If you haven’t been paying attention thus far (and it’s really hard not to notice), the paths of communication have been radically changed by the power of social media platforms. It’s pretty common for businesses and brands to use social media as the means to grow. However, another important business aspect is affected by this – leadership development. Is this a surprise to you? Well, it shouldn’t be, because being a top-notch leaderin your company is highly dependent on high-quality and proper communication.
A great leader will use social media as the means to create strong relationships with both their clients and their staff, and earn their trust this way. So, when we look at what a contemporary leader really needs, one of the items on the checklist is a strong social media presence. Now, many leaders are traversing these seas, but there is still a lot that they need to learn and understand in order to do it right.
So, what should a great leader do in order to properly use social media channels?
Leverage the dynamics of content dissemination
In comparison to traditional routes of distribution (which still aren’t going anywhere), social media has introduced a significant change – it shifted the entire information process backwards. Distributing content is now the first step of the whole communication process. It is then that your audience is invited to take further part in its creation and contextualization, in order to truly give it a meaning. So you’ve got messages that get re-advertised and given a new purpose by all those people who repost, retweet, and comment on the content, as well as use little bits of it to create something of their own.
What the leaders need to be very good at doing at this point is knowing how to control the co-action that happens both from the side of traditional channels, which are controlled, and the new channels, which are meant to be left to develop on their own, without too much intervention. It is important to be aware that once a message is out, it can happen that it goes viral, and then it is no longer something that you can control. You can only attempt to take steps to change it while it’s spreading across channels. This is where it is essential for a leader to be able to distribute the content properly, and influence its pathways.
Find a channel that suits you
First of all, it is essential that you pick the channel that works the best for your needs. Facebook’s Live Feature is your choice if you want to disseminate videos and live streams. If you want to make an impact on youngsters, then you should definitely go for Snapchat, as 78% of its user base consists of 18- to 24-year olds. Essentially, it is all about what kind of content you attempt to post. If your idea is to be a thought leader and post tutorials, then maybe Pinterest is the best place for you. If you’re more into educating people, and making them aware of particular events, then you should develop your own YouTube channel.
Find your voice, invent, and interact
It is essential that you have your own voice that distinguishes you from your competitors. You need to be you, and allow your charisma of a leader come to light through your social media presence. Let people recognize you for who you truly are.
Inventiveness is also very important, as you want to create the kind of content that people won’t find elsewhere, and will be compelled to engage with. Being a great storyteller is an important trait here, as it will do miracles for your brand image and marketing strategies. Also, don’t forget how strong an effect great content has on Search Engine Optimization.
Interact with your users, listen to what they have to say, solve their problems, show gratitude when they lend you a hand, and post content that will make them think and keep them engaged.
Create amazing content
One of the greatest assets in this time and age are video cameras, and the ability to create engaging video content that you can post on YouTube and share via other social media platforms. Basically, you can be a producer of high-quality video content, and make sure that everyone gets to see it. It is now a common thing for business leaders to run content-rich blogs about their businesses, where they include a lot of videos of what is going on behind the scenes in their industry.
The value of communication via video content is only rising, and therefore, a great leader will need to incorporate creative skills such as his imagination, a one – of – a – kind voice, and the skill to come up with stories that are going to entice and engage their audience, so that their interest in their products or services grows significantly. Today it is a necessity to have the necessary technical skills to produce top-notch multimedia, know how to shoot, and, if it is required, properly edit videos in order to create compelling content.
What we are looking at now can pretty much be called the early days of the development of social media skills. In fact, a lot of businesses see social networks as the means to strengthen their brands and positions, rather than the way to actually gain attention and engage. Social media literacy simply hasn’t yet become an essential part of being a competent leader.
This is something that needs to adapt to what the future is telling us. Because, as we see it, companies are going to grow and become more powerful with leaders who are literate when it comes to social media channels. With their innovation, creativity, and agility, it will be easier to bring better talent into the business and gain more from the workforce’s ideas and abilities.
In other words, social media is the future of business leadership, and you can either jump on the bandwagon, or watch your efforts diminish as the new wave of leaders takes over the market.