Love it or hate it, social media is now one of the most effective ways to connect with your audience and other leaders. Billions of people log onto social media every day and spend time scrolling through news, updates, and feeds.
In this 8th and final part of the Level Up series, we’ll go over the importance of social media for leaders, which platforms to use, and a quick run-through of how to use them for best results.
As mentioned in the last segment about Dressing the Part, leadership has changed. Leaders are now expected to be seen, known, and to be social.
Here are top social media channels for leaders
I’m providing a breakdown of each platform, along with best practices.
LinkedIn tops the list because it’s a powerhouse for business networking. I recommend it as the #1 social media platform for leaders. Here’s why:
*It allows you to demonstrate leadership and share your brand story.
*You can connect with other leaders in your market.
*It can be used to glean insights and data about your market.
*It’s the go-to platform for professional networking.
Ready to get started building your Leveled-Up LinkedIn presence?
Here are best practices for getting the most out of your time on LinkedIn:
1. Complete your profile 100%. This is the first thing to do on LinkedIn. It doesn’t have to be perfect. You can always come back and edit it later, but it’s vital that you complete it before you start making connections and sharing content. This includes using a professional headshot photograph of yourself.
2. Make authentic connections. LinkedIn will suggest ‘People You May Know’. Send messages with connection requests. This will remind/inform people why they would want to connect with you on the platform.
3. Keep your profile updated as you change positions, move locations, learn new skills, complete training, etc.
4. Join LinkedIn groups. Relevant LinkedIn groups are an effective way to make more connections, build meaningful relationships, conduct market research about your ideal customers, and establish thought leadership around your area of expertise.Bonus (Level Up) tip: Write and share articles. Did you know LinkedIn isn’t just a connection platform? It’s also useful for content sharing. This helps you get more exposure and demonstrates credibility as a leader.
Facebook Business Page or Instagram
Both platforms can be powerful. They are also both heavily centered around visuals. The Facebook algorithm favors videos and images, not just text. And Instagram is by far the most visually focused of the two.
Best practices for using these platforms:
Share photos/videos of your business life. You can mix these in with advice, recommendations, quotes, quick tips.
Be consistent. These platforms require regular posting (read: daily where possible) to gain the best results.
Engage. Neither platform is about you talking ‘to’ people. They’re about interaction ‘with’ people. Comment, respond, send messages. Consistent engagement matters.
Bonus (Level Up) tip: create ‘Stories’. They function differently on each of these platforms, but in general, they allow you to feature visual content.
YouTube Videos/Lives or Facebook Lives
Using these platforms allows people to see and hear from you. Even if you only do a ‘live’ once per month, this is still a useful engagement strategy that helps build your brand.
Lives can help you grow your brand as viewers are able to share links to them with their network.
Best practices for conducting lives:
1. Before going live, decide on the purpose of the stream. What is the reason for going live? What will you be sharing? Who is the live for?
2. Schedule and promote the broadcasts so people can expect them.
Assess and analyze the results. What worked? How was engagement? What did your audience resonate with most/least?
Bonus (Level Up) tip: Don’t sweat the small stuff. The #1 thing that stops people from consistently creating lives (or even getting started) is fear of messing up/saying something silly/not looking perfect/etc. There will be blunders. You’re human. And that’s exactly what makes lives so effective. They help you connect and relate to your audience.
Your own platform (blog, podcast, or both)
Building your own platform allows you to demonstrate your expertise. You can share what you know and position yourself as an industry leader. This adds to your credibility and trustworthiness.
1. Be consistent. Set a schedule for content creation and stick to it.
2. Use the medium that works best for you and your business goals. Maybe it’s writing or podcasting or both. What’s the best way to reach your audience and what feels like the best fit for your brand?
Bonus (Level Up) tip: Create a schedule for sharing your blog/podcast content on the social media platforms mentioned above.
How to maximize your time on social media
Now that we agree on the power of social media, let’s address the time factor You’re a leader, and you got plenty to do. Social media feels like a time-waste. And it can be. But not if done correctly. A few tips:
Don’t try to master all 4 platforms at once. In the beginning, there’ll be a learning curve as you get a feel for interacting authentically and understand what the audience on each platform resonates with best. You can get started with one or two and build from there as you get comfortable with each.
Use it with purpose. You ha
ve enough distractions and don’t need more. When you log on to a platform, be clear on what you plan to do. Do you want to share an article, tip, something interesting, promote something, respond to messages? What do you plan to do? The more purposeful you are with your social media engagement, the less time you’ll waste.
Set a timer. I use social media every day for short periods of time. You can set a timer for, say, 15/20 minutes, or what’s best for you. When the timer goes off, you log off.
Social media isn’t perfect, but what is? Like everything, it has its downsides. But the positives far outweigh the negatives for a Leveled-Up brand. It’s an effective tool for connecting, sharing, and interacting with both consumers and other leaders in your industry. Use it purposefully, and you’ll reap the rewards.