12 Most Must-Have Habitudes for Social Media Success
There are still a large number of folks who believe that Social Media is about the tools you choose and the content you create.
Champion Tweeters, Bloggers, and Network Leaders think differently. They spend their time on the social web and in their communities with a different behavior set, mindset and belief system. I call these Habitudes — as success is a combination of disciplined habit and battle hard attitude.
These “Social Media Habitudes” are what separate them from the rest of the pack. Their decisions about tools, techniques and trends are shaped and molded by their Habitudes.
You have the ability to teach, guide, influence, activate, catalyze, transform, elevate, and make deeper connections every time you enter this space, but only if you are willing to make the following Habitudes a priority:
1. Insatiable curiosity
Champion leaders and learners are curious about everything. They have learned that great questions are the best way to have a meaningful conversation, the best way to rope in a mentor and the best way to look like a star performer. Make it a priority to listen to people asking great questions. Be in charge of the questions you ask and keep a list of the best questions you hear. Use this to create a question toolbox you can use and apply to every social media interaction you have.
2. Audacious imagination
Imagination is not just for kids. Discovery, innovation, creativity, and learning all begin with imagination. We all have creative potential to dig a bit deeper, stretch ourselves father, and dream a whole lot bigger than we are now. You can increase your exposure to new ideas, look for new patterns and see how you can combine ideas to improve upon existing strategies and solutions. Learn to tap into this capacity by using one of my favorite strategies is called SCAMPER. Let the processes guide you in through the journey of looking for new ideas and craft your strategy to how to implement those ideas creatively. Opportunity awaits you.
3. Fearless learning
A desire to learn new things and stay on top of trends is key to success in any social media endeavor. Eric Hoffer captured it best when he said, “In times of change, learners inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.” Don’t be equipped for irrelevance — keep learning.The moment you proclaim yourself to be “expert,” “guru,” or “master of of your domain,” you lose. Be sure any social media plan involves time and a budget dedicated to ongoing training and education. Use this knowledge and content to move you towards your objectives; and always remember to give thanks to your “teachers” in the process! Here is a great list of places to jump start your journey.
4. Unwavering persistence and perseverance
I have learned that most things of lasting value take time and discipline to achieve, and social media is not different. There will be good days. And there will be bad days. There will be times when you want to turn around, pack it up, and call it quits. Like any ability we wish to master, a level of commitment and discipline is required.
Be persistent in your engagement within the communities that you are a part of. Be willing to make an investment in time and people rather than the latest “get more traffic and followers” approach. The implementation of a social media strategy means more than just one or two events or tools. The key to moving forward is consistency and commitment.
5. Courage with confidence
For those unfamiliar with technology and new to social media, I understand jumping into the world of social media can be scary. It’s a big step, especially if you’re accustomed to “old habits.” But now is not the time to be timid. In today’s rapid fire economy, it is imperative that you be willing to accept, learn how to use, and implement social media and new technologies. Your competitors certainly are. Luckily you don’t have to take the jump in alone. There are tons of ways to find individuals to learn from and be mentored by. Be confident in your power to be the change.
6. Adaptability and agility
Adaptability is more than just serving change; it is using change as a growth opportunity. In fact, with anticipation of change, you can control change. This kind of development requires robust adaptability. The world opens up for adaptable learners, as they approach each task and challenge willing to be a beginner. They approach their learning and life with a beginner’s mindset. These learners embrace challenges with openness and flexibility. Those willing to ability to adapt their own cultural behaviour and judgements to different situations and to people from different cultures.
7. Self awareness
Putting out a honest and accurate sense of who/what you are is more than a nicety; it is a necessity for your social media success. You will not be trusted, admired or valued, if you are not real. Even if you are representing a company or brand; the people on the receiving end of everything you put out need to know you are real. This kind of authenticity takes commitment and dedication. Take time to really get to know what matters to you, hone your story, and share passion in everything you do. Give people a reason to want to know more!
8. Empathetic compassion
In a social economy, being interested trumps being interesting. To be interested in another requires empathy and engenders compassion. Empathy — thinking about other’s needs, feelings, and perceptions before your own — is the secret ingredient needed for transformation and the inspiration necessary to finding meaningful connections and lasting relationships. Empathy is not a strategy; it takes asking, listening and responding in a way that instills trust and conveys passion into any/all types of engagement. Leaders on the social web out-listen and out love their competitors. Consider what you might do to listen more thoughtfully, notice more intentionally; the rewards are immeasurable.
9. Gracious generosity
We lead our lives in the company of others. In social media (and in life) we are remembered for what we give and not what we get. In this space, if you give out help, you get back help. If you give out information, you get it back. And if you give out love, what is returned may just take your breath away.
There is an opportunity everyday to exceed people’s expectations; to offer up the best you have from a hot-off-the-press news story to a must-have tip or resource. Surprise them, thank them with a retweet or direct message and never miss a chance to show the people how much they matter to you.
10. Realistic optimism
No doubt, we live in challenging and complex times. We also live in a time where nearly ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE. As a leader, your ability to be hopeful and dispense hope is crucial to helping those you serve thrive in face of difficulty. And there is much to be hopeful for. Believe in the incredible power of the human mind. Of doing something that makes a difference. Of working hard. Of laughing and learning. Of all the things that will cross your path. Of the ability to start something new. All these bring the hope of something great to come.
Resilience involves being able to change direction. Failure is easy to repeat. You simply do the exact same thing you did previously while expecting the result to be different. (I believe this was Einstein’s definition of insanity.) It takes effort to consider alternative approaches and to maintain the hope that making such changes can yield better results.
Ambiguity is unsettling. Faced with it, the temptation is to reach for a fast (and potentially wrongheaded) solution. A leader with the Habitudes holds steady, synthesizing information from many sources and acts strategically before abandoning or apply a tactic or strategy.
To get good at this, you have to:
• Seek patterns in multiple sources of data and encourage others to do the same
• Question prevailing assumptions and test multiple hypotheses simultaneously
• Plan for Roadblocks and commit to efforts to overcome potential setbacks.
Some questions to ponder as you examine your social media strategy:
• How resilient are you in face of challenge?
• How am I modeling resilience in my behavior and actions?
• How do I convey the importance of resilience to others who face challenges and obstacles?
12. Relentless passion
What I love most about teaching five-year-olds, is their huge capacity to put themselves fully into the things they enjoy; with no fear or restraint. It’s their passion that stands out and inspires others around them.
Like great innovators, scientists, artists, and world leaders, five-year-olds understand that passion is the ingredient that makes the impossible a little more possible. Passion is the genius of genius.
I believe passion to be the single most important asset we have on the web and in the world. Passion is what differentiates us consistently over time. It needs to be nurtured, evolved, and invigorated with constant attention in order to keep it true and alive. Any leader who decides to adopt this level of intensity and conviction will be valued and admired. For those leaders willing to become more passion-driven, the following resources can help you in your journey.
So, what do you think? Would you follow leaders with these traits and qualities?
What can we add or do to help nurture those who seek or are called to serve?
Featured image courtesy of Toni Blay via Creative Commons.