How can social media help with open innovation?
You could run the best company in the world. Your employees are committed, your customers are numerous and you continue to grow every month. However, if you run such a company, there is a good chance that not every single smart person in the world works in your company. In fact, that would be most likely. Although this applies to every company that has ever been founded, they too often look inward for innovative ideas when the answers may be to someone outside the company. Rejecting conventions and looking outside of your own bubble is called open innovation and can help you with problems that require creative solutions. There are various ways to create an environment for open innovation. One of the most popular is the use of social media. More and more companies are adapting this approach, and in recent years the demand for open innovation platforms has increased. Here's what you need to know:
What is open innovation?
Although the concept of open innovation has existed for centuries, it is still not the predominant method for generating innovative ideas. Traditionally, companies have their own employees to develop products and manage them for growth. Imagine an in-house research and development team making prototypes for sale by the company. All of these ideas are internal and are not shared with the outside world. They are generally considered confidential.
Open innovation is just the opposite. The specialist knowledge of the public or other external partners is used to generate new ideas. External influences can help a company achieve its goals and view creative and management processes from a different perspective. The goal is to make contact with more people the more ideas to create something better. Information is often exchanged between all partners and is not kept in a closed system.
What are Open Innovation Platforms and who uses them?
As a business owner or marketer, you may think that open innovation sounds pretty good, but you may have no idea where to start. This is where open innovation platforms come into play. They help connect those who seek innovation help with those who may have solutions. The way these platforms work can vary. Some help connect a company to the public and optimize these ideas to create a coherent project. Others connect small, innovative companies with one another or with larger companies in order to exchange ideas and work together. Others work as social media platforms to create engagement and spread the word while filtering ideas and data in a coherent workflow. Large companies, small businesses, marketers, and even freelancers can use open innovation platforms in any way because there is so much to choose from.
How social media can help those who practice open innovation
We all learn how powerful social media can be to reach and communicate with customers and the general public. However, it is also an amazing tool if you want to open innovations for a project. The ability to use social media to connect is exactly why it's so valuable. It can be used to gather ideas for improving your business, from new products to logos to content on your website. Many companies have had great success in social media competitions asking for new flavors for food or drinks or for names of new products. Not only does this help with innovation, it also offers your customers and the public an engaging and fun way to interact with your brand.
Social media can also help you research and collect data about the public perception of your brand and products, as well as that of your competitors. You can monitor what people are saying online about your industry and get an idea of what your customers are interested in alongside your product. This will help you control your decision-making process to find more effective ways to market to your target audience. It is almost like an indirect open innovation because your audience is not actively involved in the process.
Companies can also use their social media followers to do their marketing for them. This means that you create content that users share to spread your brand and gain more followers. Word of mouth is effective marketing, and the world of thousands or even millions of mouths on social media can be incredibly powerful. By building trust and engaging with your followers, you can create an environment where they are ready to share content that your brand produces to help you grow.
As a company, leveraging the power of open innovation can help you grow and lead you to new success. There is a world full of innovators and you just have to connect.