Nan Gibbons is a licensed personal trainer and nutritionist. She owns her own business and also travels worldwide advising at sporting events. She is also the proud mother to her son, Reid, and blogs at http://www.eatbreatheblog.com. Nan and I initially connected through social media (proving the power of that medium for leveraging one’s message) and she offered the following guest blog which I hope you’ll find useful.
I’m sure you’ve seen the commercial: A senior stumbles at home, and no one is around as she cries out “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!” The voiceover explains that this woman and other elderly people who live alone need a button they could press to call for help and. This is where the medical alarm comes in – it does just that.
The good news for you as a leader is that with all the challenges you face, there is more than one button to press for help. About 105 buttons, give or take a few: your computer keyboard. There is a powerful tool you can create positive change and become a thought leader in the online community and that is social media.
Whenever you use social media, the first step is to clarify your objectives. This enables you to gain followers who engage with you and assures that your voice is heard by the right people in the right places. Before you even create an account (or, if you already have an account, before you post that next update), do this: take out a sheet of paper and a pen. Write down what really, truly matters to you or your organization. Then pare that list down to five topics. It is important to filter out similar ideas as well as get down to the heart of what truly matters. You and your organization do many things, but what are those few things you are most passionate about? What describes the type of audience you truly wish to help? Not only will this exercise help you better focus your updates toward essential issues and topics, but it will also increase your reputation as a respected voice in these areas. Being viewed as credible by others on social media outlets as trustworthy or an expert will amplify your impact.
Interaction is always key in getting people involved in any sort of organization or movement offline. It is the same online. Don’t just interact with not only those following you but also target other organizations and people of note who share your interests and passion for your cause. Pay attention to any and all people who choose to help you champion your cause; helping them be heard will help you be heard as well.
Once you’ve clarified your message and targeted your audience, the most important key is to never give up. If you wish to emerge as a leader in your community and a voice to an important cause, you must remain consistent. Provide users and followers with information they may want or need, and always be open to suggestions and asking or answering questions. It is impossible to lead alone, so a great leader knows the power of a community over just one voice. Using social media for the greater good is much simpler than you think, and it can help you draw attention to your cause, therefore guaranteeing that you’ll find like-minded individuals to help make a difference.