Examples of Using Social Media for Innovation


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One starting place for determining how to use social media to add value to your innovation efforts is to look at what you hope to achieve. This list can give you some inspiration for developing objectives for your use of social media:

• Psion, a maker of rugged mobile computers, gets better access to and interaction with their stakeholders through their IngenuityWorking.com community. SAP gets similar benefits with their Co-Innovation Lab.

• Key benefits of crowdsourcing initiatives like Dell IdeaStorm or MyStarbucksIdea are idea generation and feedback loops on ideas and projects.

• Twitter is a great tool for doing business intelligence on an industry, competitors or to get a better understanding on how the innovation community or ecosystem talks about your company. I have some difficulties time finding established cases specifically on innovation, but this will definitely become an important factor in the near future.

• Marketing and promotion of projects and innovation outcomes is a already established way of using social media and scores of companies do this.

• A thought leadership position can help a company become the “preferred partner of choice” within an innovation ecosystem. IBM is a good example of a company that is often mentioned in blogs and articles not only for their products and services but also for their ability to use social media for innovation efforts.

• You can also use social media to develop innovation and business skills for your employees.

No single social media tool is going to enable you to achieve all of these objectives. You are going to need to develop a mix of tools and you will need to determine the right mix for your company through experimentation.

A key element of open innovation is to become the preferred partner of choice within your innovation ecosystems. This status can in part be achieved by facilitating a community that is acknowledged as a key innovation resource by relevant innovation partners in business areas that are important to your company.

The status can be build on three elements: (1) the destination site, which is a company-controlled platform/website that functions as the hub of the community and enables relationships related to your innovation needs/assets; (2) thought leadership activities through social media channels; and (3) physical events that allow the community members to meet face-to-face. Neither physical nor virtual activities can stand by themselves; they need to be integrated with each other.

I will soon have a longer paper ready on how social media can add value to innovation efforts. Let me know if you have know of cases or insights that I should include in the paper.

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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