Open innovation and social media are inseparable. Seed now to reap future benefits!


Share on LinkedIn

The title of this blog post is one of the three key messages I give at my talks / sessions on open innovation for big and small companies.

Below you can read a few insights on the intersection of open innovation and social media as I present them at my sessions. I find this to be a very interesting topic and I have just begun working on a new book. Check this blog post: A Book Idea: Open Innovation Meets Social Media

You can also read more about my session and download a document with the other two key messages here: Three Key Messages on Open Innovation

Key Message #3: Open innovation and social media are inseparable. Seed now to reap future benefits!

• Be the visionary and look two years ahead! The key reason for focusing on this intersection is that interaction and involvement are two terms that work equally well for both open innovation and social media. You could even argue that open innovation and social become inseparable from each other because of this.

Social media offers three key aspects that support open innovation: 1) communication of relevant messages, 2) business intelligence that helps you better understand your ecosystem and 3) collaboration, including sharing of ideas and solutions.

Many skeptics do not see much value in this today. This is fair enough as it is indeed hard to find good cases and evidence on such efforts, but please remember that we are still in the very early phases on this intersection of social media tools and open innovation. I urge everyone to look two years ahead. This is where things will really start to fall into place as we all get more experience with tools and services that continue to develop at a fast pace and in directions that are hard to foresee.

I ask you to be the visionary company in your industry. Expose your employees and your external stakeholders to social media and learn as you go. Yes, there will be initiatives that do not work, but you will adapt and the experiences gained can bring competitive advantages in the short, mid and long-term

• What works? I find these tools to be the most relevant for open innovation efforts:

LinkedIn: Knowledge is the key element to innovation, and LinkedIn is a great tool for identifying people with knowledge. This works especially well if you upgrade to a business account. It is also possible to get good replies if you start a discussion in the LinkedIn groups, but there is unfortunately also too much noise (spam) in these groups.

Twitter: First, a heads-up. Twitter is practically useless unless you use an application such as TweetDeck, which allows you to filter through the crazy stream of content. Once this is up and running, you have a great business intelligence tool that allows you to track topics that are of interest to you. Twitter can also be used to broadcast your messages although you do need several thousand followers – and relevant content – to see real results from this.

Communities: Open innovation has many channels for business opportunities – virtually as well as physically. There is a growing need for companies to have a strong destination site, and I believe we will see a shift in which this has to look more like a community rather than pure needs/assets sites such as P&G’s Connect + Develop. Communities will have a mix of content, business functions such as needs /assets listings and social networking features.

I do not include Facebook as this is a personal tool for me. However, in industries with lots of consumer interaction, Facebook might also be a useful tool for open innovation efforts. In addition, while I believe LinkedIn and Twitter are the most relevant social media tools for open innovation at this point, you should certainly consider YouTube, blogs, SlideShare, Quora and others as well. This also includes service providers and intermediaries such as InnoCentive, NineSigma,, Spigit and HYPE Innovation as they have begun building social elements into their offerings.

The key is to look at and work with many different tools and build a “system” in which you capture value out of all these tools at the same time. An important element of capturing value is to be able to direct interested people and companies to the “destination site” – the corporate site where you not only have a vibrant community where stakeholders can learn from each other and co-create value but also a place where you can see the needs and assets of the host company.

If you would like to know more about the intersection of open innovation and social media, this blog post might also be of interest to you: Social Media Tools and Open Innovation: An Overview

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.


Please use comments to add value to the discussion. Maximum one link to an educational blog post or article. We will NOT PUBLISH brief comments like "good post," comments that mainly promote links, or comments with links to companies, products, or services.

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here