If there is one thing we are constantly being told, it is that the demand for high-quality online content is growing; and that if businesses want to keep up with trends, they need to have an innovative social media strategy. But what exactly is this social media innovation and what does it mean?
According to oxforddictionaries.com, to innovate is to “make changes in something established, especially by introducing new methods, ideas or products”. In social media terms, innovation does indeed consist of presenting information in new contexts, by bringing in different insights, perspectives and analyses. As for how this is achieved, there are a few key things to remember.
Innovation is…Facing the Fear
Innovation does not come naturally to most people, as it involves turning our normal way of thinking on its head. What does come naturally to most, if not all of us, is fear. Whether we’re afraid of damaging our reputation or simply making mistakes, fear invariably hinders our capacity to innovate.
But though instinct tells us they are to be avoided, mistakes are a natural by-product of innovations and should be treated as learning opportunities. In order to innovate, companies must therefore encourage their employees not to fear failure, but to dare to be different.
It is…Breaking down Barriers
For innovation to occur, there needs to be an overall sense of co-creation between colleagues. This means establishing a collaborative working culture that favors networks over hierarchies.
It is for this reason that social media is key. By their very nature, social networks facilitate self-expression, interaction and thinking outside the box – all of which feed it directly.
It is…Learning to Listen
Companies need to stay in touch with what their customers are asking for, which ideas they are engaging with and what their competitors are up to. In this way, they can remain ahead of the curve with controlled innovating.
It is…Yours to Create
Social media does not guarantee, but rather paves the way for innovation. In other words, it is up to companies themselves to take the framework and implement their own social media strategy. When done well, this goes a long way towards ensuring the longevity of successful innovation.