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3 Ways Leaders Can Maximize Social Media


Leaders can maximize social media’s impact on their organization. Social media is the modern equivalent of the town square. Additionally, the town square is also called the public square. Historically, towns built large areas, in the shape of a square, where the public could gather to listen to leaders and voice opinions on public matters (merriam-webster.com, 2020). However, a physical town square has limits on the number of listeners it may accommodate and the distance with which the leader’s voice may travel. Consequently, these limitations do not pertain to social media. To maximize effectiveness, leaders should be social media savvy (Moorley & Chinn, 2015). Specifically, leaders should use social media to communicate guidance and calm in crises, listen to followers on a micro-scale, and inspire innovation.

Maximize Social Media During a Crisis

Leaders should maximize social media to communicate in a time of crisis. Straightforwardly, demonstrating high competence inspires loyalty and trust (Johnson & Hackman, 2018, pg. 467). During an emergency, loyalty and trust are essential for survival and execution of possible life-saving actions. Specifically, the life saved is that of the organization. Interestingly, the use of social media in crises has been shown to positively influence employee perceptions in certain situations (Jiang, Luo, & Kulemeka, 2017). Additionally, leaders may use social media to communicate direction, actions, and resilient assurance to followers, especially if a physical meeting is impossible.

Listen to Followers on a Micro-Scale and Inspire Innovation

Leaders should maximize social media to listen to followers on a micro-scale and inspire innovation. In addition to increasing the number of people impacted, social media allows leaders to address individual user’s concerns and comments, in near real-time (Moorley & Chinn, 2015). Because leaders can address concerns and share knowledge instantly with followers, conversations spark innovation, which hastens problem-solving (Abbas Khan & Nawaz Khan, 2019). Social media may benefit leaders if appropriately used, like the town square of old.


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Abbas Khan, N., & Nawaz Khan, A. (2019). What followers are saying about transformational leaders fostering employee innovation via organisational learning, knowledge sharing and social media use in public organisations? Government Information Quarterly.

Jiang, H., Luo, Y., & Kulemeka, O. (2017). Strategic Social Media Use in Public Relations: Professionals’ Perceived Social Media Impact, Leadership Behaviors, and Work-Life Conflict. International Journal of Strategic Communication, 18-41.

Johnson, C. E., & Hackman, M. Z. (2018). Leadership A Communication Perspective. Long Grove: Waveland Press, Inc.

merriam-webster.com. (2020, February 25). Public Square. Retrieved from merriam-webster.com

Moorley, C. P., & Chinn, T. M. (2015). Developing nursing leadership in social media. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 514–520.