Back in the game: My new rules for social media engagement #itsnotallaboutme

“No leader can afford to lead as they did in the Industrial Age. This is a new era with new rules. All around us, the entire world is flattening, democratising, and socialising.” (HBR)

I’ve been relatively quiet on social media over the last few months. Sometimes it’s good to reassess and rethink what we do and why we do it. We are told, “You need to get onto Twitter”. Why? There needs to be purpose.

  • Am I there just so my followers don’t forget me?
  • What popularity need am I trying to satisfy?
  • Do I think that I will be professionally dead if I don’t engage?
  • Is there a real purpose that is more than increasing my follower count?

I prefer to be purposeful. Make choices that make a difference.

I thought this article on the HBR blog was interesting: 7 attributes of CEO’s who get social media. As education leaders*, we can borrow ideas, be inspired and challenged by business articles. (*I consider anyone a leader who has and wants to influence for good, no matter what role or title they have)

Coine and Babbet identified the top seven traits observed over five years trend-watching and interviewing leaders. I’ve just reimagined them for educators, and non-profits.

1. An Insatiable Curiosity: Social leaders track the emerging trends. They also see what non-educators are saying that can both inspire and challenge thinking.

2. A DIY mindset: This personal curiosity sees the social leader find out for him or herself. Rather than listen through filters seek the raw information.

3. A bias for action: They live by a “ready, fire, aim” mentality and in the Social Age, this has never been more necessary. Engaging in debates and discussions in real time can add so much value.

4. Relentless givers: They constantly share what they know. Seeking to spread knowledge and learnings more broadly. Again, this has nothing to do with building social-media market share, but it is just the right thing to do.

5. Connect instead of promote: Social media self-promotion is a turn-off. It’s more important to build relationships and connection through genuine engagement on social media platforms.

6. My organisation’s #1 brand ambassador:  We are all building our personal brand through social media, but we can do it in such a way that is authentic and generous, which in turn will positively impact our organisation.

7. Lead with an OPEN mindset: “…short for Ordinary People, Extraordinary Network – means that no one person, even the highest-level leader, can have all the answers”. We develop collaborative relationships with people who are willing to help us discover the answers.

Here are some questions that I challenge myself about social media:

  1. Do I retweet (or blog) to highlight a new voice or idea,
    or is it to show how popular I am?
  2. Do I follow people who are not directly related to my field?
  3. Am I generous? Do I connect people and encourage others?
  4. How curious am I?
  5. Do I only follow those points of view that agree with my own?
  6. How has my social media experience grown and changed me (for the better)?
  7. Does my followers’ perception of me directly impact their perception of my school?
  8. How OPEN am I?

I’m back in the game. Hopefully living by my new rules. You’ll let me know otherwise, won’t you.

@anneknock

3 thoughts on “Back in the game: My new rules for social media engagement #itsnotallaboutme

  1. Great post Anne, it could not be more timely. What I find is really powerful is that if social media becomes all about “look at me”, then we will be no better off than where we started before people started using it in the context of education. The power is in learning from one another. I don’t think some sharing of your own stuff is bad (thus making it self-promotion) because all of our voices are valuable, but I think that if you don’t share the work of others we lose a lot.

    Here is the funny thing, I think more people connect and want to follow those who actually highlight the work of others. It seems that some of the best “self-promotion” is in those who actually empower others and highlight them, which is actually no different then what attracts people to great leaders “offline” as well. If I see someone who makes others better around them, aren’t they usually our best leaders?

    Great post…really appreciate your sharing 🙂

  2. Great post Anne, it could not be more timely. What I find is really powerful is that if social media becomes all about “look at me”, then we will be no better off than where we started before people started using it in the context of education. The power is in learning from one another. I don’t think some sharing of your own stuff is bad (thus making it self-promotion) because all of our voices are valuable, but I think that if you don’t share the work of others we lose a lot.

    Here is the funny thing, I think more people connect and want to follow those who actually highlight the work of others. It seems that some of the best “self-promotion” is in those who actually empower others and highlight them, which is actually no different then what attracts people to great leaders “offline” as well. If I see someone who makes others better around them, aren’t they usually our best leaders?

    Great post…really appreciate your sharing 🙂

  3. So refreshing. Cheers, Anne! So many tweets in my stream seem to be about how many new followers people have and how many times they were retweeted. Who cares? Last week I tweeted that I am cleaning out my reader, because I’m sick of self promoting blogs. I don’t want to read about people’s presentations and how great they are. I’m looking for fresh, honest, reflective blogs that offer great ideas or that challenge my thinking. Let’s start an #itsnotallaboutme movement!

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