4 Tips for Engaging the Crowd

4 Tips for Engaging the Crowd

By Jessica Day

There are many different ways to take crowd information and turn it into actionable data that can guide innovation. But one of the best ways to invest in a worthwhile slate of ideas is to make sure that the crowd cares about your unique challenge… and doing that begins early in the innovation process.

Engaging a crowd is a nuanced, rich procedure involving numerous disciplines from technology to communications. There are some basic guidelines, however, that help organize the crowd into a productive, meaningful conversation that results in business-impacting change.

Short, targeted campaigns are most effective.

Ask any writer that’s been given a deadline – sometimes adding parameters gives creative people the freedom to think within those boundaries. Adding not just a deadline, but posing a specific question helps to prompt the inventive process.

Introduce a compelling brief.

This is where a great communications team can really shine. It’s not just about a coherent statement of the problem or the challenge, but about making it matter to the crowd on a personal level (not just a practical one). For example, instead of asking airline employees for ways to improve efficiencies at baggage claim, they might instead ask how to make sure that the mid-Western Foster family gets home faster.

Rewarding for engagement.

In Professor Toubia’s research about what incentives most effectively improve innovation programs, he finds that rewarding users not for the best contributions, but for generating the most conversation does more than just improve engagement overall, it also results in a higher level of quality in the ideas. Be sure to plan for an engagement rewards strategy.

Closing the feedback loop.

Finally,those organizations that communicate throughout the innovation life cycle are the ones that are able to maintain a sustainable level of engagement and innovation. For example, Yale University communicates with its community at least every thirty days in order to provide an update on the idea until its implementation is complete. Their level of engagement is almost 100%.

If you’re interested in learning more about strategy surrounding open innovation, IdeaScale’s SVP of Strategy, Suzan Briganti will introduce innovators to new methodologies that help the crowd get beyond the top-voted idea and truly source wisdom that can change a business. Register for this complimentary webinar here.

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