Andrea Learned

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Leaders: Stay Calm And Tweet Less

Yellow seed heads in small white vase

Stay calm. Photo by Danielle MacInnes on Unsplash

Developing a leadership platform is not, I repeat, not, about being on whatever network 24/7. Instead, calmly striving to be a wise and generous participant in your industry’s key conversations should be your intention.

One thing I emphasize with clients is the idea of tweeting less (or sharing less, on whichever platform), but being much more strategic with the few things they do share. It is indeed counterintuitive, if you are under the impression that being on a platform is still about frantic sharing and always increasing number of followers.

But, when you zero in on trying to engage with just a small group of your own key influencers, the reasons for consciously adding value emerge. One tactic is to take time to find and tag those being quoted (especially when they are journalists). Another point on which to stay mindful: the top few hashtags in your world. Then, you’ll have them at-hand to bridge new “eyeballs” to the topic.

If you are a business leader hoping to get more productive with your limited “spare” time – be that on the train home or at lunch – you can do this! Just commit to 10 – 15 minutes a work day, and create a process that allows you to consistently share a few key articles and engage with influencers. (Those who use public transportation have a distinct advantage.)

Here’s an example of the flow:

  • You spy a relevant article as you are reading through Harvard Business Review or the MITSloan publication (or whatever is core to your industry).
  • You read it and, then add a valuable, even if short, comment to the piece in that site’s comment section.
  • When your comment has published, hit the “share” or “tweet” button.
  • Never just tweet whatever automatically comes up in that box. Edit the copy to “add value” as the phrase goes. That value might be the one key idea that demonstrates the alignment of the wisdom in the piece with something your business does, or that you’ve written or spoke about in the past.
  • Make sure you find and use the handle of the article’s author(s). Add a hashtag or two, as well. In a sustainability leadership type piece, for example, tagging #sustainability and #leadership is a wise idea.
  • Don’t waste time or space with the breezy hashtags that mean nothing (you can do that on Instagram!)
  • Hit “send.”

Below is one of my own tweets from December 2017, which demonstrates a bit of the above – as well as showing the “we’re all only human” aspects behind not double checking that you have a space just before a hashtag:

If THAT is all you got done with your 15 minutes for the day, you’ve gotten your name on a lot more influential radars: the publication’s, the author’s and whoever is following those two on Twitter (lots of other like-minded readers who want to learn how to lead in your area). Call it a day.

Try to do that again a couple of times a week. Don’t stress. Stay calm. Slow and steady, intentional tweeting will build sustainable social capital. Just try to start earlier than the week before you want some extra attention at a conference.

(A gazillion rote retweets and “likes” is, truly, a waste of your time. Stop now.)

Photo by Danielle MacInnes on Unsplash