3 ways you can become a better leader using social media

Am I valuable? Am I known?

These are the pitfall questions for leaders in social media.  

Photo credit: pfostpfilms'

Many leaders have a backwards view of social media.  Most see it as an output opportunity.  As if we have to be the source of all information to followers.  Older leaders will transfer their concept of mail to social media.  The gathering of information and then sending it to followers who never respond, only receive.

But this is a new time and social media goes beyond just information: it's interaction.  Leaders have a unique opportunity to engage their tribe online.  Instead of getting online to send information we can now get online to participate in the lives of our tribe.  We can see their lives.  What matters.  What hurts.  What causes excitement.  And we can participate.

This new level of engagement is not measured by the output but instead by participation.  Here are some ways for leaders to be participating:

1.  Get online to see - If you know who is in your tribe make sure you pay attention to what they are posting on social media channels.  A status update, tweet, or photo posted says, "This is happening in my life, do you think it matters?"  

2.  Get online to comment - This is probably the biggest mistake that leaders make.  They get online and post what's going on for them but they never engage in someone else's life.  Leaving a comments demonstrates we see the value in other people.  Although we want everyone's attention what gets it online is our ability to leave a comment and it gets seen by alerts.  

3.  Get online to start a conversation - Web 1.0 was the beginning of the internet.  Information was king.  We could find anything we wanted.  Now we have are numb to all the information that is coming at us.  Actually, we've trained our brains to only see the information we are interested in.  What we long for online is to be part of a conversation, to have interaction, and to further relationships.  Leaders who really get the power of social media are creating great conversations every day.  Because of these conversations tribe members feel involved in things that matter and have value in their lives.  Leaders can find relevant stories, blogs, or links that can create awesome conversations for the tribe to circle around and discuss.

Be a leader online.  Focus on promoting others.  In this new internet based world promotion of others is the most effective tool for self promotion.

What do you see great leaders doing online?  What are they doing that they weren't doing five year ago?  Please leave a comment below!