Leadership and Social Media Marketing: Can You Have One Without The Other?

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automotive-social-media-marketing-leadershipSocial Media is all about influence. We influence our friends when we comment on their Facebook. We influence our network when re-tweet awesome content. We interact with brands who influence us whether through the purchase experience or through an even deeper connection of values.

Couldn’t it be said then that all this influence can, at least in these moments, be considered leadership?

I had a chance to listen to Mitch Joel’s Six Pixels of Separation (Twist Image) Podcast where he’s talking with Mark Miller. You may not have heard of Mark Miller but you’ve probably heard about the company he’s worked at for 34 years, Chick-Fil-A. Mark is a best-selling author on helping leaders grow.

Mark says, “Anytime you influence the thinking, beliefs, or development of another person, you’re engaging in leadership.” Leadership is an important component in Social Media marketing success. In the Social, knowledge-sharing economy, the brand is you. Developing customer relationships with Social marketing is ultimately going to help you generate leads. But it all starts with people – the buyer and the seller.

As I was listening to Mark talk about his many years cultivating great leaders, it occurred to me that no matter how much influence true leaders have, they never stop learning. “Your capacity to learn determines your capacity to lead. If you stop learning, you stop leading.” Every single time I do a training or coaching session, I learn something. My customers continue to teach me everyday. Helping others, helps me.

Great leaders thrive in a state of gratitude. “Great leaders don’t think less of themselves; they just think of themselves less.” In Social marketing, it’s all about the audience. Your content is driven by how relevant it is to your customers/prospects. When creating or curating your Social marketing content, the mindset is teach, don’t sell. The results are evident when one of your customers talks about you to their friends and family.

“If you get too busy to grow, your influence and your leadership will stagnate and ultimately evaporate.” Whether it’s complacency, arrogance, of just plain busy-ness, you lose your influence when you cease being aware. It’s your choice. You make a conscious decision to stop growing when the price becomes too great – lack of time, energy, focus, or those pesky outside demands. Recognize the instant you see trouble and sound the alarm. Get yourself back into a centered place and make life-long learning a reality.

“Success is a lousy teacher.” Without focus and attention, we become more interested in protecting the past than preparing for the future. The car business has been going through some changes lately. Technology has made it easier for the customer to gain knowledge and more challenging for retailers to market their message. Growth is good and without these challenges, the opportunities wouldn’t be so bountiful.

Great leaders reinvent continuously. They are dissatisfied with the status quo. When you accept change as a constant, you become nimble enough to reinvent and tweak your strategy. Hope is not a strategy. Hope is not an improvement plan. You have to be willing to reinvent your store’s culture because it should enable (not inhibit) what you’re trying to accomplish.

Social marketing is a creative process. Creativity is one of the primary skills that a leader needs to cultivate. Mark says, “Reinvention seems to come easier to those that devote time to fostering creativity. Not creativity as an artistic endeavor but as a thinking skill.”  I believe we are all born with creative thinking but through parental mandates, institutional learning and the day-to-day negativity that permeates our culture, our creative thinking skills become suppressed.

Invite your creative thinking skills back into your daily routine. Take time to focus on what you want and how to get there. Lead yourself. Serve your team and your customer.

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