Leadership As A Social Media Strategy

Leadership content inspires ... so why not use it?

by Ilana Rabinowitz |

“The idea in Seth Godin’s book, Tribes, is that each one of us can be a very special leader, giving something unique to the world.”

This was a tweet I stumbled on last week. I was taken by it because it was a great summary of Godin’s book in 140 characters.  It also struck me that providing leadership content is a highly effective social media strategy.

At about the same time I saw that tweet, I was reading a Wall Street Journal article that offered some insight into leadership in the realm of fitness.  The story exemplified the idea of creating a tribe, describing a new movement among fitness instructors who mentor, inspire, befriend and motivate their students.  As a result of their leadership and the relationships  they develop with their students, they drive business filling classes.  And not only do students flock to specific teachers every week, but they follow them to yoga and other fitness retreats around the globe, spending thousands of dollars for the opportunity to spend a few days with these teachers.

In the article, the national director of group fitness at Equinox summed it up: “The reason our group fitness business is so powerful is because the relationship between the instructor and the members is, in many ways, emotional.”

That emotional component of leadership is what moves people.  And moving people—influence—is what leadership content is about.

What are the essential qualities of leadership content?

  1. Leadership content provides inspiration and motivation. It doesn’t tell you what to do or lay out tactics. It provides the principles and allows individuals to work out the specifics of execution.  In this way, it is a stimulus for creativity.
  2. Leadership content reflects the leader’s unique way of viewing the world .
  3. Leadership content teaches.
  4. Leadership content moves people to change the way they do things.
  5. Leadership content focuses on providing value for the reader, not the author.

The writers of this blog are held to an editorial standard based on providing leadership content.   The editorial guidelines include information about who we are writing for and what our mission is.  The litmus test we use to determine whether a post fits with the mission of Social Media Explorer is this:

  • Is it strategic in focus?
  • Is it open-minded?
  • Is it about ideas?
  • Is it an original perspective?

It’s the original perspective that is the hardest part of providing leadership content. The ability to say something–even slightly different–in the face of all the content on the web is a challenge. The “how” of doing this is about creating content that reflects your unique experiences and beliefs.

A few of the leaders that provide leadership content that resonates with me include Julien Smith, Behance, Seth Godin, Simon Sinek, Danielle LaPorte, Valeria Maltoni and Mark Silver,

Who inspires you with leadership content? What is it about their content that moves you?

About the Author

Ilana Rabinowitz

Ilana Rabinowitz is the vice-president for marketing for Lion Brand Yarn and blogs about social media at Marketing Without A Net. Rabinowitz approaches marketing with an uncompromising focus on the customer and a grounding in psychology and neuroscience to understand what motivates people to make buying decisions.  She believes that businesses need to develop their own media as a means of creating a branded experience for customers.  She has spoken at digital marketing conferences including Web 2.0, Blogher Business and Internet Retailer. She is the author of a book about psychology, a book about mindfulness and co-author of a book about the culture of knitting. Follow her on Twitter at @ilana221.