Smart leaders use social media
Social media is here to stay and by using it actively we understand more about human connections, needs and desires.
If you are a leader and you want to influence people you can use the power and the magic of the World Wide Web to help you reach even more people. By building your online profile you can gain more followers and fans, people who will in turn share your ideas with their network. Social media is also a terrific tool to use in order to listen to your customers.
By using it in an intelligent way you will learn a lot about their needs and wishes. Leaders who preach the values of social media and new technology are also changing the way their industry makes money. Think about what Spotify, a digital music service, has done to the music industry. They changed the way we listen and pay for music online, all using a smart platform. They have also integrated their service with Facebook to make it more social.
If you are a leader there are many who would love to learn from you and they want you to share your knowledge. One example of a leader sharing his knowledge online via an online course is former CEO and chairman of General Electric Jack Welch. He delivers several courses on leadership on Udemy. Udemy is on online platform where anyone is welcome to create courses on all kind of topics.
Leaders that people admire aren’t afraid of being themselves. They share their thoughts and ideas and are honest about what they believe in. This is the kind of person we find attractive and want to connect with. One of the most admired leaders in the UK, Richard Branson, shares his thoughts and ideas on social media on a regular basis. Check him out on Twitter and start learning from what he does.
How do we describe a great leader?
One thing that great leaders all have in common is that they understand that they have to constantly keep improving themselves. There is no rest in the ‘University of Life’. The world moves on and you have to follow. Even more than that, once you accept that the world is moving quickly in this digital era, you can aim to lead the way in your sector. Being a leader means leading the way.
If you deny that social media and technology is making a huge impact on our world you are at risk of being left far behind. At worst, this can mean going bust, losing your customers and income.
Most companies globally have access to the internet and advanced technology, and everyone can explore social media and a more creative leadership style. Social media, creativity and great leadership are free; it doesn’t cost much to explore and start practicing.
A company exploring new digital opportunities needs to invest in technology and their people. They also need to challenge how their business works and how they fit into the bigger picture. Who are they working with in their business ecosystem? How will they earn money in the future? Where do they see new opportunities?
What do leaders do?
- give us hope: they make us believe that we can create something better
- show us the way forward and what’s coming around the corner
- get people engaged
- break the old patterns of how things are done
- inspire us
- have credibility
- show guts
- see new possibilities
- make us trust them
We just love to love leaders.
New ideas and innovation in any organisation in the world are often likely to involve social media, IT and technology. If you ignore these factors you will probably miss out and say no to new opportunities.
As a leader you have to find your online communication style. Which channels works best for you? How do you prefer to send out your message? What kind of help do you need to do this? What matters is that you connect with the people who need to hear your message. This can be through the use of a blog, Twitter, Instagram, online videos or Facebook. Whichever channel you use, make sure that you connect with your audience.
How you find your style is up to you, but you have to connect with your audience. When I was the President of the volunteer organisation Junior Chamber International London (JCI London), I was very active on Facebook and I sent out a weekly email newsletter. It took true commitment to do this and I changed the perception that many people had of the organisation. Many people thought JCI London was a dull and corporate organisation rather than a great network for young professionals. I sent out this message online every week and we became more attractive to the public and more people joined us. We gained members because we communicated with people online and we succeeded in tripling the number of visitors to our website. I was proud of my achievements when I handed the leadership role over at the end of the year.
I once had a manager who didn’t even say ‘Good morning’ to our team. How can you connect with people if you do not even greet them? Didn’t he know that it’s good manners to say ‘Good morning’? The message he was sending was that he was too important to say hello. His leadership style was not very efficient and he had huge problems engaging the team. The same rules apply online. If you never say hello to your network, it’s hard to engage it. You need to show that you believe in and enjoy being a leader both online and offline.
Can you improve your communication channels? Are you connecting sufficiently with your colleagues and customers?
This is just a sample from the amazing social media book, Social Media Marketing. Available from Amazon
Gold Rank Contributor