Several times a month, Brainzooming innovation articles appear on Braden Kelley's Blogging Innovation website - a compendium of work by top innovation writers.  Additionally, there's a monthly focus topic where a number of writers address the same innovation subject.

The April topic was how social media and social networking applications can benefit innovation strategy. I submitted an innovation article on "30 Ideas for Using Social Networks to Help You Be More Innovative." It was picked up by a popular email newsletter, which led to lots of page views for the piece, getting in touch with a former business acquaintance, and several speaking opportunities!

Rather than let the innovation strategy and social media ideas stop at thirty, here are ten additional possibilities for using social networks to catalyze your innovation strategy:

Tapping New Expertise

  • Use social media to create innovation teams and networks across organizational boundaries with your suppliers and customers.
  • Encourage employees to interact and learn from experts outside the company who are active on social networks.

Gathering Different Inputs and Information

  • Use comment-oriented social networking applications to solicit broad input on successes and challenges with your products and services.
  • Build a network of customers willing to respond to questions and brief surveys delivered via social media.
  • Post potential innovation ideas and allow them to be voted up or down based on internal / external audience perspectives.

Enabling Innovative Collaboration

  • Eliminate conference calls and use Skype for video conferencing since the visual cues communicated through a video conference will add visual information to help fuel brainstorming and innovation.
  • Share professional background information across the company to match up people with complementary skills, talents, and interests.
  • Use the professional background information to match up diverse people with very different skills, talents, and interests to instigate debate and contrasting views.
  • Require an innovation team to only interact through social media channels during a project. Capture the beneficial and negative learnings to incorporate into future team efforts.
  • Use social networking tools to increase information interaction among geographically separated team members.

What other ideas would you suggest for how social media can catalyze your innovation strategy? - Mike Brown