Quick guide to open innovation

David Simoes-Brown takes a look at open innovation over on the NESTA blog, and outlines five “traits of open innovation which often pass people by”: Reading his post, I just kept thinking, “Yes. Yes. Of course.” It’s very easy when the open mindset is embedded in the way you prefer to work to forget that for many people, these tips are really quite counter-intuitive.

Many of these tips also fit social media too, with just a little tweaking:

1. Start at the end

Know what you want/need to achieve with your social media project, don’t just chuck it up and hope for the best.

2. Listen to your customers

David had “Buy from your customers”, on the basis that your customers know your brand better than you do. In a social media context, this morphs into listening rather than buying, but the main point still stands. You may think you know what your brand experience is, but it’s your customers who actually have to live through it!

3. Show not tell

This tip from the writing fraternity is as important in social media project as it is in innovation. Pilots are a great way not just of testing the water but also of creating an experience for a small group that others will look at and (hopefully) want!

4. You will never spot a winner

Social media is changing all the time and whilst the basic tenets stay the same, tools come and go and tactics that work brilliantly for one company at one point in time may not work so well for another. Focus on your business needs, your employees’ needs and your customers’ needs, and don’t try to predict the next big social media craze.

5. It’s not who you know, it’s who knows you

This is ‘word of mouth’ in a nutshell. You can spend a lot of time going broad with your social media strategy, trying to reach as many people as possible, but you can be much, much more effective if you let your fans carry your message for you. Quality over quantity every time.