Recently, Glenn Llopis, a thought leader on business management, discussed on his Forbes blog how Linkedin, Facebook and Twitter have changed the ROI of leadership. He hits the nail right on the head when he says that, “Not only have ‘the big 3’ social media outlets added a new dimension to one’s leadership role & responsibility – but the behavioral tendencies from those that are active in the social media world have started to permeate into the workplace.”
He presents a few other thoughts on the impact of social media worth pointing out.
“Social media users are typically more transparent about how they communicate with their colleagues. In fact, rules of social media engagement are influencing the manner in which employees interact with one another.”
This makes perfect sense. With Twitter narrowing our messages to 140 characters, we’ve been forced to become more efficient communicators. And when we’re always pressed for time, I’m sure this is one skill that everyone in the corporate world can appreciate.
“We have less time to deliver an important message, people are only paying attention to the things that benefit them and one’s reputation is measured by the influence of one’s ‘social’ network.”
Now more than ever, when communicating or crafting messages we have to be aware of the benefit statement for our audience. This applies to anyone using social media, not just executives.
While Llopis focuses on C-level executives, I believe that it is important for business leaders to promote online engagement to their employees. At rbb, for example, we are encouraged to participate in social media networks. This doesn’t mean we spend the whole day on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Instead, it means being in the know by studying trends, keeping up with up-to-the-minute industry news for clients, and building and nurturing relationships online.
From writing and reading blog posts that are relevant to our clients’ industries to actively tweeting, it is important for executives and employees alike to be active in social media to add value to their clients. From my experience with Twitter alone, I’ve been able to connect with reporters, see what they’re working on and learn more about them as individuals. This has helped me secure hits for clients because I have a better understanding of who I’m targeting. In addition, it helps us understand firsthand the value of adding social media to client campaigns.
Now, before you open all of your social media applications or send an email to your staff to do the same, make sure you are taking the proper steps to protect your company’s image and your team’s by having a social media policy in place. This means setting up some guidelines for participating online in a respectful, relevant way that protects your company’s reputation and those of your clients, while allowing you all to have a voice and share your thought leadership with relevant audiences.
As Llopis sums it up, “You need to step up to social media.” We all do. It is becoming more important everyday for companies, business leaders, potential business partners and employees to share their voice in the social media spectrum.