If someone asked me to describe leadership in one word, I would have to choose the word “Influence“.  Those who reach any position of leadership got there because of their ability to lead others towards accomplishing a common goal.  The best leaders get there not by manipulating people, but by inspiring them with character and integrity.  Leaders seek to influence other to take action with the use of their words to spread their message of purpose.  For leaders , the reach of their message can now be amplified through the use of social media.

 If you are a  leader and are not active on social media you may be asking, “How can I find the time to be on Facebook and Twitter?”  That is a valid question, the answer is you have to be intentional about it.  If you wish to learn more about how to find the time for social media, check out this podcast episode from Michael HyattHow Do Busy Leaders Find Time for Social Media?  If you are not sold on why you, as a leader, should embrace social media, here are 3 primary reasons:

1. Increase the Awareness Around Your Message or Cause

All leaders should look at Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and any other social media channels as a platform from which to tell their story to the people they are trying to reach.  Social media provides the perfect atmosphere to reach new eyes and ears do to the sharability factor. When your followers share your message, they share it with their network of friends and family that you, by yourself, normally wouldn’t reach, resulting in increased awareness and the possibility of converting new followers.  Are you building a solid platform to shout from?

2. Build and Strengthen Relationships

A leaders influence depends upon his relationship with others.  Social Media provides leaders with the ability to stay in touch with their followers, friends, family and their own team.  It also takes networking to the max , where you can meet someone in person and connect with them online, reducing the chance of being forgotten by them.  It allows you to continue to feed into the lives of others providing them with inspiration and things of value that will keep them coming back for more.

3. Mentor the up and coming leaders

Great leaders are always thinking about who they will pass their legacy down to, that is why they invest into the lives of the younger leaders who they see as capable for carrying the torch.  Seeing as you cannot always be with your leaders all the time, social media is a great tool for staying in touch and sharing resources to help build their skills or further their learning.    Share the blog posts, videos, case studies, etc. to help increase their knowledge and understanding of the role they will be taking on.  Preparation is one of the greatest keys to future success.

As you can see, social media has changed the leadership game since its conception.  If you are not using these tools that are available you are missing out on a huge portion of people who may be passionate about your cause.  The best news is it’s never too late to start, start reserving your social accounts and connecting with the people that matter.  Keep in mind,

“If you are leading and nobody is following, then you are just taking a walk.”

How do you plan to use social media to super-charge your influence?