If Napoleon lived in the technology era, would he have a Twitter account? I bet he would. Presidents, business magnates, social activists… everyone is on social media nowadays. It’s not just about connecting with the audience and informing them about the activities these leaders are involved in. It’s about leading. Social media allows them to expand their leadership to a wider audience.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is a nice example of how politicians can use social media to connect with their citizens and the entire world. He uses his Instagram profile to promote everything he is doing, but he also uses the opportunity to awaken the public’s awareness of different issues. He improves the way people perceive his leadership by allowing everyone to post comments and ask questions. In January 2017, Trudeau became the first politician to host a live story on Snapchat.
When we’re talking about social media leaders, we’re not thinking solely of successful people who use social media to establish their status. These platforms give space to commoners to become influential, too. If you have what it takes, you can transform from a common user to a social media leader.
The Power of Social Media Leadership
Social media is much more than an opportunity for smart marketing. Even the people who once fell under the description audience now have the power to create content, share values, and influence other people to accept their opinions.
Jake Paul wasn’t famous when he started using social media. He perfectly fits the description of the phenomenon internet personality. He rose to fame through the videos he posted on Vine. Thanks to his status of a social media celebrity, he started getting roles in independent films. Logan Paul, his brother, also started off as a Vine phenomenon.
Kino MacGregor, who is huge on Instagram, was already a respected yoga teacher when she started using social media, but is now globally famous. Thanks to her status as a social media celebrity, she started a successful Kickstarter campaign for a unique project that reached the first funding goal on the very first day.
Because of social media, we are witnessing how power is sliding from institutions towards individuals. We are seeing previously unknown people becoming Internet celebrities, simply because their character, wit, talents, intellect, and uniqueness attract the right audience.
The Ultimate Social Media Leadership Rules
Now, the question is: were these Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook celebrities just lucky? Did they achieve fame just because they did the right thing at the right time? Maybe luck has something to do with it. However, there is a certain pattern of behavior we can reveal behind these examples. They are successful not because of pure luck, but because of focus and hard work.
Let’s extract a few rules that will set you up for success:
1. Connect with Popular Users
A fun tweet can get you instant popularity and plenty of followers if a Twitter influencer retweets it. If you can get any of the popular users on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter to promote you in that way, you will gain followers with no effort.
How do you do that? Do you start messaging influencers, begging them to spread your words? No.
First, you show your interest in them. You can comment on their Facebook updates or respond to their tweets. However, you have to be subtle with this strategy. If you don’t have anything smart to say, wait until you come up with something they will notice.
The Oatmeal, for example, is a page that can get you noticed. If you scroll through the publications on Facebook, you’ll notice that the funniest comments get hundreds of likes and replies. A single comment on a page like this can get you followers.
2. Trigger Interactions
You’re active on social media not only because you have something to share, but because you want people to react on your updates. You need followers, comments, reactions, and retweets – those are the things that will establish your status as a social media leader.
Dave Larson, who stands behind the popular @TweetSmarter account, has a nice strategy that triggers interactions: he takes questions that come to him and turns them at the community.
To follow that example, you have to become an established influencer in that community. Until you reach that point, you have to engage the audience with something else: content! You can start a blog and share the articles on social media, or write the content through Facebook statuses. The important thing is to produce engaging content with calls to action, which will provoke reactions on social media.
3. React to Trending Topics
It may be an important game, the elections, or the latest celebrity buzz – such topics are always attracting attention. People are checking the hashtags, and the coolest reactions get noticed and shared.
If you have anything to say about a trending topic on any social media, use the opportunity to promote yourself as someone who can provide authoritative opinions.
4. Know Your Community
You want to become an influencer, a leader in the social media community? Okay. Ask yourself a question: who do you want to lead? You will find your community when you identify the values you stand for. If you’re interested in movies and you have tons of awesome reviews to share, you will attract a community of cinema lovers.
Join groups and follow pages related to your interests. Be active and share insightful comments; you’ll gain more followers by the day.
Business leaders have already recognized the power of social media leadership. Social media adds new dimensions to their leadership style. They are creating compelling multimedia content to engage the social media audience and improve their reputation as powerful personas.
However, the reverse relation between leadership and social media is also possible. Just as leaders are seeing these platforms as an opportunity for success, an average social media user can build a strong online persona that turns them into a leader. The above-listed rules make that possible.