What is Social Media Leadership?

Note: The idea for this post came from a reader’s comment about how new the area of social media leadership is to the leadership community (Thanks Justin!).

What is Social Media Leadership?

We are learning our way through this new area of leadership, which involves:

  • Thinking completely differently about what we do and how we do it
  • Integrating work in new ways that blur the lines between communication, marketing, research, customer service and customer engagement
  • Engaging in transparent real-time communication with followers, colleagues, critics and customers
  • Leading change in an area where we may not yet be fully comfortable, but where the organization needs to go to stay current, relevant and viable.
Social Media Leadership Requires Changing and Leading Change
In leading social media engagement, we first have to change and embrace social media, then help others see the value and make the change, then lead the cause within the organization in ways that benefit multiple stakeholders. This challenge is multi-level and begins with making changes to our perception of our personal and organizational boundaries that seem catastrophic to some leaders.
While we may have thought in the past that we could “lead from a distance,” the social media world is more like being in a virtual coffee shop with everyone who’s ever heard of your brand, your (happy and unhappy) customers, your employees, your competitors, your suppliers, your biggest fans, and the rest of the global community across geographic and industry boundaries. The good news is that people will hear about your business a lot faster. To have that awareness lead to business growth though, they will need to believe that you are concerned, responsible and responsive to their needs.

This collection of resources that I have collected for you will help you and your teams:

  • see the value of joining the social media information wave
  • lead individuals and groups through engagement with social media, and
  • lead your organizations through successful integration of social media into daily business.

How we Think About Social Media

The Six Attitudes Leaders Take Toward Social Media by Anthony J. Bradley and Mark P. McDonald, Harvard Business Review,  blogs.hbr.org (this article includes a social readiness assessment)

How it’s Changing the World and How we Work 

Leaders & Social Media: 5 Reasons to Engage by Linda Fisher Thornton, Leading in Context Blog (One of my popular recent posts!)

How We Need to Lead Social Media

How to Change From a Social Media User to a Social Media Leader Kissmetrics.com Blog

How we Begin to Integrate Social Media Into Business

The 10 Stages of Social Media Business Integration by Brian Solis on Mashable.com

Five Ways Corporate Culture Determines Social Media Success by @markwschaefer, businessgrow.com

What it Takes to Succeed in Social Media Leadership

To be successful as social media leaders, we will need to demonstrate humility, a willingness to learn and a desire to keep ourselves and our organizations competent as the world changes.

© 2011 Leading in Context LLC 


For more, see new book 7 Lenses and the 21 Question Assessment: How Current is My Message About Ethics?

7 Lenses is a Bronze Axiom Business Book Award Winner in Business Ethics41cEVx-Tu4L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_
2014 Axiom Business Book Award Winner 
About 7 Lenses
Info@LeadinginContext.com  @leadingincontxt  @7Lenses


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