this for innovation.

It was a great session and we were able to extract several interesting insights on how corporate people view and approach social media. These insights were useful in helping the participants start building corporate and personal strategies for their use of social media. I am sure they can also bring some inspiration to your thoughts on this and thus we want to share this overview of insights:

1. The group defined two aspects of social media:

• Communication of relevant messages
• Collaboration including sharing of ideas and solutions

2. The participants were at very different levels of maturity when it comes to social media but yet they all have experiences similar challenges including:

• Lack of time
• Lack of resources
• Lack of funds
• Differences between corporate and personal efforts in social media
• How to be an effective community builder – knowing what works and doesn’t work

3. The attendees realize that there is a need for multiple roles to make social media successful:

• Evangelist
• Fund raiser
• Relationship builder with sponsors and stakeholders
• Community builder with internal and external connections
• Balancer of internal and external connections
• Business Developer
• Spokesperson for the efforts
• Influencer and sale person of the efforts
• Manager of the “hot potatoes”
• Change agent to advance the culture

4. Members focused on these topics throughout the day:

• How to develop a social media strategy
• What are some social media best practices
• How to effectively bring in external entities to ideate for you
• How to screen and prioritize ideas

5. On the idea front, there was a lot of discussion about the types of idea challenges:

• Non-collaborative ideation where individuals submit their ideas against randomly or specific business needs

• Collaborative ideation where both internal and external ideas are socialized and laddered to a higher pace to define more robust solutions. These are often sponsored by corporate or a business entity in a company. Sometimes they are often prioritized or chosen and even piloted in an organization.

The participants showed that many different systems are being leveraged across industries to handle idea management. The range goes from internally designed and built systems to systems delivered by service providers.

6. A sub team focused on discussing ideation also identified several barriers associated with idea management, which included:

• Time
• Process, tools and capability to prioritize ideas
• Breadth of networks needed to get big ideas
• Culture required to make it work effectively

7. Another sub team identified sources of ideas, which included the following:

• Leveraging brokers if their networks span areas of interest
• Pull them in through company press releases
• Engage them through corporate websites
• Invite suppliers to idea and innovation forums for them to share their ideas
• Leverage viral connections
• Tap employees for their ideas and those ideas from their networks
• Participate in government funded challenges where possible
• Engage inventors and entrepreneurs through their local networks

8. The group discussed social media strategies, both corporate and personal. The discussion resulted in many questions for each individual but also the feeling that time was the biggest issue for them to be effective with social media in the short term.

• What could be achieved?
• What should be achieved?
• How much time can be devoted daily?
• What is realistic versus not realistic today and then tomorrow?
• How can an effective destination site be created?
• What are the risks in moving aggressively with social media tools?

The participants identified some helpful hints on how to initiate work on a social media strategy:

• Develop a vision of what could be in 2 to 3 years
• Develop a better understanding of social media tools and how they can be used
• Identify people for your community – influencers
• Define how you want to share content
• Build awareness on social media tools and open innovation
• Launch a destination website

Social media is a broad topic, but I hope that this overview gives you some inspiration on how to approach it. Please feel free to share your insights and experiences.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Stefan Lindegaard
Stefan is an author, speaker, facilitator and consultant focusing on open innovation, social media tools and intrapreneurship.


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