4 Ways to Leverage Social Media to Enhance Your Career

This is a guest post by LGL Community member Scott Huntington.

Although many companies caution workers about using social media, utilizing sites like Twitter and LinkedIn can go a long way in positioning you within your own company and as a leader in your industry.  Obviously you need to be smart about how you use social media. Never lambast your company or post anything inappropriate.

1. Share Expertise

A good example of using LinkedIn to develop online leadership is the profile of Keith Springer, president and founder of Springer Financial Advisors. Springer publishes tips on stocks, what is currently going on in the market and his personal reasons for the ways he invests. This not only keeps his co-workers up to date, but also offers advice for others in his niche.

 2. Establish Authority

Another important aspect of utilizing the online world to establish authority is lending credibility to your posts or blog writing. While you may have multiple degrees in your field and years of experience, it’s still important to cite reliable studies from trusted sources, such as universities and well-known research firms. Make sure you add a bit more information to any topic you cover so that people understand you aren’t just regurgitating information, but you truly understand the topic.

If you are really ambitious, write a short book on the subject you know best. You’ll earn quite a lot of respect from your employees and your peers.

3. Get Off the Computer and Into the Real World

Although you can make connections online, you should also be attending events in your industry. As you meet people at conferences, speeches you give or even social gatherings, share what you do and ask them to connect with you online. These in-person connections are much more likely to read, share and promote your content than those who’ve never actually met you.

4. Utilize the Right Platforms

While online leadership is about utilizing online social media platforms, which platforms you choose can be just as important as how many followers you have. If your business focuses on technology, you can connect with like-minded people on Google+ and LinkedIn, but Pinterest probably isn’t going to bring you a lot of traffic. Study who is using each type of platform, analyze which social sites your competitors are on and start adding your voice to the mix to gain the online leadership skills necessary in today’s global marketplace.

If you liked this, you may also enjoy Scott’s previous LGL post. How to Be a Manager When Your Employees Are Older Than You.

Connected, Creative, and Courageous: How Kids are Changing the World

If you are new to Let’s Grow Leaders, on Saturdays I have been doing a connected series on Developing Leadership in Kids. On Monday, I continue with grown-up leadership fare. Today’s post is multi-generational in nature and should be of interest to leaders of all ages.

“Social media is about building a platform for leaders who used to be ignored.”

Don’t get me wrong, the grown-ups at TEDxWomen had a lot of important ideas to share. What we all found miraculous, however, were the young, connected women and girls changing the world through social media. Emily May founded the Hollaback Association to combatting street harassment by empowering women to leverage their cellphones and other technology.

Anita Sarkeesian is deconstructing the stereotypes associated with women in popular culture. She took on the gaming world with a fundraising campaign to fight against the depictions of women. She became the target of a wide-spread bullying campaign, and suffered multiple outrageous threats. She stood up to the connected bullies.

The subjects these young women are fighting against are so sensitive that they might not be suitable for some of my younger padawan readers, so I am purposely leaving out the direct links to their talks.

Julia and Izze: Connected For Good

Julia Bluhm and Izze Cabbe have a story appropriate for all Padawan viewing this Saturday morning. I hope you will share it with your tweens and teenagers. Julia and Izze are feminist activists. As part of a SPARK Movement action, they used the power of social media to share a successful petition asking 17 magazine to stop photoshopping the faces and bodies of women.

Click on their names to view the talk. You can easily advance though the introductory stuff and start it a 6:14.

Izzy shares…

“So a lot of kids are sitting at home with things they want to change but are not changing them because they think they can’t because they are only a teenager.”

They both then give insights as to how youth can get involved to make a difference.

Of course, if you just want a “the worlds going to be all right in hands like these” kind of feeling this Saturday morning, watch Brittany Wenger’s talk.

Brittany began studying neural networks when she was in the seventh grade. And this year, she won the grand prize in the 2012 Google Science Fair for her project, “Global Neural Network Cloud Service for Breast Cancer.” The resulting Cloud4Cancer service aggregates data from biopsies done with the fine-needle aspiration process, instead of the traditional and more painful surgical option.

We have a generation with many promising connected, creative and courageous youth. I encourage you to share their stories as inspiration for both youth and adults. We all have the power to use social media to change the world.

Saturday Salutation: Postcard from the United Nations Youth Assembly

This quote set the tone for the 11th Annual Youth Assembly at the United Nations sponsored by the Friendship Ambassadors Foundation, which I attended this week. The focus was on youth empowerment, and how social networking can be used to create change.

“This is a guest post from my son Ben Evans, 17. Ben is a youth envoy to the Unitarian Universalist United Nations Organization, and recently served as a delegate to the National Youth Assembly at the United Nations. He holds a variety of leadership roles at school and church, and enjoys music and drama.”
“Youth are problem solvers, not problems to be solved.”
~Jasmine Nahhas di Flori

All of the panel speakers are fantastic leaders with truly amazing stories. Some were ambassadors from countries like Romania and Kenya. I also met Jacuqes Cousteau’s grandson and teens my age who have made big changes by starting something small. For example, Talia Leman began a trick or treating campaign when she was 10 years old, and has now raised over 10 million dollars for relief efforts around the world.

Each attendee was given a rubber bracelet with a personal QR code on it. When the code was scanned, all of my social networking information was immediately transmitted to my new friends and connections. Empowering simple networking with peers around the world.

I strongly encourage you to check out the following organizations which impressed me throughout the conference.

Education for Employment Foundation: (provides cellphones to connect Middle East youth with jobs)

Pavegen (harnesses the power of footsteps to create green energy)

Two Degrees (college campus-based programs selling energy bars to provide a 1:1 donation of food kits in third world countries)

Liter of Light (creates light in poor countries using only soda bottles, tin, and water)

“Being a leader of tomorrow does not exclude you from starting today.”