Social ideation is, today, the process of giving birth to new ideas and transforming them into reality through the help of other community members brought together by a web based application. Members of the social community contribute, upvote or downvote, comment on an idea and might as well collaborate with the owner of the idea.
The social ideation process, unlike the traditional corporate boardroom ideation process, where some key decision makers brainstorm a new product or service, allows individuals and organizations from diverse walks of life to participate in the process. The end goal of social ideation is to transform a very good idea into reality through the crowdsourcing concept.
To many individuals and small organizations, transforming an idea into a product or service might be overwhelming, intimidating and expensive. In some cases, people might be disoriented due to lack of knowledge and the numerous road blocks such as legal issues and financing.
The social ideation process looks into solving these problems by creating an automated social computing system where individuals and organizations come together to help each other go through the whole process reducing the risks and challenges involved between the conception of an idea to reality.
The process borrows a lot from a mix of peer to peer communities and crowdsourcing. Through a social ideation system, thousands of individuals with fresh ideas present them to like-minded people. Through the help of various tools, individuals can dictate whether their ideas are shared by all community members or a few individuals such as colleagues. The system automatically rejects duplicated content and pushes only the best ideas to the next level. Once an idea is submitted, it’s put to scrutiny by members of the community, and through comments and upvotes, the idea is deemed a potential success or a failure.
Why social ideation is important to organizations today
The growth of new markets and social media leave many companies with no choice but to move with the tide and come up with innovative ideas for new products and services. Today social media is a big thing, and everything is going social. The best thing about social media is that people like to share ideas.
According to smart insights a company that deals with global social media stats and trends, 71% of Facebook users and 51% of Instagram users log in daily compared to 42% of Twitter users. These are the three major social networks which goes a long way to show that a good number of people spend a lot of time on social networks. Furthermore, humans are social beings, and this makes it an excellent time for organizations to use this new phenomenon to their advantage.
Crowdfunding is mainstream these days thanks to the numerous successful crowdsourcing campaigns from the last five years. With the multiple online marketplaces, today for talent pooling and outsourcing, the idea of tapping ideas from thousands of creative individuals looks like the next big thing in web applications.
Small and large organizations are set to benefit the most through social ideation only if they transform the ideas into products/services. However, on paper, it’s the organizations that seem to get the most benefits with this model.
Take a scenario where an organization with a lot of resources wants to expand their product or service line and try to get ideas using a social ideation system. The organization will automatically get numerous ideas from passionate entrepreneurs who believe their ideas are better off in the hands of a well-known company. The organization will narrow down to the most inspiring and accurate idea and move it to the innovation process. As per the set rules, the owner of the idea gets compensated for their idea.
It’s a win-win situation where the owner of a magnificent idea who lives 50,000 miles away from the organization’s headquarters could have never gotten a chance to present their idea. On the other hand, the organization cuts the cost of the traditional ideation process and at the same time engages in a conversation with thousands of creative minds on one platform.