Leadership magazine March/April 2019 V48 No. 4 - Page 18

Social media platforms Leveraging leadership and communication in the digital age It seems these days everyone has less and less time, yet communication by those in leadership positions is required at a speed and consistency as never before. This is intimidating for some, especially those who are afraid of making a very public mis- take as they slowly begin to engage with new platforms and tools to communicate with larger audiences than ever before. Leader- ship has never been for the faint of heart, but in today’s world, bravery is a requirement. Leadership and social media com- munication For years, the content marketing experts have drilled into us that brands must reach audiences with content that matters to them — where, when and how they want it — in order for audiences to engage online, which is critical to company success. Lead- ers must do the same. In order to build trust, strengthen community and establish cred- ibility, a leader must be able to communi- cate across multiple channels, in a variety of 18 Leadership voices, and be able to generate and distribute consistently credible and useful information and ideas. Leaders should assume that what- ever they post online will be fact-checked by potentially thousands of people and that participation in a group or conversation may be viewed as tantamount to taking a side on an issue. It is very important to be clear about your intent, your perspective, and your goals in online conversations. To accomplish this, leaders must be able to share and create engaging, credible, trustworthy and transparent content across social media platforms that enhances their audiences’ ability to make important deci- sions, join large conversations, engage with the communities they lead and the ones they aspire to lead. You must assume that your professional and personal lives intersect on- line, regardless of the work you do to keep them separate. Because of this, ethical and authentic posting and sharing is paramount. By Darcy Totten