Servant leadership requires you understand the power of listening, empathy and awareness. Studies show that this leadership style can positively affect staff and make for a happier, more cohesive team environment. But did you know those same skills could also be pushing your social media efforts to the top?
Similar to servant leadership, effective social media can create a positive buzz while generating respect and attention from -in this case- an online community. With some awareness and up front effort on your part, you can see how seamlessly servant leadership can fold into your social media mix.
Welcome More Voices
Just as you welcome different perspectives within your company, encourage them on your social media pages too. From the mailroom to the boardroom, there are many unique perspectives that have something different to share. For example, you might consider poling people on an industry related trend and then sharing your collective results.
While multiple opinions are great, be advised that only one person should have final publishing power. Too many brands have been sunk by careless mistakes and social media confusion; don’t let that happen to you. Instead, encourage everyone’s involvement and ideas, and forward them over to a single, designated social media manager.
Shine The Spotlight on Others
Just as social media is used as a brand-building tool, it also has the potential to build your reputation and virtual character. In addition to the posts that toot your own horn, be sure to pay it forward with links to industry articles or compliments to trend setters.
You might even take the extra step and submit a quality guest post to a site related to your niche. Not only will this establish you as an industry insider (and kick back a little link love) but it also shows the social media world that you’re competitive with yourself and not others. An attitude like this ensues trust in an audience.
As a servant leader you take the time to listen and respond to the concerns of your clan, its beneficial to act the same way on social media. Consider stretching your servant leadership into your social media efforts by adding an “send us a question” tab to your website or announce your question collection on Facebook and Twitter.
By collecting and gauging a group consensus, you can come to understand the things your audience is most eager to learn (and willing to follow for). A move like this solidifies your footing as an industry expert that people can come to for answers and support. Additionally, while your response will be broadcast for your entire audience to enjoy, you’re also making a direct connection with the person who submitted the questions – not every brand on social media makes that type of effort.
Converse, Don’t Command
Servant-leaders know all too well the power of persuasion; your aim is not to impede authority, but through logic and explained reasoning, it is to convince others to agree.
The process of gauging group consensus will serve your social media efforts well.
When posting, ask questions of your group, encourage debate and strive to eliminate biases by welcoming input from “the other side”. An attitude like this will turn your pages into a welcoming environment for conversation and reflection.
Just be sure to be present so that you can facilitate the conversation. In true servant leadership style you’ll be sure not to police anyone’s comments. But in the same breathe, be around to make sure posts and comments remain respectful and fair.
What other ways can servant leadership be incorporated into social media?
About the author: Kelly Gregorio writes about leadership trends and tips while working at Advantage Capital Funds, a provider of merchant cash advances. You can read her daily business blog here.