Just an hour ago Gujarat CM Narendra Modi becomes the third leader in the world to do a Google Plus after Barack Obama and Julia Gillard. Its easy to dismiss this as just a technology fad or race to take a place in technology history.
The internet has evolved from just being a medium to view information to a platform to connect with people and now to engage with your constituents.
Every leader is an engager. Whether you are leading a group of people in an private organization, non-profit or a government organization you can’t lead without engagement. Influence by position is out, influence by trust is in. Trust is generated by being genuine, original and engaging. It means building a relationship. It is the trust in the relationship that converts to influence.
Online channels and social media present an opportunity for every individual to be genuine, original and engaging. It helps you to be deal with mass communication and personal engagement at the same time.
Social media presents an opportunity and a challenge. Communicating through social media is still a basic human expression. It provides a chance to engage with your tribe on a closer level at the same time it comes with the challenge of managing the dynamics of virality to positive effect.
Social media is a tool. It becomes good or bad depending on the purpose for which it is used. It is not a microphone to shout meaningless noise. Rather it is a tool to provide a service/value to your target audience.
Creating a facebook page or a twitter handle is not the thing. Its what you do with it that matters.