At a time when trust, connection, business relationships and technology are converging and assuming huge significance and impact – notably with people working remotely more frequently – leaders increasingly need to have strong social media skills and a presence online.
Unfortunately social media is still viewed by many leaders as a broadcast channel, not as a way to connect. Several simple tools and techniques will enable you to become an effective social leader:
- Use social media to listen to current and potential customers. Engaging with followers and contacts, for example, with questions or by providing a voice, is the best way to collect real-time market intelligence. Vitally important in a time of challenge and change.
- Focus on connecting and building relationships instead of promoting and “pushing”. You want to be spreading the good word about your company, chiefly by example (how you are, not simply what you do) while also interacting with others and answering questions from stakeholders.
- Take time to connect with colleagues and contacts. There are several simple, useful techniques to keep in mind: find the right method for your contacts (and remember not everyone wants a video call), use tools regularly that support you and your colleagues, find the right time to connect, bring energy and organisation to the communication, if you are writing think carefully about the tone of your communication and how it might land, raise your video camera to eye level when you speak… and be kind to others.
- Understand that you build your personal brand whenever you engage on social media – this has several crucial implications, notably the need to be authentic, generous and intentional, at all times. You are an ambassador for yourself and others.