On Tuesday 4 August 2015, John W Lewis will be sharing his wisdom and years of experience in innovation and strategic use of social media to identify opportunities. John also runs a very successful chat every Thursday, #innochat. John is an Innovation Strategist based in beautiful county of Devon in England, UK.

Consider this common scenario: You have decided that it is time to replace your mobile phone, computer, car, refrigerator, washing machine, heating system, etc.

In general, there are two main choices. You can replace it:

– either with the same, or an updated version of the, model that you are replacing
– or with a new model, perhaps from a different vendor, which addresses your needs in a different way, using different capabilities and/or different technology.

Whichever approach you choose, you are looking for information on available products and guidance on their suitability for your needs.

Maybe the situation is more complex. You might be considering a different kind of product which combines the capabilities of more than one existing product (such as phone and camera, phone and computer, etc.) or more than one new product to replace the capabilities of one existing product.

Maybe the situation is completely different. It’s not a replacement at all; there’s a new kind of product which would be useful in your life.

In all these cases, you will be looking and listening for information, you will be thinking about your options, and you will be asking questions.

These are practical examples of the adoption of innovative products. You are making choices based on your attitude to different and new features and on their suitability for your needs.

During this chat let’s discuss the usefulness of social media, among the available sources of information and guidance, for discovering and learning about your options?

Historically, you could read articles and watch TV programs. You could call or email your friends and talk to people you meet. Now social media channels provide a different way to communicate. They provide different ways to connect with people and to discover and learn about the options available to you.

1. How do social media compare with, or complement, other ways of finding products that you want?

2. How and when do you use social media to learn about innovative products?

3. How do you use social media to find people who can help you with your product choices?

4. What kinds of product advantages are easy or difficult to communicate using social media?

5. How effective are social media for discovering a product’s disadvantages for your purpose?

6. How useful are social media for comparing overall benefits and deciding between products?