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What It Means to Be a Leader in Social Media
Posted on July 30th 2012
Being a leader in “the real world” and in social media are not very different. A leader should be creative, dedicated, fair and willing to take risks among other things. To be a successful community manager these leadership traits should also be present when developing your social media strategy. It not only helps you create a better brand image, but it makes you stand out in the crowd giving your followers a glimpse of who you really are.
In social media the common mistake is confusing leadership for popularity. Take a moment to think about this quote, “Great leaders don’t focus on popularity.” These wise words were said by Rohit Bhargava at his Likeonomincs conference, and he couldn’t be more correct. The truth is, being popular on Facebook or Twitter doesn’t necessarily make you a good leader. What does it mean to have a million followers if you don’t have any personal connection with them? Anybody can press the “like” button on Facebook, but it doesn’t mean people are checking in on your content regularly or that it’s valuable. People want to connect with a genuine brand, and it’s your job as a community manager to be a thought leader in your community. Here are some great ways to be the leading man or woman in your community:
- Be the source of new information.
Successful leaders are always looking for new things to share with their community. People that follow and engage with you are not looking for the same Twitter report or success stories they’ve seen time and time again. Finding new content that has not yet written about may be hard, but good leaders don’t fear this. Instead YOU be the source of new information. Share your own quotes, thoughts, and experiences that way your followers are getting information they can’t find anywhere else.
- Express passion for your job.
No one wants to follow or connect with people that are not passionate about what they’re doing. Why would anyone share your content if you don’t believe it yourself? Be excited to engage with your followers and show enthusiasm about your job. Not only will it make your followers more eager to see what you have to say, but it will benefit you in the long run. Having a positive outlook on what you do can help you do a better job overall.
- Show your community your true self.
The best part about social media is connecting with people that you can relate to. Take that opportunity and let your personality shine through when engaging with followers. Doing so will distinguish you from other brands online, and your followers are more likely to trust someone they know is being genuine.
Followers will come after you’ve built a strong foundation for your brand. Popularity is just a trend that will eventually die out, but a brand with strong roots and leadership will always be more valuable than “the next best thing.”
What does it mean to be a leader in your community? Share your comments below!