Forward-thinking companies use social media for more than just creative marketing campaigns. These companies harness the power of social media to promote a culture that fosters innovation, empowers effective collaboration with customers and partners, and streamlines idea development channels. But, how are they doing this?
1) Empower Employee Collaboration — Your employees are social media savvy. They’re sharing their opinions and ideas on Facebook and Twitter right now. So why not capture this creativity by offering a forum for work-related conversation and collaboration?
More than 60,000 companies are now using Yammer, a software program that enables the creation of private, internal social networks. Using a social media platform to open up the lines of communication in your company can lead to a more engaged — and more innovative — workforce.
2) Connect with Customers and Influencers — Use social media for a fast, cheap, and effective way to listen to what people are saying about your company, your products, and your brand. This goes beyond just having a facebook or twitter page — you must actively engage with your customers.
If you listen carefully, your customers will tell you what they want. You can then communicate with them via social media channels to quickly address their concerns, encourage input, and influence the conversation during a controversy or crisis. Companies like Best Buy and Whole Foods use Twitter to monitor customer discussions and jump in when there’s a problem to resolve. These companies dedicate resources to accomplishing this and employ individuals whose only job is to monitor and respond in these channels.
3) Get Immediate Feedback on New Ideas — There’s no excuse for rolling out an untested concept or product. Social media is a cheap way to crowdsource and test concepts, betas, and trials in order to get immediate feedback before investing in a large-scale launch.
Gap recently learned this lesson the hard way after introducing its now infamous new logo that was widely panned by customers on Twitter and Facebook. The company has since decided to scrap the new logo — but not until after a costly roll-out.
How does your company use social media to drive innovation?