"It's not a real relationship," Say's the old fashioned leader about social media. Which is sad because it demonstrates a disconnect with this new powerful leadership tool we have in social media. Yes, no one is expecting the person they report to to stop having contact with them and only receive Facebook messages and Tweets from that supervisor instead. To view social media as a waste of time is like looking at a computer as an overrated investment. However, to view social media as an opportunity to care and develop is a leader who gets it. That potential is to be a better leader and demonstrate you are indeed a caring human being; you have a heart for the people you lead.
If you'd like to be that type of leader here's four social media strategies that will help you care for those you lead:
1. 10 Minutes Daily - I challenge leaders to spend ten minutes a day to be on social media strictly for the purpose of seeing what's happening in the lives of the people in their tribe. Don't get online to be seen, instead spend time caring more about what is happening in the lives of others.
2. Comment on three - Get in the habit of commenting on at least three things you see happening in the lives of people a day. The larger your title or role, the bigger this is to people you lead. Who doesn't want to be noticed by the boss or the most influential person in the room? This might seem like a very small thing to you but it could be a very big deal to someone who is putting their life out there for others to see.
3. Get your praise on - I encourage leaders to praise at least one person a week that is living out the vision of the mission. The value of recognition continues to become a very big deal in the work place. People connected to one another online know who has a supervisor who is encouraging or who has a supervisor that just needs people to work. Getting in the habit of praising people online will boost morale on your team and also be a draw for others to potentially join the team.
4. Pull a caper - I'm stealing a Bob Goff term here but do something for someone that they never saw coming. If you just pay attention to what people are putting out on social networks you could have a crazy good care strategy for people as a leader. When you see someone is facing a great personal challenge or need do something that would help them! Loyalty will spill out the doors if you start to pull capers of care on the people you lead. I dare you to try it for three months and see how people respond.
Leaders have to start participating in caring for people through social media because everyone else is watching! If someone sees a friend, acquaintance, or family member getting radically cared for and their lives have meaning to an employer outside of just work, they will want to be a part of the team!