This post is by Holger Arians, Co-founder of PLDx.org & CEO of Dominet Digital Corporation, Melbourne
Social media has infiltrated into our lives, way beyond the level of personal communication between individuals. It has become a lively and busy environment for companies and professionals to do business, expand their network and bridge the communication gap between brands and potential customers. There are so many ways in which top level professionals and leaders can expand and solidify their leadership position by harnessing the power of social media.
However, today we will discuss another key aspect: how do social media platforms influence leadership? And what is a leader expected to do to hold onto their leadership position in the social media age?
Before we move on to the actual topic, a few helpful statistics will help you understand the importance of social media in the corporate world:
- 33% of employees say that social media is beneficial in the team building effort;
- 40% of employees have improved their problem solving capabilities by browsing the social media;
- 50% of employees believe that social media has made them more creative in their work.
That being said, what does it mean to be a leader in the age of social media?
1. Reach out to Your Network
The age of the lone leader in the crystal tower is gone. Now leaders network with other leaders, with peers and employees, and use the power of their network for everything from filling a job opening to solving a customer’s problem.
True leaders are active on social media in such a way that they extend their leadership beyond the organization. They become influencers and thought leaders and their network is always ready to join in their efforts or provide a creative solution to an issue.
2. Build and Expand Your Personal Brand
What is the difference between Richard Branson and other CEOs around the world? Everyone recognizes Richard Branson from the photos and words he uses on his social media accounts. Personal branding is currently just as important as business branding. It allows you to create a unique image for your leadership style, to be easily recognizable and to be able to reach out to people even when they are not actively seeking your advice and shared content on social media.
3. Never Stop Learning
Just as you inspire others with your ideas, allow others to inspire you as well. Do not refuse the opportunity to learn something new, to see things from another perspective and to think outside your corporate box.
Even a junior employee can express an innovative idea and make you reconsider a certain decision or situation, with unexpected beneficial results for your entire organization. Never become too proud or too self-absorbed to browse social media with an open mind for new information and ideas.
4. Drop the Walls Down
In the good old days, everyone knew who the “boss” was in an organization. They used official channels for communication, used an official vocabulary and were otherwise unreachable, locked up in their penthouse office. In the age of social media, leaders mingle with their team and use the adequate channel of communication and vocabulary for the occasion, ranging from official for important matters to casual and friendly for everyday communications.
5. Encourage Collaboration
Last, but not least, use the power of social media to create a collaborative culture in your organization. Allow employees to meet face to face or to discuss online when the nature of these discussions is not of a sensitive nature. Let them reach out to their networks and enrich your business with other fresh ideas. After all, what really matters is for the job to get done on time and in a professional manner.