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How is Social Media Driving Innovation?

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(This is the first in what will be a series of guest blog pieces, picking up on key themes in innovation management from a number of different perspectives).

Every organization should strive for innovation. By coming up with fresh ideas and concepts, as well as properly implementing them, organizations can collectively work towards a brighter and more successful future. However, generating new concepts and aiming for true innovation does not come easy.

Thankfully, various advancements in technology have allowed us to easily exchange ideas and gather data. One such tech tool that can drive innovation today is social media. According to a recent report, at least 70% of Americans use social media for various purposes, such as connecting with one another, sharing information, entertaining themselves, and engaging with news content. The sheer amount of data generated on social media platforms can help organizations produce new and innovative concepts, services, or products.

Here, let’s take a closer look at how social media positively impacts innovation.

It allows for active social listening

In order to connect with an online community and learn from consumers, organizations need to practice social listening. However, this process is not as simple as talking to customers via social media or looking at comments. In order to unlock actionable insights that can be used for innovation, organizations need to develop processes that capture, measure, and analyze comments on social media. When gathered correctly, the data from active online listening can have a bigger impact compared to those collected through traditional processes like focus groups or surveys. It also allows for companies to respond to any issues much quicker. Research shows that 71% of customers who receive quick, effective responses on social media are more likely to recommend the brand to others.

It helps organizations safeguard their ideas and data

Driving innovation in an organization requires the assistance of some key professionals. In order to be successful, a company will need to hire someone who has been trained in the latest trends. One area that this is particularly true in is cybersecurity. Social media is driving innovation in cybersecurity because the amount of people who use it makes it a huge security risk. Cybersecurity degree holders can help a company overhaul its security protocols, protect their novel ideas and concepts through offensive and defensive strategies. In a world where data is considered a commodity, organizations have to bolster their cybersecurity through virtualization, digital forensics, malware analysis, and event management.

However, it can be difficult to hire these professionals nowadays, as it is reported that there are 3 million unfilled job openings for skilled security professionals around the world. Thankfully, organizations can connect with and hire these professionals through professional social media platforms such as LinkedIn. With over 720 million users, LinkedIn allows businesses to screen and employ professionals who can help them bolster their security and protect their data.

It allows organizations to streamline the innovation process

Some organizations find it hard to break out of their linear structure. After collecting customer insight and data, an organization then goes through the long process of developing a product, marketing it, and hoping that it turns a profit. However, this step-by-step approach is a cumbersome and costly process that organizations need to transform in today’s fast-moving world.

Through social media, organizations can shorten their approach to product development, as well as conduct multiple experiments for various innovative concepts. As the customers interact with their experiments on social media, organizations can shorten the feedback loop and quickly figure out what concepts work best for their target market. For more information on this subject, do check out our post on platforms for social innovation.

This feature was prepared by JBurris

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