4 Easy Tips for Engaging the Crowd

4 Easy 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.

Use More Short & Targeted Campaigns

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.

Reward Crowd 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.

Close 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, be sure to check out these articles:

Want to Innovate? First Learn What Your Team Actually Does!

You Can’t Binge-laugh Your Way to Innovation

Innovation Lessons from Prince

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on April 2nd, 2014 and has been updated. 

Image courtesy of pixabay.com

Learn more about PreScouter at www.prescouter.com.

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